Experimental Rust-Based Coreutils Working Well Enough To Run Debian Basics

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 9 March 2021 at 06:24 AM EST. 32 Comments
Sylvestre Ledru who is a director at Mozilla by day while also being prolific to Debian/Ubuntu and LLVM/Clang development has managed to get a Rust version of Coreutils packaged and running well enough on Debian.

Using "uutils" as a Rust implementation of the key Coreutils - GNU core utilities, some of the key CLI tools found on Linux systems - Ledru has managed to get a booting Debian system. Not only is Debian booting with the Rust-based Coreutils implementation but it's handling the most popular Debian packages, building Firefox / Linux / Clang, and more. Ledru wrote more than 100 patches to get the code along this far and used it as an exercise to get more involved with Rust.

Ultimately the uutils effort aims to be a drop-in replacement to the GNU Coreutils but rather than being written in C is done in the memory safe Rust programming language.

The current code is packaged up for Debian users wanting to experiment or help in porting of Debian to run more nicely with these Rust utilities. More details about running Debian atop the Rust Coreutils can be found via Sylvestre's blog.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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