Linux creator Linus Torvalds has reportedly committed to bringing Rust to the operating system.
In an email received by ZDNet (opens in new tab), Torvalds said that the programming language will make it to version 6.1 of the Linux OS “unless something odd happens”.
This isn’t the first time that Linux has been rumoured to adopt Rust, with some saying that it would make it to version 5.20. This time, Torvalds’ commitment seems to be greater, however he does stress that it will “just have the core infrastructure (i.e. no serious use case yet)”.
Rust for Linux
Initial concerns were reportedly raised about the implementation of Rust with regards to the requirement of non-standard extensions, however Torvalds explained that Linux has “been using exceptions to standard C for decades”, which suggests that the company is already prepared to adapt.
Linux 6.0 is the project’s current offering, which has been available for testing since August 2022, however details of the next release are already being uncovered, including the ability for the OS to tell you if your CPU is faulty.
According to a CircleCI report on the most popular coding languages, Rust just made it into 25th place in 2021 after dropping out of the top 25 in the year prior. Even so, Rust is favored for its strong performance, and is supported by Google for developing its Android OS (which itself is a hugely popular Linux distro).
In a post on Google’s Security Blog (opens in new tab) back in April 2021, Android team member Wedson Almeida Filho said that Rust was ready to join C “as a practical language for implementing the kernel.” Filho continues to explain that Rust “can help [the team] reduce the number of potential bugs and security vulnerabilities in privileged code while playing nicely with the core kernel and preserving its performance characteristics.”