Torvalds has decided that Rust will soon become part of Linux. This memory-safe programming language will join C and other legacy languages to create new components and drivers for the ubiquitous open-source kernel. The debate surrounding the inclusion of Rust in Linux appears to be over. Linus Torvalds, the original creator and current maintainer of the open source kernel, has decided that “barring something strange happening,” Rust will be part of the final version of Linux 6.1.
Rust is a modern general-purpose programming language designed by Graydon Hoare while working at Mozilla, the first company to officially sponsor and adopt the language in its experimental browser engine, Servo.
Like many other compiled languages, Rust can provide native performance while offering compatibility for different types of applications, from traditional computing to low-resource devices and embedded devices. In addition to performance, Rust has been designed from the outset to provide memory safety protection, eliminating many class errors and potential vulnerabilities at compile time.
The first version of Rust was released 12 years ago, and discussions to incorporate the language into the Linux kernel have been ongoing for a long time. Google is a founding member of the Rust Foundation, along with AWS, Huawei, Microsoft and Mozilla, and is actively using Rust to develop Android, a mobile operating system built on a modified version of Linux The company is a founding member of the Rust Foundation along with AWS, Huawei, Microsoft and Mozilla.
In 2021, team member Almeida Filho wrote that Rust was “poised to join C as a practical language for implementing the kernel”.Filho said that the new language could help reduce potential bugs and security vulnerabilities in privileged code while working well with the core kernel. It also works well with the kernel and retains its performance characteristics.
Among top Linux contributors, there are concerns that Rust requires non-standard extensions to work with the kernel, but according to Torvalds, programmers have been using exceptions to the standard C language for “decades”.
Torvalds added that there are still some problems with the compiler, but as Rust is well supported on the Clang front-end, merging programming languages may help the kernel rather than hurt it. Nevertheless, the kernel merger should mark an important first step in the future of Linux+Rust.