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The Rust toolchain installer


rustup: the Rust toolchain installer

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rustup installs The Rust Programming Language from the official release channels, enabling you to easily switch between stable, beta, and nightly compilers and keep them updated. It makes cross-compiling simpler with binary builds of the standard library for common platforms. And it runs on all platforms Rust supports, including Windows.


Follow the instructions at If that doesn't work for you there are other installation methods.

rustup installs rustc, cargo, rustup and other standard tools to Cargo's bin directory. On Unix it is located at $HOME/.cargo/bin and on Windows at %USERPROFILE%\.cargo\bin. This is the same directory that cargo install will install Rust programs and Cargo plugins.

This directory will be in your $PATH environment variable, which means you can run them from the shell without further configuration. Open a new shell and type the following:

rustc --version

If you see something like rustc 1.7.0 (a5d1e7a59 2016-02-29) then you are ready to Rust. If you decide Rust isn't your thing, you can completely remove it from your system by running rustup self uninstall.

Enable tab completion for Bash, Fish, or Zsh

rustup now supports generating completion scripts for Bash, Fish, and Zsh. See rustup help completions for full details, but the gist is as simple as using one of the following:

# Bash
$ rustup completions bash > /etc/bash_completion.d/rustup.bash-completion

# Bash (macOS/Homebrew)
$ rustup completions bash > $(brew --prefix)/etc/bash_completion.d/rustup.bash-completion

# Fish
$ rustup completions fish > ~/.config/fish/completions/

# Zsh
$ rustup completions zsh > ~/.zfunc/_rustup

Note: you may need to restart your shell in order for the changes to take effect.

For zsh, you must then add the following line in your ~/.zshrc before compinit:


Choosing where to install

rustup allows you to customise your installation by setting the environment variables CARGO_HOME and RUSTUP_HOME before running the rustup-init executable. As mentioned in the Environment Variables section, RUSTUP_HOME sets the root rustup folder, which is used for storing installed toolchains and configuration options. CARGO_HOME contains cache files used by cargo.

Note that you will need to ensure these environment variables are always set and that CARGO_HOME/bin is in the $PATH environment variable when using the toolchain.

How rustup works

rustup is a toolchain multiplexer. It installs and manages many Rust toolchains and presents them all through a single set of tools installed to ~/.cargo/bin. The rustc and cargo installed to ~/.cargo/bin are proxies that delegate to the real toolchain. rustup then provides mechanisms to easily change the active toolchain by reconfiguring the behavior of the proxies.

So when rustup is first installed running rustc will run the proxy in $HOME/.cargo/bin/rustc, which in turn will run the stable compiler. If you later change the default toolchain to nightly with rustup default nightly, then that same proxy will run the nightly compiler instead.

This is similar to Ruby's rbenv, Python's pyenv, or Node's nvm.

Keeping Rust up to date

Rust is distributed on three different release channels: stable, beta, and nightly. rustup is configured to use the stable channel by default, which represents the latest release of Rust, and is released every six weeks.

When a new version of Rust is released, you can type rustup update to update to it:

$ rustup update
info: syncing channel updates for 'stable'
info: downloading component 'rustc'
info: downloading component 'rust-std'
info: downloading component 'rust-docs'
info: downloading component 'cargo'
info: installing component 'rustc'
info: installing component 'rust-std'
info: installing component 'rust-docs'
info: installing component 'cargo'
info: checking for self-updates
info: downloading self-updates

  stable updated: rustc 1.7.0 (a5d1e7a59 2016-02-29)

This is the essence of rustup.

Keeping rustup up to date

Running rustup update also checks for updates to rustup and automatically installs the latest version. To manually check for updates and install the latest version of rustup without updating installed toolchains type rustup self update:

$ rustup self update
info: checking for self-updates
info: downloading self-updates

Working with nightly Rust

Rustup gives you easy access to the nightly compiler and its experimental features. To add it just run rustup install nightly:

$ rustup install nightly
info: syncing channel updates for 'nightly'
info: downloading toolchain manifest
info: downloading component 'rustc'
info: downloading component 'rust-std'
info: downloading component 'rust-docs'
info: downloading component 'cargo'
info: installing component 'rustc'
info: installing component 'rust-std'
info: installing component 'rust-docs'
info: installing component 'cargo'

  nightly installed: rustc 1.9.0-nightly (02310fd31 2016-03-19)

Now Rust nightly is installed, but not activated. To test it out you can run a command from the nightly toolchain like

$ rustup run nightly rustc --version
rustc 1.9.0-nightly (02310fd31 2016-03-19)

But more likely you want to use it for a while. To switch to nightly globally, change the default with rustup default nightly:

$ rustup default nightly
info: using existing install for 'nightly'
info: default toolchain set to 'nightly'

  nightly unchanged: rustc 1.9.0-nightly (02310fd31 2016-03-19)

Now any time you run cargo or rustc you will be running the nightly compiler.

