The argument over Rust on Linux is ended. Implementation has started. Linus Torvalds, the man behind Linux, told me through email that “Unless something unusual happens, it [Rust] will make it into 6.1.”
It has been a while coming, but the Linux kernel will soon support the Rust programming language. At the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference, programmers first discussed the possibility of writing new Linux inline code in the Rust language. In April 2021, Google started pushing for Rust to be included in the Linux kernel since it supports it for the development of Android, which is a Linux distribution.
We believe that Rust is now prepared to compete with C as a useful language for building the kernel, according to Wedson Almeida Filho of Google’s Android Team at the time. It can assist us in lowering the potential number of defects and security holes in privileged code while getting along well with the core kernel and maintaining its performance properties.
The top Linux kernel developers needed some convincing before accepting this. There were worries that getting Rust to function in Linux would need non-standard Rust additions. For instance, approximately 70 changes have to be written to Rust in order for the new Rust Linux NVMe driver to function. But in a previous interview, Torvalds had stated, “We’ve been utilising exceptions to standard C for decades.”
Additionally, Linus Torvalds discusses life with his M2 MacBook Air, Rust on Linux, and his work routine.
The Linux Kernel Maintainers Summit, which was by invitation only, nonetheless had this problem. But in the end, it was judged that Rust is sufficiently supported by Clang, the front end compiler for the C language family, to proceed. Additionally, incorporating Rust would likely benefit and not harm the kernel, as Torvalds had previously stated.
“There was disagreement during the Maintainers Summit, but it was actually largely about the issue of compiler versions,” Torvalds noted during the meeting. that is not novel to Rust (we already have the whole issue on lots of different compiler versions, and gcc vs clang).
It also aided Rust’s cause as Rust on Linux has advanced significantly as a result of the groundbreaking work of Linux kernel and Rust developer Miguel Ojeda. Additionally, at the 2022 Linux Plumbers Summit, Western Digital Principal Engineer Andreas Hindborg demonstrated how to create a top-notch SSD NVM-Express (NVMe) driver for Linux in Rust. The maintainers were certain that it was time to advance Linux’s use of Rust. They concluded that Rust on Linux was prepared for use.
Since there is currently no real use case for Rust, Torvalds forewarns in this initial release. But even so, this is a significant first step for Linux with Rust.