Announcing Rust 1.24.1

Mar. 1, 2018 · The Rust Core Team

The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.24.1. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

If you have a previous version of Rust installed via rustup, getting Rust 1.24.1 is as easy as:

$ rustup update stable

If you don't have it already, you can get rustup from the appropriate page on our website, and check out the detailed release notes for 1.24.1 on GitHub.

What's in 1.24.1 stable

Several minor regressions were found in 1.24.0 which collectively merited a release.

A quick summary of the changes:

  • Do not abort when unwinding through FFI (this reverts behavior added in 1.24.0)
  • Emit UTF-16 files for linker arguments on Windows
  • Make the error index generator work again
  • Cargo will warn on Windows 7 if an update is needed.

If your code is continuing to build, then the only issue that may affect you is the unwinding issue. We plan on bringing this behavior back in 1.25 or 1.26, depending on how smoothly the new strategy goes.

With that, let's dig into the details!

Do not abort when unwinding through FFI

TL;DR: the new behavior in 1.24.0 broke the rlua crate, and is being reverted. If you have since changed your code to take advantage of the behavior in 1.24.0, you'll need to revert it for now. While we still plan to introduce this behavior eventually, we will be rolling it out more slowly and with a new implementation strategy.

Quoting the 1.24 annoucement:

There’s one other change we’d like to talk about here: undefined behavior. Rust generally strives to minimize undefined behavior, having none of it in safe code, and as little as possible in unsafe code. One area where you could invoke UB is when a panic! goes across an FFI boundary. In other words, this:

extern "C" fn panic_in_ffi() {

This cannot work, as the exact mechanism of how panics work would have to be reconciled with how the "C" ABI works, in this example, or any other ABI in other examples.

In Rust 1.24, this code will now abort instead of producing undefined behavior.

As mentioned above, this caused breakage. It started with a bug filed against the rlua crate. rlua is a package that provides high level bindings between Rust and the Lua programming language.

Side note: rlua is maintained by Chucklefish, a game development studio from London that's using Rust. Lua is a very popular language to use for extending and scripting games. We care deeply about production Rust users, and so handling this was a very high priority for the Rust team.

On Windows, and only on Windows, any attempt to handle errors from Lua would simply abort. This makes rlua unusable, as any error of any kind within Lua causes your program to die.

After digging in, the culpurit was found: setjmp/longjmp. These functions are provided by the C standard library as a means of handling errors. You first call setjmp, and then, at some later point in time, call longjmp. When you do, control flow returns to where you had previously called setjmp. This is often used as a way to implement exceptions, and sometimes, even coroutines. Lua's implementation uses setjmp/longjmp to implement exceptions:

Unlike C++ or Java, the C language does not offer an exception handling mechanism. To ameliorate this difficulty, Lua uses the setjmp facility from C, which results in a mechanism similar to exception handling. (If you compile Lua with C++, it is not difficult to change the code so that it uses real exceptions instead.)

The issue is this: what happens when some C code setjmp/longjmp's through Rust stack frames? Because drop checking and borrow checking know nothing about this style of control flow, if you longjmp across a Rust stack frame that has any type that's not Copy on its stack, undefined behavior will result. However, if the jump happens entirely in C, this should work just fine. This is how rlua was managing it: every call into Lua is wrapped with lua_pcall:

When you write library functions for Lua, however, there is a standard way to handle errors. Whenever a C function detects an error, it simply calls lua_error, (or better yet luaL_error, which formats the error message and then calls lua_error). The lua_error function clears whatever needs to be cleared in Lua and jumps back to the lua_pcall that originated that execution, passing along the error message.

So, the question becomes: Why does this break? And why does it break on Windows?

When we talked about setjmp/longjmp inititally, a key phrase here wasn't highlighted. Here it is:

After digging in, the culpurit was found: setjmp/longjmp. These functions are provided by the C standard library as a means of handling errors.

These functions aren't part of the C language, but part of the standard library. That means that platform authors implement these functions, and their implementations may differ.

Windows has a concept called SEH, short for "Structured Exception Handling". Windows uses SEH to implement setjmp/longjmp, as the whole idea of SEH is to have uniform error handling. For similar reasons, C++ exceptions use SEH, as do Rust panics.

Before we can sort the exact details of what's happening, let's look at how rlua works. rlua has an internal function, protect_lua_call, used to call into Lua. Using it looks like this:

protect_lua_call(self.state, 0, 1, |state| {

That is, protect_lua_call takes some arguments, one of which is a closure. This closure is passed to lua_pcall, which catches any longjmps that may be thrown by the code passed to it, aka, that closure.

