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Official Support for Open-Source Rust Plugin for IntelliJ IDEA, CLion, and Other JetBrains IDEs

For those of you who follow the news in the Rust community, you may have noticed a teasing announce saying that the Rust plugin for the IntelliJ Platform is becoming officially supported by JetBrains. The announcement was followed by many questions about the plugin. With this post, we’d like to answer some of them and shed some light on what’s going on with the plugin and JetBrains plans.

It’s probably worth saying a few words on how the plugin started. On the first of September, 2015 two small groups of people at JetBrains simultaneously started working independently on the Rust support for IntelliJ-based IDEs. One of the projects was started by an Alexey Kladov, an intern at JetBrains. The other one was a side project by Alexey Kudinkin. Since the IntelliJ Platform is JVM-based, both plugins started as Kotlin projects, even before Kotlin was released. Since both groups were in touch with the Rust team, after a month, the groups realized about their mutual existence and merged their projects together. This is how the Rust IntelliJ plugin was born.

Making the project open-source really was the right decision since it attracted a lot of contributors, incl. Tobias Bieniek, Marek Kaput, Andrew Lygin, Arseniy Pendryak (among many others) which really helped make it better and shape the community around the plugin.

A year ago, the plugin was highlighted during RustConf’s keynote.

Current State

Since then we have put a lot of effort into making the developer experience even better. However, the plugin is still at a very early stage. Being an awesome language for developers, Rust is not always 100% IDE friendly, mainly due to its complicated type system, and the macros, etc.

  • Currently the plugin is quite helpful with Navigation: Go to Class, Go toSymbol, Go to Super Module, Structure, Go to Definition.
  • The editors offer Code Completion and Code Formatting (rustfmt is not used yet but it is planned), Join Lines, Smart Key (e.g. inserting pair brackets & quotes), Postfix Completion, basic Intentions and Refactorings (e.g. Introduce Variable, and an almost always-working Rename, etc).
  • The plugin supports Cargo: it offers a UI to run tests and applications. Adding this integration even required some work from Cargo’s side.

The main missing feature right now is Debugger. An experimental version of Debugger is now available in CLion but it’s currently very limited, mainly because CLion is heavily focused on CMake.

Our Plans

Our primary plans for the immediate future include:

    • Better consistency with the Rust’s type system
    • Macros
    • Debugger
    • More Intentions, Inspections, Refactorings

Q: Do you have a team working on the plugin?

The plugin’s team currently comprises of Alexey Kladov, who dedicates at least 40% of his time to Rust, and we’re adding another person to the team.

Q: Will there be a standalone Rust IDE from JetBrains

We do not have any specific plans for creating a standalone Rust IDE at this moment, but we have not ruled out the possibility of it in future. The plugin will remain open-source on GitHub. Pull requests, feature requests and bug reports are all welcome there.

If you’d like to try the Rust plugin for any IntelliJ-based IDEs (be it IntelliJ IDEA, CLion, WebStorm, Gogland, PyCharm or any other), make sure to read the docs.

Please feel free to voice your questions, suggestions and other feedback here in the comments. And of course issues and pull requests are always welcome in the intellij-rust Github project.

We appreciate your feedback and support!

UPDATE: Starting v2018.1 CLion now offers the Rust functionality via a plugin. The plugin supports Cargo and includes Debugger. Learn more.

The Drive to Develop

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24 Responses to Official Support for Open-Source Rust Plugin for IntelliJ IDEA, CLion, and Other JetBrains IDEs

  1. Avatar

    Dustin Bensing says:

    August 4, 2017

    Huge thanks to the hole Jetbrains Team! I really love working with your tools and I am really happy to hear that one missing language i like to work with gets your full attention. I am eager to see where we’re at in like a year. You just don’t stop to amaze me!

  2. Avatar

    Krishna Bhogoanker says:

    August 4, 2017

    This is amazing news. Rust is such a wonderful language and I am thrilled that my favorite Jetbrains IDE is integrating support for one of my favorite languages. There are just so many advanced features in Rust that could benefit from better IDE support including more LiveTemplates, other automatic code generation features, better debugging support, etc. Keep up the excellent work. Looking forward to the improvements in the Rust plugin.

