Royce  Reinger

Royce Reinger


5 Favorite Data Visualization Library for Rust

In today's post we will learn about 5 Favorite Data Visualization Library for Rust.

What is Data Visualization?

Data visualization is the graphical representation of information and data. By using visual elements like charts, graphs, and maps, data visualization tools provide an accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data. Additionally, it provides an excellent way for employees or business owners to present data to non-technical audiences without confusion.

In the world of Big Data, data visualization tools and technologies are essential to analyze massive amounts of information and make data-driven decisions.

Table of contents:

  • Djduque/pgfplots [pgfplots] - A Rust library to generate publication-quality figures. 
  • Igiagkiozis/plotly - Plotly for Rust.
  • Milliams/plotlib - Data plotting library for Rust.
  • Plotters - A rust drawing library for high quality data plotting for both WASM and native, statically and realtimely. 
  • Saresend/gust - A small charting/visualization tool and partial vega implementation for Rust.

1 - Djduque/pgfplots [pgfplots]:

A Rust library to generate publication-quality figures. This crate is a PGFPlots code generator, and provides utilities to create, customize, and compile high-quality plots.


Add the following to your Cargo.toml file:

pgfplots = { version = "0.4", features = ["inclusive"] }

Plotting a quadratic function is as simple as:

use pgfplots::axis::plot::Plot2D;

let mut plot = Plot2D::new();
plot.coordinates = (-100..100)
    .map(|i| (f64::from(i), f64::from(i*i)).into())


A more extensive list of examples and their source code is available in the examples/ directory (runnable with cargo run --all-features --example example_name).



Inclusive: Allow users to process the LaTeX code that generates figures without relying on any externally installed software, configuration, or resource files. This is achieved by including the tectonic crate as a dependency.

If you already have a LaTeX distribution installed in your system, it is recommended to process the LaTeX code directly. The tectonic crate pulls in a lot of dependencies, which significantly increase compilation and processing times. Plotting a quadratic function is still very simple:

 use pgfplots::axis::plot::Plot2D;
 use std::process::{Command, Stdio};

 let mut plot = Plot2D::new();
 plot.coordinates = (-100..100)
 	.map(|i| (f64::from(i), f64::from(i*i)).into())

 let argument = plot.standalone_string().replace('\n', "").replace('\t', "");
 	.expect("Error: unable to run pdflatex");

View on Github

2 - Igiagkiozis/plotly:

Plotly for Rust.

A plotting library for Rust powered by Plotly.js.


Add this to your Cargo.toml:

plotly = "0.8.0"

Crate Feature Flags

The following feature flags are available:

  • kaleido
    • Optional, compatible with Rust stable.
    • Adds plot save functionality to the following formats: png, jpeg, webp, svg, pdf and eps.
    • Requires some additional configuration, see plotly_kaleido.
  • plotly_ndarray
    • Optional, compatible with Rust stable.
    • Adds support for creating plots directly using ndarray types.
  • wasm
    • Optional, compatible with Rust stable.
    • Disables OS-specific functions, therefore allowing compilation in WASM environments. Note that examples won't compile when this feature is enabled, as they require OS-specific functions.

Saving to png, jpeg, webp, svg, pdf and eps formats can be made available by enabling the kaleido feature:

plotly = { version = "0.8.0", features = ["kaleido"] }

For further details please see plotly_kaleido.

View on Github

3 - Milliams/plotlib:

Data plotting library for Rust.

plotlib is a generic data visualisation and plotting library for Rust. It is currently in the very early stages of development.

It can currently produce:

  • histograms
  • scatter plots
  • line graphs from data or from function definitions
  • box plots
  • bar charts

rendering them as either SVG or plain text.

The API is still very much in flux and is subject to change.

