Blog Article

The Essential Guide to Rust Development


Julian Martinez

Publishing date



Imagine a programming language that gives you the speed of C, the robustness of Python, and the concurrency of Go. That’s Rust for you!

Rust is a developer’s dreamboat, balancing speed, safety, and concurrency without compromising performance. It’s a dynamic language, offering you the power and precision of low-level languages along with the ease and abstraction of high-level ones.

Ever wondered what it’s like to code in Rust? Whether you're an experienced dev or just getting started, this article is your roadmap into the world of Rust development.

What do you need to set up your local environment for Rust development?

If you'd like to dip your toes into Rust coding without setting up a local environment, Rust Playground is an excellent online tool. You can write, compile, and run Rust code right from your browser. Check it out here: Rust Playground.

Now, if you're ready to set up Rust on your local machine, let's jump right into the installation process. Rustup, the command-line interface for managing Rust versions and tools, is the recommended tool for this purpose. To install Rust, follow these steps:
Open your terminal or command prompt.

Run the following command to download the rustup-init script:

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

This command will initiate the installation process for Rust.

The script will present you with some options. Press '1' and hit Enter to proceed with the default installation, which includes the stable version of Rust.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. The process will involve downloading and configuring the necessary components.

Once the installation is complete, you can verify the Rust installation by opening a new terminal window and running the following command:

rustc --version

This command will display the installed version of Rust, confirming that the installation was successful.

After installing Rust, the next step is to choose an editor. Here's a brief comparison of a few popular choices: Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ IDEA, and Sublime Text:

Why do developers use Rust for smart contract development?

Rust's impressive memory safety features without a garbage collector make it a solid choice for developing smart contracts. Its stringent compiler enforces discipline, minimizing common mistakes made during development. Also, Rust's support for advanced type systems enables more accurate compile-time checks, leading to more secure smart contracts.

How does Rust compare to Solidity?

When it comes to blockchain development, the choice of a programming language can make or break your project. That's why it's time to put the spotlight on Rust and see how it stands up against Solidity, a go-to language for many blockchain developers.

Rust is like a well-oiled machine, touting a trifecta of speed, security, and robustness that is hard to match. It's not just about ticking off the basics, though - Rust goes the extra mile with its unique advantages.

Let’s take a look at why Rust is a great choice for smart contract development.

How safe is Rust?

Because Rust uses an ownership system, it doesn't require garbage collection which greatly reduces memory overhead and non-deterministic behavior. Rust also prevents null pointer dereferencing and data races, making code much safer. These features are invaluable in smart contract development, as they drastically reduce the likelihood of encountering a fatal bug or vulnerability that could be exploited by malicious actors.

Does Rust perform better than other languages?

When it comes to speed, Rust will not let you down. Smart contracts built with Rust compile quickly and have minimal runtime overhead, making the most of your computational resources. Building with Rust ensures a rapid process from compilation to execution, reducing wait times and improving user experience. Furthermore, the language’s efficiency paired with a blockchain built for high TPS can lead to lower gas fees - a significant advantage in an environment often criticized for high transaction costs.

What are the advantages of Rust’s runtime environment?

Rust boasts comprehensive tooling that is mostly self-contained. One crucial aspect of Rust’s tooling when applied to Soroban is its use of the `Env` type, which provides access to the environment the contract operates within. ‘Env’ presents valuable information about the currently executing contract, its invoker, contract data, ledger information, and even includes functions for signing, hashing, and more.

With Rust, you can develop and test code using the terminal or tools like the Soroban CLI. Thanks to Cargo, Rust's package manager, you've got built-in tools like cargo test for running tests and cargo clippy for code formatting. This suite of tools right in your terminal simplifies the testing and debugging process, letting you focus on what really matters - building impressive functionality.

For developers migrating from Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), there's a detailed guide comparing Rust and Solidity. This offers insight into the two powerful programming languages' similarities and differences, enabling developers to transition smoothly to the Rust-centric environment of Stellar's Soroban platform.

Resources to learn Rust

To get started with Rust, you can dive into the trove of expert-vetted resources out there that will make your learning journey more productive.

  1. The Rust Programming Language Book: Recommended by developers from the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), this book is often considered the de facto guide to Rust. Written by Steve Klabnik and Carol Nichols, who are part of the core Rust team, this book offers a deep dive into the language. The easy-to-follow narrative style introduces key concepts and their application in solving real-world problems. It's perfect for those who prefer structured learning and a step-by-step approach.

  2. The Rust Cookbook: This is an excellent resource that contains practical recipes for solving a variety of problems with Rust. Covering an array of subjects such as command line arguments, file I/O, and network programming, it provides practical examples and solutions for typical programming tasks. The Rust Cookbook is a must-have guide to help you translate theory into action.

  3. Rust By Example: As the name suggests, this resource teaches Rust programming through a series of runnable examples. It is a hands-on tutorial that provides a task-oriented look at Rust, focusing on code snippets that showcase the language's most important features. It's an excellent companion for those who prefer learning by doing.

