It’s assumed that you are familiar with the basics of Rust and the language you will be calling from. You should have read the official FFI documentation, but some basics will be covered here.


All Rust examples will use Cargo and the libc crate. Each example has the following boilerplate in Cargo.toml:

libc = "*"

crate-type = ["cdylib"]

crate-type = ["cdylib"] creates a dynamically linked library. Check out the Cargo documentation for dynamic or static libraries for more information.

cdylib was introduced in RFC 1510 and improves on the existing dylib with reduced file size and fewer exported symbols. It was implemented in Rust 1.10; if you are using earlier versions, it is encouraged that you upgrade, but you can also use dylib with minimal ill effects.

Some examples are so minimal that they don’t use any features from the Rust standard library. This triggers a known issue and linking will fail. The only workaround is to include an exported but unused function that does use something from the standard library. These functions are called fix_linking_when_not_using_stdlib and can be safely removed for any larger project.


All C examples will be compiled using the C11 standard.


All Ruby examples will use Ruby 2.3 and the FFI gem.


All Python examples will use Python 3.2 and the ctypes library.


All Haskell examples will use GHC 7.4 with the ForeignFunctionInterface language extension and only the base library which comes with GHC.


All Node.js examples will use Node.js 6.3 and the ffi package.


All C# examples will compile with Mono 4.4. It is assumed that this code will work with the Microsoft CLR frameworks, but this is untested.

Running Examples

When running examples, you need to ensure the Rust dynamic library can be located by the system.

With most shells on Mac OS X and Linux, this can be done by prefixing commands with LD_LIBRARY_PATH=target/debug. For example, to run a Python example, you might use LD_LIBRARY_PATH=target/debug python src/ from the example directory.

On Windows, the simplest course of action is to copy the compiled dynamic library into the current working directory before running the examples. You only need the .dll file. Also note that when running Python examples, you may wish to use py instead of python, especially if you have multiple versions of Python installed.