Rustic Embedded Framework
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Rustic Embedded Framework

Rustic is a framework that provides a platform upon which to build embedded applications. Rustic offers abstractions that make performing common tasks such as MMIO, working with GPIO pins, and handling timers easy, amongst many other helpful features.

There are naturally components that are written Assembly, but the goal is to write as much of the framework as possible in Rust.

The repository contains an example application in src/application/, which writes text to the screen and serial port, and shows a spinner in the lower right corner of the screen.

The initial goal is to support:

  • i386 PC
  • ARMv6 Rasberry Pi
  • ARMv7 BeagleBoard

Rustic currently provides abstractions for:

  • A VGA console (via rustic::mach::Screen trait)
  • A serial line (via rustic::mach::Serial trait)
  • A keyboard (via rustic::mach::Keyboard trait)
  • Timers (via rustic::mach::TimerHandlers trait)
  • Currently, timers merely call a function every N milliseconds, where N is decided by the machine-specific implementation.
  • GPIO on supported platforms (via rustic::mach::Gpio trait)
  • MMIO (via rustic::mach::Mmio trait)
  • This can be used to write to arbitrary addresses and should be used with care.
  • Custom IRQ handling (via rustic::mach::IrqHandler trait)

Building Rustic

To build, follow the steps in the following sections to create a file, and then run make -B. The -B option forces a rebuild of all targets, which is currently necessary until a mechanism for detecting that files in a module have changed is added.

If you are building with BUILD_RUST_LIBS=true, running make -B nolibs will only rebuild Rustic itself, which is useful for development.

Building Using Rustic

Simply create a configuration following the steps in the following sections, and also add the variable APPLICATION_PATH, set to the main Rust file for the crate that is your application.

You may pass CONFIG=path/to/config/file when invoking the Makefile to specify a configuration that is not the default ./

Build Configuration

Create a file in the root directory of the repository.

Set RUST_ROOT, LLVM_ROOT, and GCC_PREFIX in this file to:

  • RUST_ROOT: directory containing bin/rustc
  • LLVM_ROOT: directory containing bin/clang
  • GCC_PREFIX: prefix for GCC commands (eg, /usr/bin/)

GCC_PREFIX is prefixed to ld, so if you are using a cross-compiler use the full prefix, eg /usr/bin/i686-elf-. It is highly recommended that a cross-compiler is used, even on Linux, to avoid tricky problems during the build (especially with respect to libmorestack and libgcc/libcompiler-rt).

If is not found, /bin/rustc, /bin/clang, /usr/bin/ld, and /usr/bin/gcc will be used automatically.

If your system uses genisoimage instead of mkisofs, set the MKISOFS variable to that as well.

To see what variables can be set in to adjust the Rustic build, read the beginning of Makefile.

Building on OSX

To build on OSX, you will need a build of Rust that has the 'i686-apple-darwin' target enabled.

An example configuration for building on OSX is as follows:





You will need a GCC cross-compiler that targets i686-elf. You do not need a libc or any system-specific support - only a working GCC and Binutils.

USE_GCC_AS=true is required to use the GCC cross-compiler's assembler, rather than clang. This is necessary as the default system clang on OSX is both modified and assumes Mach-O object formats.

You will need a checkout of Rust to build on OSX - the build system will also build necessary support libraries from this Rust checkout.

Running the Kernel

The kernel will be output in the build directory, and can be run with qemu-system-i386 -kernel build/kernel -serial stdio.

An ISO is generated that can be used to boot Rustic in QEMU or other emulators, or on real hardware by burning onto a CD.


Please open issues at for any issues you may come across.

Pull requests are also welcome.


See the LICENSE file in the root of the repository for the licensing terms for Rustic.

Other Kernels

There are a few other Rust kernels out there that are worth looking at:

The Rust OSDev community hangs out in #rust-osdev on