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Linus Torvalds: Rust is coming to the Linux kernel 'real soon'

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The next version of the Linux kernel may come bundled with support for the Rust programming language, creator Linus Torvalds has hinted.

At the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit, Torvalds told the audience that support for Rust in the Linux kernel could arrive with version 5.20 of the operating system.

The wider Linux community has been pretty excited about the prospect, with members of the audience giving Torvalds a round of loud applause at the very mention of Rust, VentureBeat reported earlier this week.

Ever since the programming language was added as a second language for the kernel code in December last year, developers (opens in new tab) have been eagerly anticipating the moment of the actual merge.

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Still an experiment

"A lot of people actually think we're somewhat too risk averse," said Torvalds. "So when it comes to Rust, it's been discussed for multiple years by now. It's getting to the point where real soon now, we will actually have it merged in the kernel. Maybe next release."

But Torvalds still kept his options, saying if things go south, the support might not last long.

"Before the Rust people get all excited, to me, it's a trial run, right? We want to have Rust's memory safety. So there are real technical reasons why Rust is a good idea in the kernel,” he said.

"But at the same time, it's one of those things: We tried C++ 25-plus years ago and we tried it for two weeks and then we stopped trying it. So to me, Rust is a way to try something new. And hopefully, it works out, and people have been working on it a lot, so I really hope it works out because otherwise they'll be bummed."

This is not the first time Torvalds mentions Rust in this context. In April, he said it might be merged with Linux kernel 5.14. We’re currently on 5.18.6.

Despite facing an uphill battle against Windows and MacOS, Linux is the world's most popular alternative operating system, powering many IoT devices and data center servers, with Linux laptops (opens in new tab) experiencing healthy demand too.

Via The Register (opens in new tab)

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.