Linux Developers May Discuss Allowing Rust Code Within The Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 9 July 2020 at 04:45 PM EDT. 96 Comments
A Google engineer is looking to discuss at this year's Linux Plumbers Conference the possibility of allowing in-tree Rust language support.

Nick Desaulniers of Google, who is known for his work on LLVM Clang'ing the Linux kernel and related efforts, is wanting to bring up the matter of in-tree Rust support for the kernel. The extent though of allowing Rust within the kernel isn't clear yet but would likely be very limited.

Nick started the new kernel mailing list thread: Linux kernel in-tree Rust support. As a discussion topic for this annual conference of prominent Linux kernel developers, he wants to begin discussing this matter including the technical aspects as well as whether this should be something endorsed or pursued at all. Some have been wanting Rust to play a larger role at lower-levels of the system due to its memory safety guarantees and other security benefits.

The Google engineer did mention already that he has prototyped the initial bits of allowing Rust support around the Kbuild build system for the kernel. It will be interesting though to see what comes of the discussion among the Linux kernel stakeholders at LPC 2020.

Separate to the Rust session, Nick also is proposing an LLVM + GNU collaboration session. With the annual GNU Tools Cauldron conference being cancelled over the coronavirus, he is hoping to host an LPC session if enough parties are present on increasing collaboration between the GNU and LLVM compiler toolchain communities.

The Linux Plumbers' Conference 2020 is taking place from 24 to 28 August. Due to the coronavirus situation, this event is now an online affair.
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