  4.'s Rust Course: This is a comprehensive online course that provides a solid introduction to Rust. Covering a range of topics from the basics of the language to its application in real-world scenarios, the course offers interactive lessons and projects. The community support and rich forum discussions can be especially beneficial for those who learn best through collaborative environments and practical tasks. It also has a video to guide users through the course: Rust Programming Course for Beginners - Tutorial

Resources offered by Stellar

Build a smart contract on Soroban

Soroban is a smart contract platform that puts your Rust coding on center stage. Designed with an intense focus on scalability and user-friendly interfaces, this platform brings to the table an assortment of tools and features that are designed to elevate your budding Rust-powered contract writing and testing journey.

What makes this journey even more exciting? Soroban is currently in the preview release stage. This means your insights and feedback as a Rust developer of any level are not only welcomed, they're highly valued. You get to be part of shaping Soroban into a platform that's truly attuned to the needs and potentials of Rust. Imagine being a part of crafting a whole new world of Rust-centric smart contracts. Exciting, isn't it? For a glimpse of this groundbreaking platform and to start creating your own power-packed smart contracts, make sure to check out the official Soroban Docs.

Developer's guide to Soroban Adoption Fund programs

For Rust newcomers eager to navigate Soroban's landscape, there's a trove of resources designed to empower your learning journey. The Soroban Adoption Fund, with its $100M commitment, offers programs catering to diverse developer needs. The Stellar Quest Live Series 6 provides an engaging platform for real-time competition in gamified coding challenges. Sorobanathon: Equinox, which ran until April 1st, 2023, served as an innovative initiative that inspired developers to experiment with Soroban and share their creative experiences. And the Stellar Community Fund (SCF) is an open-application awards program for those ready to contribute more significantly by building comprehensive products or services on the Stellar network. These programs offer varied opportunities to hone your Rust skills, deepen your understanding of Soroban, and actively participate in a growing community.


Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (FCA00C) is a smart contract development game where developers have a chance to test and refine their Rust and Soroban skills in real-world situations. By taking part in engaging, arcade-style quests, developers can demonstrate their coding and arithmetic expertise across a variety of categories including speed, resource efficiency, and contract size.

What's more, active participation can lead to awards in the form of USDC, and as a token of your achievements, commemorative NFT badges.

But FCA00C is more than just a platform for skill enhancement. It's a dynamic community where developers can gain practical experience and foster connections within the Stellar ecosystem. It's a world ready to welcome you to the exciting possibilities of Rust and Soroban. Ready to take the leap? Join us at FCA00C.

Recommended next steps

Technical documentation and tools for developers

SDF offers a rich assortment of internal resources to support developers on their journey with Rust and Soroban. These materials range from detailed decks to comprehensive eBooks, all aimed at providing a nuanced understanding of Rust and its various applications. With these resources, abstract concepts become accessible, enabling developers to craft secure, efficient, and robust code.

The Soroban Rust SDK is a particular gem among these resources. This comprehensive kit makes it easier for developers to write programs for the Soroban smart contract platform. Not only does it provide ample examples and documentation, but it also incorporates several critical modules that allow developers to handle tasks such as cryptographic functions, logging debug events, and managing storage. Its diversity of structs and traits, from Address and Bytes to FromVal and IntoVal, equips developers with the tools necessary to navigate and manipulate the Soroban environment effectively.

For hands-on learning, developers can dive into coding with the SDK's illustrative examples. One such example showcases how to create a simple 'HelloWorldContract' using the soroban_sdk crate, revealing the practicality of Soroban's code in a real-world scenario. More examples can be found in the Tutorials section of the Soroban Documentation.

As part of the Soroban documentation, the Fundamentals and Concepts section offers in-depth insight into the use of Rust language in writing contracts. This includes key details like Rust toolchain installation, editor configuration, and Rust dialect limitations in execution environments. The guide covers FAQs, authorization, built-in types, contract lifecycle, custom types, and debugging. It further explores environment concepts, errors, events, fees, metering, fully-typed contracts, contract interactions, and transitioning from EVM, offering a well-rounded understanding of Soroban on Stellar.

In short, the Stellar Development Foundation strives to equip its developer community with the knowledge and tools to excel. Its resources, including the Soroban Rust SDK and additional learning materials, serve to streamline the process of understanding and applying Rust in various scenarios, especially within the Soroban framework.


Learning Rust can elevate your skills and put you at the forefront of blockchain development. With Rust, you are working with one of the most secure and efficient languages in existence. The knowledge of Rust and its application to Soroban can open doors to various opportunities, including projects under the Soroban Adoption Fund or participating in events like the Sorobanathon.

Your next step is to apply your Rust knowledge to Soroban, beginning with resources available in the Tutorials and on FCA00C and progressing to a deeper understanding of the Soroban protocol. The journey may be challenging, but the rewards - in skills, experience, and opportunity - are immense.