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How to Install Rust and Cargo on Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

Learn various ways of installing Rust programming language on Linux along with its package manager Cargo.

Brief: Learn various ways of installing Rust programming language on Linux along with its package manager Cargo.

Ever since Mozilla dumped Rust, it has gained even more prominence and popularity. Don’t just take my words for it. Rust is going to be included in the Linux kernel, only the second programming language after C.

Many developers have also started making awesome command line based tools in Rust. These tools are often available through the Cargo package manager.

This is why it matters to install Rust support in Linux, both for the programmers and the end users.

Officially, Rust documents suggest installing Rust in Linux by downloading and executing the installer script in this manner:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf https://sh.rustup.rs | sh

That could work. However, your distribution probably already packages Rust. Using your distribution’s package manager is also an option.

Let me walk you through the Rust installation steps for both official Rust way and package manager way.

Method 1: Installing Rust on any Linux using the official method

There are a few advantages of this method:

  • You get the latest Rust and Cargo version
  • Rust is only installed for the current user, not system-wide
  • You do not need to be root or have sudo access to install Rust for yourself this way

A few people dislike downloading and running shell scripts off the internet, even if it is coming from the official sources. However, since it does not need root access and the script is coming from the official sources, it should be safe to install it this way.

First, make sure that you have Curl installed. Use your distribution’s package manager to install it, if it is not already installed. You can install Curl on Ubuntu and Debian using the apt command:

sudo apt install curl

Next, use this command to download the script and run it:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf https://sh.rustup.rs | sh
Run the installer script provided in the official website to start the installation process
Execute the Install Script

It will ask for your input on the kind of installation you want. Go with option 1:

Select the default install option, which is number 1, when asked to select the method of installation
Default Installation Process 

Once the script finishes the installation process, you need to source the configuration file to make the changes available for your shell.

Execute the command that sorces the configuration, once the installation is finished
Source the Configuration

Source the file:

source $HOME/.cargo/env

Once it is done, verify that rust is available for you by checking the installed version:

rustc --version
Verify the instaaltion of Rust by checing the version of rust installed in the terminal
Verify Rust Version

Here's a replay of the Rust installation (click to enlarge):

An SVG image showing the installation of Rust and checking its version
Installation of Rust
💡
If there is a new version of Rust released, you can update the installed one using: rustup update

Let me quickly show how to remove rust installed this way before you see the other installation method.

Removing Rust installed the official way

In a terminal, use the following command to remove Rust from your system:

rustup self uninstall

Press Y when asked and you’ll have Rust removed from the system.

Remove the installed rust through Shell script
Remove the installed Rust package

Here's a replay of removing Rust installed the official way.

Uninstall Rust, that wass installed through the official Shell script
Uninstall Rust 

That’s settled then.  Let’s see how to use the apt command to install Rust on Ubuntu.

Method 2: Installing Rust support on Ubuntu using apt

Why would you want to use the package manager?

  • It installs Rust system-wide and thus makes it available for all the users on the system
  • It gets updated centrally with other system updates (if your distribution adds a new version of Rust)

There are two main Rust packages available in Ubuntu:

  • rustc: The rust compiler used for Rust programming language
  • cargo: Cargo is the Rust package manager and it automatically installs rustc

As a regular user, you would be using Cargo for installing Rust-based applications. As a programmer, you’ll need Cargo to get other Rust packages or create your own.

Since Cargo includes rustc, I would advise installing it so that all required packages are installed in one go.

sudo apt install cargo

You’ll be asked to enter your account’s password.

Install Rust using th APT packag manager. Provide the password one asked.
Install rust using APT

You are, of course, free to use apt install rustc and install only Rust. That choice lies with you.

You may verify that Rust is installed for you and all the other users (if you want to):

Verify the installed Rust by checking version. (Both the per user and system-wide)
Verify the Rust Install

Here's a replay of Rust installation with apt in Ubuntu.

An SVG image, showing the installation of rust through default package manager and verification of version installed for both user and system-wide.
Install and verify the Rust 

That’s good. Let me quickly show the uninstall step as well.

Removing Rust using apt remove

To remove Rust, you can remove Cargo first and then use the autoremove command to remove the dependencies installed with it.

sudo apt remove cargo

Now run the autoremove:

sudo apt autoremove

Here's the replay uninstall Rust with apt command:

Uninstall the Rust installed through APT package manager
Uninstall Rust with APT

That’s it. You now know all the essentials about installing Rust on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. Questions and suggestions are always welcome.

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