With nightly installed any time you run rustup update, the nightly channel will be updated in addition to stable:

$ rustup update
info: syncing channel updates for 'stable'
info: syncing channel updates for 'nightly'
info: checking for self-updates
info: downloading self-updates

   stable unchanged: rustc 1.7.0 (a5d1e7a59 2016-02-29)
  nightly unchanged: rustc 1.9.0-nightly (02310fd31 2016-03-19)

Toolchain specification

Many rustup commands deal with toolchains, a single installation of the Rust compiler. rustup supports multiple types of toolchains. The most basic track the official release channels: 'stable', 'beta' and 'nightly'; but rustup can also install toolchains from the official archives, for alternate host platforms, and from local builds.

Standard release channel toolchain names have the following form:


<channel>       = stable|beta|nightly|<version>
<date>          = YYYY-MM-DD
<host>          = <target-triple>

'channel' is either a named release channel or an explicit version number, such as "1.8.0". Channel names can be optionally appended with an archive date, as in 'nightly-2014-12-18', in which case the toolchain is downloaded from the archive for that date.

Finally, the host may be specified as a target triple. This is most useful for installing a 32-bit compiler on a 64-bit platform, or for installing the MSVC-based toolchain on Windows. For example:

$ rustup install stable-x86_64-pc-windows-msvc

For convenience, elements of the target triple that are omitted will be inferred, so the above could be written:

$ rustup install stable-msvc

Toolchain names that don't name a channel instead can be used to name custom toolchains.

Toolchain override shorthand

The rustup toolchain proxies can be instructed directly to use a specific toolchain, a convience for developers who often test different toolchains. If the first argument to cargo, rustc or other tools in the toolchain begins with +, it will be interpreted as a rustup toolchain name, and that toolchain will be preferred, as in

cargo +beta test

Directory overrides

Directories can be assigned their own Rust toolchain with rustup override. When a directory has an override then any time rustc or cargo is run inside that directory, or one of its child directories, the override toolchain will be invoked.

To use to a specific nightly for a directory:

rustup override set nightly-2014-12-18

Or a specific stable release:

rustup override set 1.0.0

To see the active toolchain use rustup show. To remove the override and use the default toolchain again, rustup override unset.

The toolchain file

rustup directory overrides are a local configuration, stored in $RUSTUP_HOME. Some projects though find themselves 'pinned' to a specific release of Rust and want this information reflected in their source repository. This is most often the case for nightly-only software that pins to a revision from the release archives.

In these cases the toolchain can be named in the project's directory in a file called rust-toolchain, the content of which is the name of a single rustup toolchain, and which is suitable to check in to source control.

The toolchains named in this file have a more restricted form than rustup toolchains generally, and may only contain the names of the three release channels, 'stable', 'beta', 'nightly', Rust version numbers, like '1.0.0', and optionally an archive date, like 'nightly-2017-01-01'. They may not name custom toolchains, nor host-specific toolchains.

Override precedence

There are several ways to specify which toolchain rustup should execute:

  • An explicit toolchain, e.g. cargo +beta,
  • The RUSTUP_TOOLCHAIN environment variable,
  • A directory override, ala rustup override set beta,
  • The rust-toolchain file,
  • The default toolchain,

and they are prefered by rustup in that order, with the explicit toolchain having highest precedence, and the default toolchain having the lowest. There is one exception though: directory overrides and the rust-toolchain file are also preferred by their proximity to the current directory. That is, these two override methods are discovered by walking up the directory tree toward the filesystem root, and a rust-toolchain file that is closer to the current directory will be prefered over a directory override that is further away.

To verify which toolchain is active use rustup show.


