Linux creator Linus Torvalds has said Rust could be included in the Linux kernel as soon as 5.20.
Rust is a popular programming language created by Graydon Hoare while he worked at Mozilla, with the organization sponsoring the effort. According to Phoronix, Torvalds has said Rust could be merged into the Linux kernel in 5.2.0.
The Linux kernel is currently written largely in the C programming language. Torvalds and other contributors played around with adding support for C++ some years ago before abandoning the effort.
Adding support for Rust would represent one of the biggest changes to the kernel in its history and would open the door for a number of significant improvements. Specifically, Rust was designed with safety and security in mind from the beginning. Rust has improved tools for memory management, built-in concurrency, and provides ownership and security paradigms. Its performance and low overhead also give it an advantage over many other languages.
These various advantages have all helped add impetus to Rust becoming the second language for developing the Linux kernel, with even Google throwing its weight behind it.
“We feel that Rust is now ready to join C as a practical language for implementing the kernel,” the company writes in its Security Blog. “It can help us reduce the number of potential bugs and security vulnerabilities in privileged code while playing nicely with the core kernel and preserving its performance characteristics.”
With Rust support in the kernel now in sight, Linux users should start seeing the benefits sooner rather than later.