Announcing Rust 1.56.0 and Rust 2021

Oct. 21, 2021 · The Rust Release Team

The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.56.0. This stabilizes the 2021 edition as well. Rust is a programming language empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

If you have a previous version of Rust installed via rustup, getting Rust 1.56.0 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 1.56.0 on GitHub.

What's in 1.56.0 stable

Rust 2021

We wrote about plans for the Rust 2021 Edition in May. Editions are a mechanism for opt-in changes that may otherwise pose backwards compatibility risk. See the edition guide for details on how this is achieved. This is a smaller edition, especially compared to 2018, but there are still some nice quality-of-life changes that require an edition opt-in to avoid breaking some corner cases in existing code. See the new chapters of the edition guide below for more details on each new feature and guidance for migration.

Disjoint capture in closures

Closures automatically capture values or references to identifiers that are used in the body, but before 2021, they were always captured as a whole. The new disjoint-capture feature will likely simplify the way you write closures, so let's look at a quick example:

// 2015 or 2018 edition code
let a = SomeStruct::new();

// Move out of one field of the struct

// Ok: Still use another field of the struct
println!("{}", a.y);

// Error: Before 2021 edition, tries to capture all of `a`
let c = || println!("{}", a.y);

To fix this, you would have had to extract something like let y = &a.y; manually before the closure to limit its capture. Starting in Rust 2021, closures will automatically capture only the fields that they use, so the above example will compile fine!

This new behavior is only activated in the new edition, since it can change the order in which fields are dropped. As for all edition changes, an automatic migration is available, which will update your closures for which this matters by inserting let _ = &a; inside the closure to force the entire struct to be captured as before.

Migrating to 2021

The guide includes migration instructions for all new features, and in general transitioning an existing project to a new edition. In many cases cargo fix can automate the necessary changes. You may even find that no changes in your code are needed at all for 2021!

However small this edition appears on the surface, it's still the product of a lot of hard work from many contributors: see our dedicated celebration and thanks tracker!

Cargo rust-version

Cargo.toml now supports a [package] rust-version field to specify the minimum supported Rust version for a crate, and Cargo will exit with an early error if that is not satisfied. This doesn't currently influence the dependency resolver, but the idea is to catch compatibility problems before they turn into cryptic compiler errors.

New bindings in binding @ pattern

Rust pattern matching can be written with a single identifier that binds the entire value, followed by @ and a more refined structural pattern, but this has not allowed additional bindings in that pattern -- until now!

struct Matrix {
    data: Vec<f64>,
    row_len: usize,

// Before, we need separate statements to bind
// the whole struct and also read its parts.
let matrix = get_matrix();
let row_len = matrix.row_len;
// or with a destructuring pattern:
let Matrix { row_len, .. } = matrix;

// Rust 1.56 now lets you bind both at once!
let matrix @ Matrix { row_len, .. } = get_matrix();

This actually was allowed in the days before Rust 1.0, but that was removed due to known unsoundness at the time. With the evolution of the borrow checker since that time, and with heavy testing, the compiler team determined that this was safe to finally allow in stable Rust!

Stabilized APIs

The following methods and trait implementations were stabilized.

The following previously stable functions are now const.

Other changes

There are other changes in the Rust 1.56.0 release: check out what changed in Rust, Cargo, and Clippy.

Contributors to 1.56.0

Many people came together to create Rust 1.56.0 and the 2021 edition. We couldn't have done it without all of you. Thanks!