The first step to using Rust is to install it. You’ll need an internet connection to run the commands in this chapter, as we’ll be downloading Rust from the internet. We’ll actually be installing Rust using rustup, a command-line tool for managing Rust versions and associated tools.

The following steps will install the latest stable version of the Rust compiler. The examples and output shown in this book used stable Rust 1.21.0. Due to Rust’s stability guarantees, which we’ll discuss further in the “How Rust is Made” section later in this chapter, all of the examples that compile will continue to compile with newer versions of Rust. The output may differ slightly as error messages and warnings are often improved. In other words, the newer, stable version of Rust you will install with these steps should work as expected with the content of this book.

Command Line Notation

We’ll be showing off a number of commands using a terminal, and those lines all start with $. You don’t need to type in the $ character; they are there to indicate the start of each command. You’ll see many tutorials and examples around the web that follow this convention: $ for commands run as a regular user, and # for commands you should be running as an administrator. Lines that don’t start with $ are typically showing the output of the previous command. Additionally, PowerShell specific examples will use > rather than $.

Installing Rustup on Linux or Mac

If you’re on Linux or a Mac, 99% of what you need to do is open a terminal and type this:

$ curl -sSf | sh

This will download a script and start the installation of the rustup tool, which installs the latest stable version of Rust. You may be prompted for your password. If it all goes well, you’ll see this appear:

Rust is installed now. Great!

Of course, if you distrust using curl URL | sh to install software, you can download, inspect, and run the script however you like.

The installation script automatically adds Rust to your system PATH after your next login. If you want to start using Rust right away, run the following command in your shell:

$ source $HOME/.cargo/env

Alternatively, add the following line to your ~/.bash_profile:

$ export PATH="$HOME/.cargo/bin:$PATH"

Finally, you’ll need a linker of some kind. You likely have one installed. If not, when you compile a Rust program, you’ll get errors that a linker could not be executed. Check your platform’s documentation for how to install a C compiler; they usually come with the correct linker as well, given that C needs one. You may want to install a C compiler regardless of your need for only a linker; some common Rust packages depend on C code and will need a C compiler too.

Installing Rustup on Windows

On Windows, go to and follow the instructions. You’ll also need the C++ build tools for Visual Studio 2013 or later. The easiest way to acquire the build tools is by installing Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017 which provides only the Visual C++ build tools. Alternately, you can install Visual Studio 2017, Visual Studio 2015, or Visual Studio 2013 and during installation select the desktop development with C++ workload.

The rest of this book will use commands that work in both cmd.exe and PowerShell. If there are specific differences, we’ll explain which to use.

Custom Installations Without Rustup

If you have reasons for preferring not to use rustup, please see the Rust installation page for other options.


Once you have Rust installed via rustup, updating to the latest version is easy. From your shell, run the update script:

$ rustup update


Uninstalling Rust and Rustup is as easy as installing them. From your shell, run the uninstall script:

$ rustup self uninstall


To check that you have Rust installed, you can open up a shell and type this:

$ rustc --version

You should see the version number, commit hash, and commit date in a format similar to this for the latest stable version at the time you install:

rustc x.y.z (abcabcabc yyyy-mm-dd)

If you see this, Rust has been installed successfully! Congrats!

If you don’t and you’re on Windows, check that Rust is in your %PATH% system variable.

If it still isn’t working, there are a number of places where you can get help. The easiest is the #rust IRC channel on, which you can access through Mibbit. Go to that address, and you’ll be chatting with other Rustaceans (a silly nickname we call ourselves) who can help you out. Other great resources include the Users forum and Stack Overflow.

Local Documentation

The installer also includes a copy of the documentation locally, so you can read it offline. Run rustup doc to open the local documentation in your browser.

Any time there’s a type or function provided by the standard library and you’re not sure what it does or how to use it, use the API (Application Programming Interface) documentation to find out!