Back to blog
May 05, 2024
3 min read

Getting Started with Rust: A New Era in Systems Programming

Rust is a safe, concurrent, and fast systems programming language with unique features and a vibrant community.

Getting Started with Rust

Rust is a systems programming language designed to be safe, concurrent, and fast. Developed by Mozilla, it has gained popularity for its ability to prevent common programming errors like null pointer dereferencing and data races. Let’s explore why Rust is gaining traction and how to start using it on Ubuntu or WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux).

The Advantages of Rust

Rust offers several benefits:

  • Safety: Rust’s ownership system ensures memory safety without the need for a garbage collector.
  • Concurrency: Rust’s ownership model allows for safe parallel execution.
  • Performance: Rust’s speed is on par with C/C++, making it suitable for performance-critical - applications.
  • Community: Rust has a vibrant community and growing ecosystem.

The Disadvantages of Rust

However, Rust has some drawbacks:

  • Learning Curve: The ownership model can be complex for beginners.
  • Compile Time: Rust’s compile times can be longer compared to other languages.
  • Limited Frameworks: While growing, the ecosystem for some application types, like GUIs, is still limited.

Rust vs Other Programming Languages

When comparing Rust with other languages:

  • Rust vs C/C++: Rust provides better safety features without sacrificing performance.
  • Rust vs Python: Rust offers better performance but has a steeper learning curve.
  • Rust vs Go: Go is more straightforward for concurrency, while Rust provides more control.

Situations Where Rust Shines

Rust is ideal for:

  • Systems Programming: Building operating systems, compilers, or embedded systems.
  • Performance-Critical Applications: High-performance software where memory safety is crucial.
  • Concurrency: Applications that require safe concurrent operations.

How to Install Rust

To install Rust on Ubuntu/WSL, use rustup, the official Rust installation tool:

Step 1 - Install Rustup

Open a terminal and run:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh

Step 2 - Configure Rustup

Follow the on-screen instructions to set up Rust.

Choose the default installation option. Rustup will install the Rust toolchain, including rustc (compiler) and cargo (package manager).

Step 3 - Check Installation

Verify the installation by running:

rustc --version

Step 4 - Install Build Essentials

For compiling code, ensure build essentials are installed:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Installation instructions for other operating systems, please check the documentation at the following link:

Creating and Running a “Hello, World!” Project

Hello world on Rust

After installing Rust, create a simple project:

Step 1 - Create a New Project

cargo new hello_world

Step 2 - Navigate to the Project Folder

cd hello_world

Step 3 - Edit the Main File: Open src/ and ensure it contains

fn main() {
    println!("Hello, World!");

Step 4 - Run the Program

cargo run


Now that you’ve installed and tested out Rust on Ubuntu, continue your learning on the next tutorials.