  3. Avatar

    Scellow says:

    August 4, 2017

    That is nice news!

    Please also supprot D lang, comunity is a bit silent, but i’m pretty sure we all want an ide/plugin for D too 😀

  4. Avatar

    Ali M says:

    August 4, 2017

    Next you should officially support D

  5. Avatar

    Kotlin says:

    August 4, 2017

    Are you supporting it because it was written in Kotlin?

  6. Avatar

    Murali says:

    August 4, 2017

    Thank you JB team for this. Can’t wait for all the goodies you are going to add to this plugin.

  7. Avatar

    George Johnson says:

    August 5, 2017

    Will this plugin remain open source and available for use in community editions of IntelliJ indefinitely? Or, akin to the Go plugin, will this one day lead to a commercial, closed source fork and abandonment of the free, open source version?

  8. Avatar

    Marco M says:

    August 5, 2017


    let me highjack this good news with a question about the Erlang plugin 🙂

    would you consider supporting or at least funding some development for the Erlang plugin ( I love that plugin and I use it to teach an Erlang class at my university. On the other hand it needs some love and I think that the author, the kind Sergey Ignatov, doesn’t have time to work on it.

    Thanks, greatly appreciated!

  9. Avatar

    Pedram Nimreezi says:

    August 5, 2017


  10. Avatar

    Alex Z says:

    August 7, 2017

    Any plans to bring Clojure on board? Cursive IDE is pretty cool.

  11. Avatar

    Pablo Alcaraz says:

    August 8, 2017

    Please implement DEBUG FIRST! 🙂

    • Avatar

      Stepan Yakovenko says:

      August 22, 2017

      It looks like debug is going to paid because there is no free version of CLION 🙂

  12. Avatar

    Giles Cope says:

    August 8, 2017

    It’s been great seeing how fast IntelliRust has come on – kudos to all involved! Superb news that it’s getting official development backing. A great debugging story is the only thing holding Rust back from being a first class language. If we can come close to ReSharper’s debugging experiance that would really be something. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s such an excellent language it really deserves a great debugger.

  13. Avatar

    Apanap says:

    August 9, 2017

    Embedded support with xargo and remote debugging?

  14. Avatar

    Matthew Bradford says:

    August 10, 2017

    I love working with Rust.
    Was already debating getting datagrip for working with Postgres. Decided to get the full software bundle after reading this. Keep up the Rust work! And thank you!

  15. Avatar

    Skylark says:

    October 5, 2017

    Great to see Rust support in the works, thank you! A first-class debugging experience would really push the language forward. Ideally the compiler itself would have an option to build with extensive debugging information to guide the debugger in showing low-level mechanics like moves, borrows, etc. Would be a fun challenge to develop and see this in action.

  16. Avatar

    spheenik says:

    October 11, 2017

    Dreams of a Rust IDE from Jetbrains are the best dreams.
    Thank you guys, and keep up the good work!

  17. Avatar

    Tutuapp Vip says:

    November 23, 2017

    JetBrains is really awesome! I love using it. Thanks for the update Andrey.

  18. Avatar

    Mihai says:

    January 23, 2018

    Thank you for supporting Rust.

  19. Avatar

    Jared says:

    February 19, 2018

    I love all JetBrains products, and the rust plugin is no exception! Excited to see it continue to develop, and hopefully see an complete IDE one day 🙂

  20. Avatar

    BasketBall Hoop says:

    March 17, 2018

    That is such a great news!

    JetBrains is really amazing! Please also supprot D lang, comunity is a bit silent, but i’m pretty sure we all want an ide/plugin for D too

  21. Avatar

    John S. says:

    April 5, 2018

    Wow, that’s a fantastic news. Takes something to make project open source but I’m a personal fan of Tobias & Andrew. Kudos Team!

  22. Avatar

    Manisha says:

    September 15, 2018

    Well, Dreams of a Rust IDE from Jetbrains are the best dreams.
    Thank you guys, and keep up the good work!

  23. Avatar

    jeny says:

    May 13, 2019

    This is good for everyone