For example, code like:

use plotlib::page::Page;
use plotlib::repr::Plot;
use plotlib::view::ContinuousView;
use plotlib::style::{PointMarker, PointStyle};

fn main() {
    // Scatter plots expect a list of pairs
    let data1 = vec![
        (-3.0, 2.3),
        (-1.6, 5.3),
        (0.3, 0.7),
        (4.3, -1.4),
        (6.4, 4.3),
        (8.5, 3.7),

    // We create our scatter plot from the data
    let s1: Plot = Plot::new(data1).point_style(
            .marker(PointMarker::Square) // setting the marker to be a square
    ); // and a custom colour

    // We can plot multiple data sets in the same view
    let data2 = vec![(-1.4, 2.5), (7.2, -0.3)];
    let s2: Plot = Plot::new(data2).point_style(
        PointStyle::new() // uses the default marker
    ); // and a different colour

    // The 'view' describes what set of data is drawn
    let v = ContinuousView::new()
        .x_range(-5., 10.)
        .y_range(-2., 6.)
        .x_label("Some varying variable")
        .y_label("The response of something");

    // A page with a single view is then saved to an SVG file

View on Github

4 - Plotters:

A rust drawing library for high quality data plotting for both WASM and native, statically and realtimely.

Plotters is drawing library designed for rendering figures, plots, and charts, in pure rust. Plotters supports various types of back-ends, including bitmap, vector graph, piston window, GTK/Cairo and WebAssembly.

  • A new Plotters Developer's Guide is working in progress. The preview version is available at here.
  • To try Plotters with interactive Jupyter notebook, or view here for the static HTML version.
  • To view the WASM example, go to this link
  • Currently we have all the internal code ready for console plotting, but a console based backend is still not ready. See this example for how to plotting on Console with a customized backend.
  • Plotters now moved all backend code to sperate repositories, check FAQ list for details
  • Some interesting demo projects are available, feel free to try them out.


Ubuntu Linux

sudo apt install pkg-config libfreetype6-dev libfontconfig1-dev

Quick Start

To use Plotters, you can simply add Plotters into your Cargo.toml

plotters = "0.3.1"

And the following code draws a quadratic function. src/,

use plotters::prelude::*;
fn main() -> Result<(), Box<dyn std::error::Error>> {
    let root = BitMapBackend::new("plotters-doc-data/0.png", (640, 480)).into_drawing_area();
    let mut chart = ChartBuilder::on(&root)
        .caption("y=x^2", ("sans-serif", 50).into_font())
        .build_cartesian_2d(-1f32..1f32, -0.1f32..1f32)?;


            (-50..=50).map(|x| x as f32 / 50.0).map(|x| (x, x * x)),
        .label("y = x^2")
        .legend(|(x, y)| PathElement::new(vec![(x, y), (x + 20, y)], &RED));




Demo Projects

To learn how to use Plotters in different scenarios by checking out the following demo projects:

View on Github

5 - Saresend/gust:

A small charting/visualization tool and partial vega implementation for Rust.

What is Gust

Gust is a small charting crate to make it really easy to build simple interactive data visualizations in rust. It also serves as a partial Vega implementation that will (hopefully) become more complete over time.

Gust allows you to render the actual visualizations themselves using D3.js, (meaning they're interactive!) as well as providing the flexibility to directly render the underlying JSON specification for Vega.

Currently Implementations

Currently, Gust supports only 3 charts so far:

  1. Bar Charts
  2. Stacked Bar Charts
  3. Line Charts

More will be coming soon! If you're interested in contributing your own, just make a pull request. Cheers!

Why did you do this in rust?


gust = "0.1.4"

Samples and Sample Usage

    use backend::bar_chart::BarChart;
    use frontend::write::render_graph;

Sample Bar Chart

     let mut b = BarChart::new();
        let v = ["A", "B", "C", "D", "E", "F", "G", "H", "I", "J", "K", "L"];
        for i in 0..10 {
            b.add_data(v[i].to_string(), (i * i * i) as i32);
        render_graph(&b, FileType::HTML).unwrap();

Result: gust_build/html/bar_chart.html

bar chart

Stacked Bar Chart example

use backend::stacked_bar_chart::StackedBarChart;

let mut b = StackedBarChart::new();
        for i in 0..10 {
            b.add_data(i, i * i, 1);
            b.add_data(i, i + i, 0);
        render_graph(&b, FileType::HTML).unwrap();

View on Github

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