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Cargo Build System

The Rust Enhanced build system provides an interface for running Cargo. It can show inline warning and error messages. It also has a variety of ways of configuring options for how Cargo is run.

See Messages for settings to control how compiler messages are displayed.


When Sublime is set to use "Automatic" build system detection, it will choose the build system based on the syntax of the currently active view. If you want to ensure the Rust Enhanced build system is used regardless of which file is open, choose it via Tools > Build System > RustEnhanced.

The basic Sublime commands available are:

Command Keyboard Menu Description
Build Ctrl-B / ⌘-B Tools > Build Runs the currently active build variant.
Build With... Ctrl-Shift-B / ⌘-Shift-B Tools > Build With... Choose the build variant.
Cancel Build Ctrl-Break / Ctrl-C Tools > Cancel Build Abort the currently running build.
Show Build Results Tools > Build Results > Show Build Results Opens the output panel with build results.
Next Result F4 Tools > Build Results > Next Result Go to the next warning/error message.
Previous Result Shift-F4 Tools > Build Results > Previous Result Go to the previous warning/error message.

Build Variants

When you select the RustEnhanced build system in Sublime, there are a few variants that you can select with Tools > Build With... (Ctrl-Shift-B / ⌘-Shift-B). They are:

Variant Command Description
(Default) cargo build Builds the project.
Automatic Automatically detect the command to run based on the currently active view (tests do test, binaries and examples do run, libraries do build, benches do bench).
Run cargo run Runs the binary.
Run (with args)... cargo run -⁠-⁠ args Runs the binary with optional arguments you specify.
Test cargo test Runs unit and integration tests.
Test (with args)... cargo test -⁠-⁠ args Runs the test with optional arguments you specify.
Bench cargo bench Runs benchmarks.
Clean cargo clean Removes all built files.
Document cargo doc Builds package documentation.
Clippy cargo clippy Runs Clippy. Clippy must be installed, and currently requires the nightly toolchain.
Script cargo script $path Runs Cargo Script. Cargo Script must be installed. This is an addon that allows you to run a Rust source file like a script (without a Cargo.toml manifest).

Cargo Settings

A variety of settings are available to customize how Cargo is run. These settings can be set globally, per-Sublime project, per-Cargo package, for specific build variants ("Build", "Run", "Test", etc.), or specific Cargo targets (--lib, --example foo, etc.).

Configure Command

To help you configure the Cargo build settings, run the Rust: Configure Cargo Build command from Sublime's Command Palette (Ctrl-Shift-P / ⌘-Shift-P). This will ask you a series of questions for the setting to configure. It will update your .sublime-project or Users/RustEnhanced.sublime-settings file depending on which options you pick. The first question is the setting you want to update:

Setting Description
Target Specify an explicit target (--bin, --lib, --example, etc.). The "Automatic Detection" option will attempt to determine which target to use based on the current active view in Sublime (a test file will use --test or a binary will use --bin, etc.).
Profile Determine whether or not the --release flag is used.
Target Triple The --target option to specify a target triple (such as x86_64-apple-darwin).
Toolchain Set the Rust toolchain to use (nightly, beta, etc.).
Features Set the Cargo build features to use.
Environment Variables Specify additional environment variables to set.
Extra Cargo Arguments Extra arguments to include in the command line.
Default Package/Path The default package to build, useful if you have a workspace with multiple Cargo packages. See Multiple Cargo Projects below.

If you have multiple Cargo packages in your workspace, it will ask for the package to configure.

Caution: If you have not created a sublime-project file, then any changes you make will be lost if you close the Sublime window.


Cargo settings are stored in the "cargo_build" Sublime setting. This can be either in your sublime-project file or in Users/RustEnhanced.sublime-settings. "cargo_build" is an object with the following keys:

Key Description
"paths" Settings for specific Cargo packages.
"default_path" The default Cargo package to build (useful for workspaces, see below).
"variants" Settings per build variant.
"defaults" Default settings used if not set per target or variant.

Paths should be an absolute path to the directory of a Cargo package, or the path to a Rust source file (when used with cargo script).

"paths" is an object of path keys mapping to an object with the keys:

Path Key Description
"defaults" Default settings used if not set per target or variant.
"targets" Settings per target (such as "--lib" or "--bin foo").
"variants" Settings per build variant.

