Bonus Lesson: Creating and Using Cargo

Learn how to create, manage, and build Rust projects using Cargo, Rust's package manager and build system.

By Kevin McAleer,    2 Minutes

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Cargo is not just a package manager; it’s also a Rust project’s build system. It manages building your code, downloading the libraries your code depends on, and building those libraries. This bonus lesson will guide you through creating a new Rust project with Cargo, managing dependencies, and building projects.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to create new Rust projects using Cargo.
  • Learn how to manage project dependencies.
  • Explore building and running Rust projects with Cargo.

Creating a New Rust Project with Cargo

To start a new Rust project with Cargo, you can use the following command:

cargo new project_name

This command creates a new directory called project_name containing a Cargo.toml file (the manifest file for Rust projects) and a src directory with a file. The Cargo.toml file will include basic metadata about your project and a list of dependencies.

Managing Dependencies

Add dependencies to your project by listing them under [dependencies] in your Cargo.toml file. For example, to add the serde library:

serde = "1.0"

When you build your project, Cargo will automatically download and compile your dependencies and all of their dependencies.

Building and Running Projects

To build your project, run the following command in your project directory:

cargo build

This command compiles your project and all of its dependencies. If the build is successful, Cargo places the executable in target/debug/project_name.

To build and run your project in one step, you can use:

cargo run

If your project compiles successfully, Cargo will then run the resulting executable.


In this bonus lesson, you learned how to create a new Rust project using Cargo, manage your project’s dependencies, and build and run your project. Cargo is a powerful tool that simplifies many aspects of Rust development, making it easier to manage large projects and their dependencies.

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