For now, this reference is a best-effort document. We strive for validity and completeness, but are not yet there. In the future, the docs and lang teams will work together to figure out how best to do this. Until then, this is a best-effort attempt. If you find something wrong or missing, file an issue or send in a pull request.


A variable is a component of a stack frame, either a named function parameter, an anonymous temporary, or a named local variable.

A local variable (or stack-local allocation) holds a value directly, allocated within the stack's memory. The value is a part of the stack frame.

Local variables are immutable unless declared otherwise. For example: let mut x = ....

Function parameters are immutable unless declared with mut. The mut keyword applies only to the following parameter. For example: |mut x, y| and fn f(mut x: Box<i32>, y: Box<i32>) declare one mutable variable x and one immutable variable y.

Methods that take either self or Box<Self> can optionally place them in a mutable variable by prefixing them with mut (similar to regular arguments). For example:

# #![allow(unused_variables)]
#fn main() {
trait Changer: Sized {
    fn change(mut self) {}
    fn modify(mut self: Box<Self>) {}

Local variables are not initialized when allocated. Instead, the entire frame worth of local variables are allocated, on frame-entry, in an uninitialized state. Subsequent statements within a function may or may not initialize the local variables. Local variables can be used only after they have been initialized; this is enforced by the compiler.