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Container image with pre-built rust compiler for ESP32/ESP8266
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Rust ESP compiler container Repository on Quay

This is a container which can be used to build a Rust project for the ESP32.



This container image provides a few tools which can be run like this:

docker run -ti -v $PWD:/home/project:z

This uses -ti to attach the console, to show you the output and let you interact with the application running inside the container.

Note: Consider running the container with --rm as well. This prevents Docker from keeping the container around after it exited. As all your sources are mapped from the host's file system into the container, you don't need to keep the container on disk, and can safe some disk storage.

Volume mapping

The -v $PWD:/home/project:z will map the current directory into the location /home/project inside the container. This is required so that the tools inside the container can work with the project.

$PWD gets replaced by the shell with the current directory. This will only work in a Bourne like shell. On Windows you can use %CD% instead. You can of course also replace this with the absolute path to your project.

You can drop the :z suffix, if you don't have SElinux on the host system.

All following examples use $PWD:/home/project:z, replace this as required by your environment.

Default command

This will run the default command build-project. This will try an automic full build, see below.

You can run other commands by providing a command manually:

docker run -ti -v $PWD:/home/project:z my-command-in-the-container

Running as shell

As you can run other commands, and the container is just a normal Linux, you can simply run bash in the container and directly work there. Without the need to run docker with each command:

docker run -ti -v $PWD:/home/project:z bash


The master branch of this repository will build into the latest tag, which is also the default if you omit the :latest suffix in the container name.

Each git tag will also be build into a container image tag, so e.g. git tag 0.0.1, will be built into the container tag :0.0.1.

So should the latest image break, it should always be possible to switch to a previous version.

There is also the :develop tag, which is based on the develop branch in Git. It is used to try out new changes before merging into master.


Initially a few files need to be set up. The ESP-IDF components need to be configured and compiled. Run the following command to create an initial setup:

docker run -ti -v $PWD:/home/project:z create-project

This will create (overwrite) a few files, which are required to build the project.

Next run:

docker run -ti -v $PWD:/home/project:z make menuconfig

Which will start the ESP-IDF build and shows you the menu config tool for configuring your ESP project. Be sure to save when you exit.


In order to build the project, run the following command:

docker run -ti -v $PWD:/home/project:z build-project

This will compile the ESP-IDF part, the rust part and finally convert it to an image which you can upload to your ESP.


You can then upload the image using the flash-project executable:

docker run -ti --device=/dev/ttyUSB0 -v $PWD:/home/project:z rust-esp32 flash-project

If this doesn't work or you need to use differnt tool it might be easier to upload the image via esptool from the host machine. To do this call:

esptool write_flash 0x10000 esp-app.bin

Building the container

You can also build the container image yourself, by cloning this repository and executing:

docker build . -t rust-esp


  • Use this at your own risk. No guarantees.
  • Contributions are welcome.
  • This /should/ work on MacOS the same way. But I haven't tested it.
  • A test on Windows shows that, yes it works. But with some quirks:
    • The menu make menuconfig renders a bit weird. The new Windows terminal improves this a lot.
    • The first make app will run just fine, but after that it fails to compile. Maybe some issue with the Windows CIFS mapping in Docker. However, you can skip this step and run xbuild-project instead. That will only compile the rust part.
  • In theory this should work also with with the ESP8266. A few tweaks for the build files will be required, and I didn't test this.
  • I put this on as Docker Hub continously failed to build this image. After several hours, the build times out. As now runs out of disk space during the build, I started building this with GitHub Actions, and then push it to

Also see

This work is built upn the work of others. Please see:

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