cargo-package — Assemble the local package into a distributable tarball


cargo package [options]


This command will create a distributable, compressed .crate file with the source code of the package in the current directory. The resulting file will be stored in the target/package directory. This performs the following steps:

  1. Load and check the current workspace, performing some basic checks.
    • Path dependencies are not allowed unless they have a version key. Cargo will ignore the path key for dependencies in published packages. dev-dependencies do not have this restriction.
  2. Create the compressed .crate file.
    • The original Cargo.toml file is rewritten and normalized.
    • [patch], [replace], and [workspace] sections are removed from the manifest.
    • Cargo.lock is automatically included if the package contains an executable binary or example target. cargo-install(1) will use the packaged lock file if the --locked flag is used.
    • A .cargo_vcs_info.json file is included that contains information about the current VCS checkout hash if available (not included with --allow-dirty).
  3. Extract the .crate file and build it to verify it can build.
    • This will rebuild your package from scratch to ensure that it can be built from a pristine state. The --no-verify flag can be used to skip this step.
  4. Check that build scripts did not modify any source files.

The list of files included can be controlled with the include and exclude fields in the manifest.

See the reference for more details about packaging and publishing.

.cargo_vcs_info.json format

Will generate a .cargo_vcs_info.json in the following format

 "git": {
   "sha1": "aac20b6e7e543e6dd4118b246c77225e3a3a1302"
 "path_in_vcs": ""

path_in_vcs will be set to a repo-relative path for packages in subdirectories of the version control repository.


Package Options

Print files included in a package without making one.
Don’t verify the contents by building them.
Ignore warnings about a lack of human-usable metadata (such as the description or the license).
Allow working directories with uncommitted VCS changes to be packaged.

Package Selection

By default, when no package selection options are given, the packages selected depend on the selected manifest file (based on the current working directory if --manifest-path is not given). If the manifest is the root of a workspace then the workspaces default members are selected, otherwise only the package defined by the manifest will be selected.

The default members of a workspace can be set explicitly with the workspace.default-members key in the root manifest. If this is not set, a virtual workspace will include all workspace members (equivalent to passing --workspace), and a non-virtual workspace will include only the root crate itself.

-p spec
--package spec
Package only the specified packages. See cargo-pkgid(1) for the SPEC format. This flag may be specified multiple times and supports common Unix glob patterns like *, ? and []. However, to avoid your shell accidentally expanding glob patterns before Cargo handles them, you must use single quotes or double quotes around each pattern.
Package all members in the workspace.
--exclude SPEC
Exclude the specified packages. Must be used in conjunction with the --workspace flag. This flag may be specified multiple times and supports common Unix glob patterns like *, ? and []. However, to avoid your shell accidentally expanding glob patterns before Cargo handles them, you must use single quotes or double quotes around each pattern.

Compilation Options

--target triple
Package for the given architecture. The default is the host architecture. The general format of the triple is <arch><sub>-<vendor>-<sys>-<abi>. Run rustc --print target-list for a list of supported targets. This flag may be specified multiple times.

This may also be specified with the config value.

Note that specifying this flag makes Cargo run in a different mode where the target artifacts are placed in a separate directory. See the build cache documentation for more details.

--target-dir directory
Directory for all generated artifacts and intermediate files. May also be specified with the CARGO_TARGET_DIR environment variable, or the config value. Defaults to target in the root of the workspace.

Feature Selection

The feature flags allow you to control which features are enabled. When no feature options are given, the default feature is activated for every selected package.

See the features documentation for more details.

-F features
--features features
Space or comma separated list of features to activate. Features of workspace members may be enabled with package-name/feature-name syntax. This flag may be specified multiple times, which enables all specified features.
Activate all available features of all selected packages.
Do not activate the default feature of the selected packages.

Manifest Options

--manifest-path path
Path to the Cargo.toml file. By default, Cargo searches for the Cargo.toml file in the current directory or any parent directory.
Asserts that the exact same dependencies and versions are used as when the existing Cargo.lock file was originally generated. Cargo will exit with an error when either of the following scenarios arises:

  • The lock file is missing.
  • Cargo attempted to change the lock file due to a different dependency resolution.

It may be used in environments where deterministic builds are desired, such as in CI pipelines.

Prevents Cargo from accessing the network for any reason. Without this flag, Cargo will stop with an error if it needs to access the network and the network is not available. With this flag, Cargo will attempt to proceed without the network if possible.

Beware that this may result in different dependency resolution than online mode. Cargo will restrict itself to crates that are downloaded locally, even if there might be a newer version as indicated in the local copy of the index. See the cargo-fetch(1) command to download dependencies before going offline.

May also be specified with the net.offline config value.

Equivalent to specifying both --locked and --offline.

Miscellaneous Options

-j N
--jobs N
Number of parallel jobs to run. May also be specified with the config value. Defaults to the number of logical CPUs. If negative, it sets the maximum number of parallel jobs to the number of logical CPUs plus provided value. If a string default is provided, it sets the value back to defaults. Should not be 0.
Build as many crates in the dependency graph as possible, rather than aborting the build on the first one that fails to build.

For example if the current package depends on dependencies fails and works, one of which fails to build, cargo package -j1 may or may not build the one that succeeds (depending on which one of the two builds Cargo picked to run first), whereas cargo package -j1 --keep-going would definitely run both builds, even if the one run first fails.

Display Options

Use verbose output. May be specified twice for “very verbose” output which includes extra output such as dependency warnings and build script output. May also be specified with the term.verbose config value.
Do not print cargo log messages. May also be specified with the term.quiet config value.
--color when
Control when colored output is used. Valid values:

  • auto (default): Automatically detect if color support is available on the terminal.
  • always: Always display colors.
  • never: Never display colors.

May also be specified with the term.color config value.

Common Options

If Cargo has been installed with rustup, and the first argument to cargo begins with +, it will be interpreted as a rustup toolchain name (such as +stable or +nightly). See the rustup documentation for more information about how toolchain overrides work.
--config KEY=VALUE or PATH
Overrides a Cargo configuration value. The argument should be in TOML syntax of KEY=VALUE, or provided as a path to an extra configuration file. This flag may be specified multiple times. See the command-line overrides section for more information.
Changes the current working directory before executing any specified operations. This affects things like where cargo looks by default for the project manifest (Cargo.toml), as well as the directories searched for discovering .cargo/config.toml, for example. This option must appear before the command name, for example cargo -C path/to/my-project build.

This option is only available on the nightly channel and requires the -Z unstable-options flag to enable (see #10098).

Prints help information.
-Z flag
Unstable (nightly-only) flags to Cargo. Run cargo -Z help for details.


See the reference for details on environment variables that Cargo reads.


  • 0: Cargo succeeded.
  • 101: Cargo failed to complete.


  1. Create a compressed .crate file of the current package:

    cargo package


cargo(1), cargo-publish(1)