Google's Linux challenger just got a hugely useful update

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The Rust for Linux initiative made significant progress after lead developer Miguel Ojeda sent in a revised set of patches to shore up support for adding Rust as a secondary programming language within the Linux kernel.

Ojeda has been spearheading the initiative and his work is now sponsored by Google, who along with a large section of developers, are pushing for Rust to be used in the Linux kernel, especially in areas where security and memory safety are of utmost importance. 

The set of 17 patches lay the groundwork for the initiative with important components such as a beta Rust compiler, an example driver, and more. 

“There have been several major improvements to the overall Rust support,” notes Ojeda while running through the patches which, put together, amount to over 33000 lines of code.

Well begun

The latest round of patches follows the request for comments (RFC) Ojeda sent in April,  detailing the advantages of adding Rust code to the mainline kernel. 

“Like it was mentioned in the RFC, the Rust support is still to be considered experimental. However, as noted back in April, support is good enough that kernel developers can start working on the Rust abstractions for subsystems and write drivers and other modules,” wrote Ojeda, while submitting the latest changes.

In their analysis of Ojeda’s patches, The Register notes that the Arm 32-bit and RISC-V architectures are also now supported by the Rust for Linux.

Also, based on the discussions on the kernel mailing list, Linus Torvalds hasn’t yet voiced any significant objections to Ojeda’s work. However, as Phoronix points out that while the 5.14 kernel merge window is currently open, Ojeda’s patches weren’t labeled as a pull request and will presumably not land until a later cycle. 

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.