How to install Rust on Linux

Rust is an incredibly important programming language for creating both system and backend software. Find out how to install Rust on Linux in a few quick steps.

How to install Rust on Linux

Rust was developed by Mozilla in 2010, for highly concurrent and safe systems. The syntax is similar to C and C++, with blocks of code delineated by curly braces, as in:

fn main() {

    println!("Hello World!");

Rust is employed in data centers by companies like Dropbox, Postmates, Stac, Wantedly, Doctolib, and QIWI, and emphasizes safety, control of memory layout, and concurrency. Rust supports concepts like:

  • Zero-cost abstractions

  • Threads without data races

  • Trait-based generics

  • Pattern matching

  • Minimal runtime

  • Algebraic data types

  • Efficient C bindings

Rust is open source and can be installed on a number of platforms. I want to walk you through the process of installing this highly useful language on both Debian/Ubuntu- and RHEL-based Linux distributions.

SEE: Rust: What it is, why you should learn it, and how you can master it (TechRepublic download)

What you'll need

  • A running instance of Linux

  • A user with sudo privileges

If you use a distribution that doesn't work with sudo, you'll then have to su to the root user in place of using the sudo command.

SEE: Rust: What developers need to know about this programming language (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to install Rust

The first thing to be done is the installation of curl. On a Debian- or Ubuntu-based distribution, do this with the command:

sudo apt-get install curl -y

On a Red Hat-based distribution, install curl with the command:

sudo dnf install curl -y

Once curl is installed, download and install Rust with the command:

curl -sSf | sh

When the installer has downloaded, it will run and first ask if you want to proceed, customize, or cancel the installation (Figure A).

Figure A


Let's proceed with the installation.

Type 1 to proceed. During the process, Rust will fail to add the bin directory for Cargo (the package manager and crate host for rust) to your $PATH, so you'll have to do it manually with the command:

source $HOME/.cargo/env

After that, you'll need to source your user .profile to use the modified $PATH and ensure your user shell will function with the Rust environment. This is accomplished with the command:

source ~/.profile

Finally, you need to install a few dependencies, required by the rust command. For Debian/Ubuntu, install the remaining dependencies with the command:

sudo apt-get install build-essential -y

For CentOS/RHEL use the command:

sudo dnf install cmake gcc -y

How to test the Rust installation

Let's test Rust using the "Hello, World!" application. First, create a new directory to house our test with the command:

mkdir rusttest

Change into the new directory with the command:

cd rusttest

Create a new rust file with the command:


Past the following Hello, World example into the new file:

fn main() {
    println!("Hello, TechRepublic!");

Save and close the file. 

Create the Rust executable with the command:


A new executable file will be created, called rusttest. You can run that newly built application with the command:


You should see the output of the application printed as Hello, TechRepublic (Figure B).

Figure B


A successful run of our application.

Congratulations, you've installed Rust and used it to create your first application. 

Also see

Programming language concept. System engineering. Software development.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto