Rust Basics

Learn the fundamentals of Rust programming including variables, data types, and control flow.

By Kevin McAleer,    2 Minutes

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Building on the differences between Rust and Python, this lesson covers the basic building blocks of Rust programming. You’ll learn about variables, data types, and control flow in Rust.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand Rust’s variable declaration and data types.
  • Grasp Rust’s control flow mechanisms.
  • Compare these basic concepts with Python to aid understanding for those with Python experience.

Variables and Mutability

In Rust, variables are immutable by default, meaning once a value is bound to a name, you cannot change that value. To make a variable mutable, you must use the mut keyword. This approach contrasts with Python, where variables are mutable by default.

let x = 5; // immutable
let mut y = 5; // mutable
y += 1; // this is allowed only because y is mutable

Data Types

Rust is a statically typed language, requiring explicit type definitions at compile time. However, the compiler can usually infer what type each variable is, so you don’t always have to write type annotations. This is different from Python, which is dynamically typed.

let x: i32 = 5; // x is an integer
let y: bool = true; // y is a boolean

Control Flow

Rust’s control flow constructs are similar to those in other C-like languages and include if, else, while, and for. Unlike Python, Rust uses braces {} to define scope instead of indentation.

let number = 6;

if number % 2 == 0 {
    println!("number is even");
} else {
    println!("number is odd");

Python Comparisons

  • Variables: In Python, variables can be reassigned to different types without declaring them as mutable or immutable.

  • Data Types: Python does not require explicit type annotations due to its dynamic typing.

  • Control Flow: Python uses indentation, not braces, to define scopes and does not require parentheses for conditions in control flow statements.


This lesson covered the basics of Rust, including variable mutability, data types, and control flow structures. Understanding these fundamental differences between Rust and Python is crucial for transitioning from Python to Rust programming efficiently.

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