My Tour of Rust – Day 1 – Environment Setup

The first step to learn something new is to download and install. I personally work with multiple operating systems, including OSX, Windows, and Linux. I will note the differences for the different environments.


There are packages for homebrew and macports, but since rust is still a fairly fast moving project I decided not to use these and instead use rustup.


Again, most of the Linux distributions have a rust package available and for production environments where stability is key. Again for the purposes of my learning here, I have decided to use rustup.


The standard rustup setup is a shell script, so that will not work for windows. However looking at the Cargo installation page there is a link for a windows installer rustup-init.exe. This installer basically works the same as the rustup script. It installs in your home directory under .cargo.


The standard way to install is using the rustup url below and piping it though the shell.

curl -sSf | sh

Now that we have installed rust, what does that mean, where is it installed, and what go installed. The installation is by default your home directory in the .cargo directory. Several developer tools are installed, but the ones that I will focus on are rustup and cargo.


The rustup command is the one stop shop for your local rust environment. You can switch to a different channel to get beta or nightly updates. You can update current channels to the latest. You can add cross compile targets. Basically anything related the development tools can be managed through this command.

rustup 1.16.0 (beab5ac2b 2018-12-06)
The Rust toolchain installer

    rustup [FLAGS] <SUBCOMMAND>

    -v, --verbose    Enable verbose output
    -h, --help       Prints help information
    -V, --version    Prints version information

    show           Show the active and installed toolchains
    update         Update Rust toolchains and rustup
    default        Set the default toolchain
    toolchain      Modify or query the installed toolchains
    target         Modify a toolchain's supported targets
    component      Modify a toolchain's installed components
    override       Modify directory toolchain overrides
    run            Run a command with an environment configured for a given toolchain
    which          Display which binary will be run for a given command
    doc            Open the documentation for the current toolchain
    man            View the man page for a given command
    self           Modify the rustup installation
    set            Alter rustup settings
    completions    Generate completion scripts for your shell
    help           Prints this message or the help of the given subcommand(s)

    rustup installs The Rust Programming Language from the official
    release channels, enabling you to easily switch between stable,
    beta, and nightly compilers and keep them updated. It makes
    cross-compiling simpler with binary builds of the standard library
    for common platforms.

    If you are new to Rust consider running `rustup doc --book` to
    learn Rust.


# List the toolchain versions available
rustup toolchain list

# Install the beta channel
rustup toolchain install beta

# Install the nightly channel
rustup toolchain install beta

# Make the nightly channel the default
rustup default nightly

# Make sure that rustup has been updated
rustup self update

# Make sure all of the channels have been update to latest
rustup update


Cargo is your build and dependency management tool. Think of it like npm or maven. There are repositories of “crates”, that are thirdparty libraries.

$cargo init --help
Create a new cargo package in an existing directory

    cargo init [OPTIONS] [--] [path]

        --registry <REGISTRY>    Registry to use
        --vcs <VCS>              Initialize a new repository for the given version control system (git, hg, pijul, or
                                 fossil) or do not initialize any version control at all (none), overriding a global
                                 configuration. [possible values: git, hg, pijul, fossil, none]
        --bin                    Use a binary (application) template [default]
        --lib                    Use a library template
        --edition <YEAR>         Edition to set for the crate generated [possible values: 2015, 2018]
        --name <NAME>            Set the resulting package name, defaults to the directory name
    -v, --verbose                Use verbose output (-vv very verbose/ output)
    -q, --quiet                  No output printed to stdout
        --color <WHEN>           Coloring: auto, always, never
        --frozen                 Require Cargo.lock and cache are up to date
        --locked                 Require Cargo.lock is up to date
    -Z <FLAG>...                 Unstable (nightly-only) flags to Cargo, see 'cargo -Z help' for details
    -h, --help                   Prints help information

    <path>     [default: .]


# Create an empty binary project in the current directory
cargo init

# Create an empty library project in the current directory
cargo init --lib

# Create an empty library in a new my-library directory
cargo init --lib my-library


The rust development environment is easy to configure and update. Cargo makes dependency management straight forward and makes the language very approachable if you have experience with npm or another package manager. In the next post, I will start actually coding and will discuss cargo in more detail. If you have any questions or corrections, please send them to @rushtonality.