Consider the code above, and imagine that lua_newtable here could call longjmp. Here's what should happen:

  1. protect_lua_call takes our closure, and passes it to lua_pcall.
  2. lua_pcall calls setjmp to handle any errors, and invokes our closure.
  3. Inside our closure, lua_newtable has an error, and calls longjmp.
  4. The initial lua_pcall catches the longjmp with the setjmp it called earlier.
  5. Everyone is happy.

However, the implementation of protect_lua_call converts our closure to an extern fn, since that's what Lua needs. So, with the changes in 1.24.0, it sets up a panic handler that will cause an abort. In other words, the code sorta looks something like this pseudo code now:

protect_lua_call(self.state, 0, 1, |state| {
    let result = panic::catch_unwind(|| {

    if result.is_err() {

Earlier, when discussing setjmp/longjmp, we said that the issue with it in Rust code is that it doesn't handle Rust destructors. So, on every platform but Windows, the above catch_unwind shenanigans is effectively ignored, so everything works. However, on Windows, since both setjmp/longjmp and Rust panics use SEH, the longjmp gets "caught", and runs the new abort code!

The solution here is to generate the abort handler, but in a way that longjmp won't trigger it. It's not 100% clear if this will make it into Rust 1.25; if the landing is smooth, we may backport, otherwise, this functionality will be back in 1.26.

Emit UTF-16 files for linker arguments on Windows

TL;DR: rustc stopped working for some Windows users in edge-case situations. If it's been working for you, you were not affected by this bug.

In constrast with the previous bug, which is very complex and tough to understand, this bug's impact is simple: if you have non-ASCII paths in the directory where you invoke rustc, in 1.24, it would incorrectly error with a message like

fatal error LNK1181: cannot open input file

The PR that caused it, #47507, has a good explanation of the behavior that ended up causing the problem:

When spawning a linker rustc has historically been known to blow OS limits for the command line being too large, notably on Windows. This is especially true of incremental compilation where there can be dozens of object files per compilation. The compiler currently has logic for detecting a failure to spawn and instead passing arguments via a file instead, but this failure detection only triggers if a process actually fails to spawn.

However, when generating that file, we were doing it incorrectly. As the docs state:

Response files and DEF files can be either UTF-16 with a BOM, or ANSI.

We were providing a UTF-8 encoded file, with no BOM. The fix is therefore straightforward: produce a UTF-16 file with a BOM.

Make the error index generator work again

TL;DR: building Rust 1.24.0 with Rust 1.24.0 broke in some circumstances. If you weren't building Rust yourself, you were not affected by this bug.

When packaging Rust for various Linux distros, it was found that building 1.24 with 1.24 fails. This was caused by an incorrect path, causing certain metadata to not be generated properly.

As this issue is not particularly interesting, and only affects a small number of people, all of whom should be aware of it by now, we won't go into the details further. To learn more, please check out the issue and the resulting discussion.

Cargo will warn on Windows 7 if an update is needed.

TL;DR: Cargo couldn't fetch the index from if you were using an older Windows without having applied security fixes. If you are using a newer Windows, or a patched Windows, you are not affected by this bug.

In February of 2017, GitHub announced that they were dropping support for weak cryptographic standards. One year later, in February of 2018, the deprecation period is over, and support is removed. In general, this is a great thing.

Cargo uses GitHub to store the index of, our package repository. It also uses libgit2 for git operations. libgit2 uses WinHTTP for making HTTP calls. As part of the OS, its feature set depends on the OS you're using.

This section uses "Windows 7" to mean "Windows 7, Windows Server 2018, and Windows Server 2012", because it's much shorter. The following applies to all three of these editions of Windows, however.

Windows 7 received an update in June of 2016 regarding TLS. Before the patch, Windows 7 would use TLS 1.0 by default. This update allows for applications to use TLS 1.1 or 1.2 natively instead.

If your system has not received that update, then you'd still be using TLS 1.0. This means that accessing GitHub would start to fail.

libgit2 created a fix, using the WinHTTP API to request TLS 1.2. On master, we've updated to fix this, but for 1.24.1 stable, we're issuing a warning, suggesting that they upgrade their Windows version. Although the libgit2 fix could have been backported, we felt that the code change footprint was too large for the point release, especially since the issue does not affect patched systems.

Contributors to 1.24.1