An example of a sublime-project file:

    "folders": [
        { "path": "." }
    "settings": {
        "cargo_build": {
            "paths": {
                "/path/to/package": {
                    "defaults": {
                        "release": false
                    "targets": {
                        "--example ex1": {
                            "extra_run_args": "-f file"
                    "variants": {
                        "bench": {
                            "toolchain": "nightly"
                        "clippy": {
                            "toolchain": "nightly"
            "default_path": "/path/to/package",
            "variants": {
                "run": {
                    "env": {
                        "RUST_BACKTRACE": "1"
            "defaults": {
                "release": true

The available settings are:

Setting Name Description
target The Cargo target (such as "--bin myprog"). Applies to variants only. Can be "auto" (see "Automatic Detection" above).
toolchain The Rust toolchain to use (such as nightly or beta).
target_triple If set, uses the --target flag with the given value.
release If true, uses the --release flag.
features A string with a space separated list of features to pass to the --features flag. Set to "ALL" to pass the --all-features flag.
extra_cargo_args String of extra arguments passed to Cargo (before the -- flags separator).
extra_run_args String of extra arguments passed to Cargo (after the -- flags separator).
env Object of environment variables to add when running Cargo.
working_dir The directory where to run Cargo. If not specified, uses the value from default_path, otherwise attempts to detect from the active view, or displays a panel to choose a Cargo package.
script_path Path to a .rs script, used by cargo script if you want to hard-code a specific script to run.
no_default_features If True, sets the --no-default-features flag.

The extra args settings support standard Sublime variable expansion (see Build System Variables)

Setting Precedence

The Cargo commands will generally use the most specific setting available. The order they are searched are (first found value wins):

  1. .sublime-project > Cargo Package > Cargo Target
  2. .sublime-project > Cargo Package > Build Variant
  3. .sublime-project > Cargo Package > Defaults
  4. .sublime-project > Build Variant
  5. RustEnhanced.sublime-settings > Build Variant
  6. .sublime-project > Defaults
  7. RustEnhanced.sublime-settings > Defaults

Multiple Cargo Projects (Advanced)

You can have multiple Cargo projects in a single Sublime project (such as when using Cargo workspaces, or if you simply have multiple projects in different folders).

If you have multiple Cargo projects in your Sublime window, the build system will use the currently active view to attempt to determine which project to build. Otherwise it will show an input panel to select a package.

You can set the default_path setting to always use a specific path. It is specified at the same level as paths (see example above). This can be set using the Rust: Configure Cargo Build command.

Custom Build Variants (Advanced)

You can define your own build system that takes advantage of the Cargo settings. This is useful if you want to quickly switch between different configurations, or to add support for Cargo commands that are not already included.

The build variants are stored in your .sublime-project file. To assist you in configuring a build variant, there is a Sublime command called "Rust: Create New Cargo Build Variant" which you can access from the Command Palette. It will ask a series of questions, and when it is done it will automatically add the new build variant to your .sublime-project file. Then use the "Build With..." command (Ctrl-Shift-B / ⌘-Shift-B) to select and execute your new variant. The command will also copy over the stock build variants so you do not need to switch between build systems.

You can manually edit your .sublime-project file to change the settings. The settings described above are under the "settings" key. Additionally, there is a "command_info" key which describes the features the command supports. The available values are:

Setting Name Default Description
allows_target False If True, the command accepts cargo filters for determining which target to build (--lib, --bin foo, --example bar, etc.). Can also be a sequence of strings like ["bin", "example"] to specify a subset of targets it supports.
allows_target_triple False If True, the command accepts triples like --target x86_64-apple-darwin.
allows_release False If True, allows --release flag.
allows_features False If True, allows feature flags.
allows_json False If True, allows --message-format=json flag.
json_stop_pattern None A regular expression matched against Cargo's output to detect when it should stop looking for JSON messages (used by cargo run to stop looking for JSON messages once compilation is finished).
requires_manifest True If True, the command must be run in a directory with a Cargo.toml manifest.
requires_view_path False If True, then the active view must be a Rust source file, and the path to that file will be passed into Cargo (used mainly by cargo script).
wants_run_args False If True, it will ask for extra args to pass to the executable (after the -- flag separator).
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