The first step to using Rust is to install it. We’ll download Rust through rustup, a command-line tool for managing Rust versions and associated tools. For this you’ll need an internet connection.

The following steps will install the latest stable version of the Rust compiler. The examples and output shown in this book all use stable Rust 1.21.0. Rust’s stability guarantees ensure that all of the examples in the book that compile will continue to compile with newer versions of Rust. The output may differ slightly between versions, as error messages and warnings are often improved. In other words, any newer, stable version of Rust you will install with these steps should work as expected with the content of this book.

Command Line Notation

In this chapter and throughout the book we’ll be showing some commands used in the terminal. Lines that should be entered in a terminal all start with $. You don’t need to type in the $ character, it is simply there to indicate the start of each command. Many tutorials use 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, open a terminal and enter the following command:

$ 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 instead of restarting your terminal, run the following command in your shell to add Rust to your system PATH manually:

$ source $HOME/.cargo/env

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

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

Finally, you’ll need a linker of some kind. It’s likely you already have one installed, but if you try to compile a Rust program and get errors telling you that a linker could not be executed, you’ll need to install one. You can install a C compiler, as that will usually come with the correct linker. Check your platform’s documentation for how to install a C compiler. Some common Rust packages depend on C code and will need a C compiler too, so it may be worth installing one now regardless.

Installing Rustup on Windows

On Windows, go to and follow the instructions for installing Rust. At some point in the installation you’ll receive a message telling you you’ll also need the C++ build tools for Visual Studio 2013 or later. The easiest way to acquire the build tools is to install Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017, found in the Other Tools and Frameworks section.

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.

Updating and Uninstalling

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

$ rustup update

To uninstall Rust and rustup, from your shell, run the uninstall script:

$ rustup self uninstall


To check whether you have Rust installed correctly, open up a shell and enter:

$ rustc --version

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

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 that’s all correct and Rust still isn’t working, there are a number of places 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!