The Best Development Environment for Rust? 3 Common Options

Article summary

Of all the newer programming languages to be released over the last few years, Rust has been one of the most dominant. It is frequently considered one of the fastest-growing and most loved languages among programmers. Despite this, there’s no widely-accepted standard for the best development environment for Rust. While there are plenty of options, here are a few of the most popular.

Visual Studio Code

My development environment for Rust of choice, VS Code with Rust, is quick to get set up and generally a breeze to work with. This setup allows you to take advantage of VS Code’s extensive customization. It also still provides a lot of quality-of-life features that make Rust development a bit less painful.

Although not perfect, the rust-analyzer is an absolute requirement for working with Rust in VS Code. This modular compiler frontend for the Rust language provides syntax highlighting, autocompletion, and other modern IDE features.


Using the officially-supported-by-JetBrains Rust plugin, CLion can become a powerful Rust IDE. CLion is a much more heavyweight alternative to VS Code. It is more suitable for those who prefer full-fledged IDEs with significant built-in features.

If you were so inclined, you could also use the Rust plugin with IntelliJ. Be aware that many integrations (specifically with the debugger) are poorly supported compared to CLion.


This is the option I’m the least familiar with, although it does have a lot of support in the Rust community. Neovim is the most difficult environment here to get set up. Depending on the user’s preferences, it may require a significant amount of plugins to get to a comfortable point.

Don’t mistake this for Rust being poorly supported by Neovim, though. With the right setup, Neovim can allow for a smooth, seamless development environment.

Not a fan of any of the options listed here? Beyond these, almost every major text editor will have plugins for Rust development. It all comes down to personal preference at the end of the day.


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