Demystifying Cargo in Rust

Demystifying Cargo in Rust

Explore Cargo, Rust's build system and package manager. When you install Rust through rustup, Cargo is also installed. We aim to clear up the mystery surrounding Rust Cargo. What is Cargo? How Cargo works? What is cargo.lock?

Explore Cargo, Rust's build system and package manager, to learn what it does and use it in a simple tutorial.

Rust is an amazing language to work with. However, it comes with an oft-misunderstood tool known as Cargo.

Many people, when they first get started with Rust, have trouble grasping what Cargo does and how it works. You might be wondering, for instance, why you need to run your Rust code with cargo run. Why do you need Cargo to run your Rust program? Why are there so many cargo activities in a Rust program?

In this tutorial, we aim to clear up the mystery surrounding Rust Cargo. We’ll cover the following:

  • What is Cargo?
  • How Cargo works
  • What is cargo.lock ?
  • cargo.lock  vs. cargo.toml
  • Cargo and profiles
  • Cargo and workspaces
  • Cargo commands

What is Cargo in Rust?

Cargo is Rust’s build system and package manager. With this tool, you’ll get a repetitive build because it allows Rust packages to declare their dependencies in the manifest, cargo.toml. When you install Rust through rustup, Cargo is also installed.

For example, when you run the following command on Linux or macOS to install Rust, Cargo is installed as well:

curl https://sh.rustup.rs -sSf | sh

Cargo helps you to compile your Rust program successfully. It downloads dependencies, compiles your packages, and uploads them to the Rust project registry, crates.io.

rust programming developer

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