Most programs have dependencies on some libraries. If you have ever managed dependencies by hand, you know how much of a pain this can be. Luckily, the Rust ecosystem comes standard with cargo! cargo can manage dependencies for a project.

To create a new Rust project,

# A binary
cargo new --bin foo

# OR A library
cargo new foo

For the rest of this chapter, I will assume we are making a binary, rather than a library, but all of the concepts are the same.

After the above commands, you should see something like this:

├── Cargo.toml
└── src

The is the root source file for your new project -- nothing new there. The Cargo.toml is the config file for cargo for this project (foo). If you look inside it, you should see something like this:

name = "foo"
version = "0.1.0"
authors = ["mark"]


You can read more extensively about all of the available configuration options here.

The name field under package determines the name of the project. This is used by if you publish the crate (more later). It is also the name of the output binary when you compile.

The version field is a crate version number using Semantic Versioning.

The authors field is a list of authors used when publishing the crate.

The dependencies section lets you add a dependency for your project.

For example, suppose that I want my program to have a great CLI. You can find lots of great packages on (the official Rust package registry). One popular choice is clap. As of this writing, the most recent published version of clap is 2.27.1. To add a dependency to our program, we can simply add the following to our Cargo.toml under dependencies: clap = "2.27.1". And of course, extern crate clap in, just like normal. And that's it! You can start using clap in your program.

cargo also supports other types of dependencies. Here is just a small sampling. You can find out more here.

name = "foo"
version = "0.1.0"
authors = ["mark"]

clap = "2.27.1" # from
rand = { git = "" } # from online repo
bar = { path = "../bar" } # from a path in the local filesystem

To build our project we can execute cargo build anywhere in the project directory (including subdirectories!). We can also do cargo run to build and run. Notice that these commands will resolve all dependencies, download crates if needed, and build everything, including your crate. (Note that it only rebuilds what it has not already built, similar to make).

Voila! That's all there is to it!