Rust supports a great number of platforms. For many of these platforms The Rust Project publishes binary releases of the standard library, and for some the full compiler. rustup gives easy access to all of them.

When you first install a toolchain, rustup installs only the standard library for your host platform - that is, the architecture and operating system you are presently running. To compile to other platforms you must install other target platforms. This is done with the rustup target add command. For example, to add the Android target:

$ rustup target add arm-linux-androideabi
info: downloading component 'rust-std' for 'arm-linux-androideabi'
info: installing component 'rust-std' for 'arm-linux-androideabi'

With the arm-linux-androideabi target installed you can then build for Android with Cargo by passing the --target flag, as in cargo build --target=arm-linux-androideabi.

Note that rustup target add only installs the Rust standard library for a given target. There are typically other tools necessary to cross-compile, particularly a linker. For example, to cross compile to Android the Android NDK must be installed. In the future, rustup will provide assistance installing the NDK components as well.

To see a list of available targets, rustup target list. To remove a previously-added target, rustup target remove.

Working with Rust on Windows

rustup works the same on Windows as it does on Unix, but there are some special considerations for Rust developers on Windows. As mentioned on the Rust download page, there are two ABIs in use on Windows: the native (MSVC) ABI used by Visual Studio, and the GNU ABI used by the GCC toolchain. Which version of Rust you need depends largely on what C/C++ libraries you want to interoperate with: for interop with software produced by Visual Studio use the MSVC build of Rust; for interop with GNU software built using the MinGW/MSYS2 toolchain use the GNU build.

When targeting the MSVC ABI, Rust additionally requires an installation of Visual Studio 2013 (or later) or the Visual C++ Build Tools 2015 so rustc can use its linker. For Visual Studio, make sure to check the "C++ tools" option. No additional software installation is necessary for basic use of the GNU build.

By default rustup on Windows configures Rust to target the 32-bit MSVC ABI, that is the i686-pc-windows-msvc target triple. More specifically, the toolchains that rustup chooses to install, unless told otherwise through the toolchain specification, will be compiled to run on a i686-pc-windows-msvc host, and will target that platform by default. When you write rustup update nightly, rustup interprets it as rustup update nightly-i686-pc-windows-msvc. You can change this behavior with rustup set default-host or during installation.

$ rustup set default-host x86_64-pc-windows-msvc

Since the MSVC ABI provides the best interoperation with other Windows software it is recommended for most purposes. The GNU toolchain is always available, even if you don't use it by default. Just install it with rustup install:

$ rustup install stable-gnu

You don't need to switch toolchains to support all windows targets though; a single toolchain supports all four x86 windows targets:

$ rustup target add x86_64-pc-windows-msvc
$ rustup target add x86_64-pc-windows-gnu
$ rustup target add i686-pc-windows-msvc
$ rustup target add i686-pc-windows-gnu

Working with custom toolchains and local builds

For convenience of developers working on Rust itself, rustup can manage local builds of the Rust toolchain. To teach rustup about your build, run:

$ rustup toolchain link my-toolchain path/to/my/toolchain/sysroot

For example, on Ubuntu you might clone rust-lang/rust into ~/rust, build it, and then run:

$ rustup toolchain link myrust ~/rust/build/x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu/stage2/
$ rustup default myrust

Now you can name my-toolchain as any other rustup toolchain. Create a rustup toolchain for each of your rust-lang/rust workspaces and test them easily with rustup run my-toolchain rustc.

Because the rust-lang/rust tree does not include Cargo, when cargo is invoked for a custom toolchain and it is not available, rustup will attempt to use cargo from one of the release channels, preferring 'nightly', then 'beta' or 'stable'.

Working with network proxies

Enterprise networks often don't have direct outside HTTP access, but enforce the use of proxies. If you're on such a network, you can request that rustup uses a proxy by setting its URL in the environment. In most cases, setting https_proxy should be sufficient. On a Unix-like system with a shell like bash or zsh, you could use:

export https_proxy=socks5:// # or

On Windows, the command would be:

set https_proxy=socks5://

If you need a more complex setup, rustup supports the convention used by the curl program, documented in the ENVIRONMENT section of its manual page.


