Dependencies is the Rust community’s central package registry that serves as a location to discover and download packages. cargo is configured to use it by default to find requested packages.

To depend on a library hosted on, add it to your Cargo.toml.

Adding a dependency

If your Cargo.toml doesn’t already have a [dependencies] section, add that, then list the crate name and version that you would like to use. This example adds a dependency of the time crate:

time = "0.1.12"

The version string is a SemVer version requirement. The specifying dependencies docs have more information about the options you have here.

If we also wanted to add a dependency on the regex crate, we would not need to add [dependencies] for each crate listed. Here’s what your whole Cargo.toml file would look like with dependencies on the time and regex crates:

name = "hello_world"
version = "0.1.0"
edition = "2021"

time = "0.1.12"
regex = "0.1.41"

Re-run cargo build, and Cargo will fetch the new dependencies and all of their dependencies, compile them all, and update the Cargo.lock:

$ cargo build
      Updating index
   Downloading memchr v0.1.5
   Downloading libc v0.1.10
   Downloading regex-syntax v0.2.1
   Downloading memchr v0.1.5
   Downloading aho-corasick v0.3.0
   Downloading regex v0.1.41
     Compiling memchr v0.1.5
     Compiling libc v0.1.10
     Compiling regex-syntax v0.2.1
     Compiling memchr v0.1.5
     Compiling aho-corasick v0.3.0
     Compiling regex v0.1.41
     Compiling hello_world v0.1.0 (file:///path/to/package/hello_world)

Our Cargo.lock contains the exact information about which revision of all of these dependencies we used.

Now, if regex gets updated, we will still build with the same revision until we choose to cargo update.

You can now use the regex library in

use regex::Regex;

fn main() {
    let re = Regex::new(r"^\d{4}-\d{2}-\d{2}$").unwrap();
    println!("Did our date match? {}", re.is_match("2014-01-01"));

Running it will show:

$ cargo run
   Running `target/hello_world`
Did our date match? true