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Using Rust in Cocoa apps

Examples for working with the Objective-C runtime from Rust, with a companion blog post about the rationale behind the setup.

Each example is annotated and can be run using cargo run or using the specialized instructions below, if any.


  1. Creating Objective-C objects from Rust: Creates an object and sends it a message

  2. Displaying a Cocoa Window: Creates and presents a Cocoa app with a single window, leveraging the cocoa crate

  3. Packaging a macOS app: Compiles and runs a Rust binary as a part of a macOS app. The Rust binary is launched as the primary process and handles presenting the user interface. Run the application by opening the Xcode project in the app/ directory of the example and using the Run button.

  4. Wrapping Cocoa APIs: Creates a custom interface in Rust to accessing Cocoa classes (somewhat) safely, or at least without unsafe blocks

  5. Declaring a new Objective-C class from Rust: Creates and registers an Objective-C class with the runtime from Rust, as well as sending messages to an instance from both Rust and Objective-C

  6. Include a Rust library in a Cocoa app: Create a static library in Rust, and bundles/links it with a mac app. The mac app target in Xcode depends on an external target which is the Rust library, and the C header for the Rust library is used to invoke Rust functions from Swift. Run the application by opening the Xcode project and using the Run button.


Examples of and templates for running Rust in Cocoa apps on the Mac







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