Command Description
rustup default nightly Set the default toolchain to the latest nightly
rustup target list List all available targets for the active toolchain
rustup target add arm-linux-androideabi Install the Android target
rustup target remove arm-linux-androideabi Remove the Android target
rustup run nightly rustc Run the nightly regardless of the active toolchain
rustc +nightly Shorthand way to run a nightly compiler
rustup run nightly bash Run a shell configured for the nightly compiler
rustup default stable-msvc On Windows, use the MSVC toolchain instead of GNU
rustup override set nightly-2015-04-01 For the current directory, use a nightly from a specific date
rustup toolchain link my-toolchain "C:\RustInstallation" Install a custom toolchain by symlinking an existing installation
rustup show Show which toolchain will be used in the current directory

Environment variables

  • RUSTUP_HOME (default: ~/.rustup or %USERPROFILE%/.rustup) Sets the root rustup folder, used for storing installed toolchains and configuration options.

  • RUSTUP_TOOLCHAIN (default: none) If set, will override the toolchain used for all rust tool invocations. A toolchain with this name should be installed, or invocations will fail.

  • RUSTUP_DIST_SERVER (default: Sets the root URL for downloading static resources related to Rust. You can change this to instead use a local mirror, or to test the binaries from the staging directory.

  • RUSTUP_DIST_ROOT (default: Deprecated. Use RUSTUP_DIST_SERVER instead.

  • RUSTUP_UPDATE_ROOT (default Sets the root URL for downloading self-updates.

Other installation methods

The primary installation method, as described at, differs by platform:

  • On Windows, download and run the rustup-init.exe built for i686-pc-windows-gnu target. Despite being built against the GNU toolchain, the Windows build of rustup will install Rust for the MSVC toolchain if it detects that MSVC is installed. If you prefer to install GNU toolchains or x86_64 toolchains by default this can be modified at install time, either interactively or with the --default-host flag, or after installation via rustup set default-host. In general, this is the build of rustup one should install on Windows.
  • On Unix, run curl -sSf | sh in your shell. This downloads and runs, which in turn downloads and runs the correct version of the rustup-init executable for your platform.

rustup-init accepts arguments, which can be passed through the shell script. Some examples:

$ curl -sSf | sh -s -- --help
$ curl -sSf | sh -s -- --no-modify-path
$ curl -sSf | sh -s -- --default-toolchain nightly

If you prefer you can directly download rustup-init for the platform of your choice:

MSVC builds of rustup additionally require an installation of Visual Studio 2015 or the Visual C++ Build Tools 2015. For Visual Studio, make sure to check the "C++ tools" option. No additional software installation is necessary for basic use of the GNU build.

To install from source just run cargo run --release. Note that currently rustup only builds on nightly Rust, and that after installation the rustup toolchains will supersede any pre-existing toolchains by prepending ~/.cargo/bin to the PATH environment variable.


rustup is secure enough for the non-paranoid, but it still needs work. rustup performs all downloads over HTTPS, but does not yet validate signatures of downloads.


Is this an official Rust project?

Yes. rustup is an official Rust project. It is the recommended way to install Rust at

How is this related to multirust?

rustup is the successor to multirust. rustup began as multirust-rs, a rewrite of multirust from shell script to Rust, by Diggory Blake, and is now maintained by The Rust Project.

Can rustup download the Rust source code?

The Rust source can be obtained by running rustup component add rust-src. It will be downloaded to the <toolchain root>/lib/rustlib/src/rust directory of the current toolchain.

rustup fails with Windows error 32

If rustup fails with Windows error 32, it may be due to antivirus scanning in the background. Disable antivirus scanner and try again.


Copyright Diggory Blake, the Mozilla Corporation, and rustup contributors.

Licensed under either of

at your option.


  1. Fork it!
  2. Create your feature branch: git checkout -b my-new-feature
  3. Commit your changes: git commit -am 'Add some feature'
  4. Push to the branch: git push origin my-new-feature
  5. Submit a pull request :D

For developing on rustup itself, you may want to install into a temporary directory, with a series of commands similar to this:

$ cargo build
$ mkdir home
$ RUSTUP_HOME=home CARGO_HOME=home target/debug/rustup-init --no-modify-path -y

You can then try out rustup with your changes by running home/bin/rustup, without affecting any existing installation. Remember to keep those two environment variables set when running your compiled rustup-init or the toolchains it installs, but unset when rebuilding rustup itself.

Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.