Update: New blog post about choosing Visual Studio Code for Rust because of better IDE support.

In my first blog post I was starting out with Atom editor but quickly realized that it is lacking features of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). I need to be able to click on functions and data types to jump to their definitions and was not able to get that working in Atom.

Looking further at areweideyet.com I found Eclipse listed, an IDE I have used a long time ago for Java development. Let's give it a try!

Installing Java to run Eclipse

sudo apt install openjdk-8-jre

In my first installation attempt Eclipse had problems to connect to external Github software sources sites because of missing Java SSL root certificates. After filing an issue in the wrong place I found the following fix for missing Java SSL certificates:

sudo dpkg --purge --force-depends ca-certificates-java
sudo apt-get install ca-certificates-java

Installing Eclipse base

The Eclipse downloads page gives you an installer where you select additional packages for whatever platform you want to develop on. You can skip all of that because we will install the external Rust extension later, so we select "Eclipse Platform (Neon)".

On the "Projects" step of the installer I only selected EGit for Git support in Eclipse which I always need. As installation folder I picked "eclipse" which means Eclipse will end up in your home directory for example at /home/klausi/eclipse. When you finish the installation you will have to accept some license agreements and trust some certificates.

In the end Eclipse should start up successfully.

Adding a launcher shortcut

Create a new file at ~/.local/share/applications/eclipse.desktop with content like this:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Integrated Development Environment

Installing RustDT on Ubuntu

Make sure you have a Rust toolchain environment set up:

curl https://sh.rustup.rs -sSf | sh

(the usual security warning: make sure to trust your sources before you execute random scripts from the internet.)

source $HOME/.cargo/env
cargo install racer
cargo install rustfmt
cargo install --git https://github.com/RustDT/Rainicorn --tag version_1.x
rustup component add rust-src

Now we need the RustDT Eclipse plugin from rustdt.github.io. Follow the installation and configuration instructions there closely.

My settings in Window -> Preferences -> Rust:

  • Rust installation directory: /home/klausi/.cargo
  • Rust "src" directory: /home/klausi/.rustup/toolchains/stable-x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu/lib/rustlib/src/rust/src
  • Racer: /home/klausi/.cargo/bin/racer
  • Rainicorn: /home/klausi/.cargo/bin/parse_describe
  • rustfmt: /home/klausi/.cargo/bin/rustfmt

I'm also using the option "Format automatically on editor save". No questions anymore what the correct code style is :-)


The installation of Eclipse is a bit tedious and RustDT takes a bit of configuration, but I think it is totally worth it to be more productive when writing Rust. Eclipse works better for me than Atom Editor. I also filed a pull request to update the available Eclipse features on areweideyet.com.