#bundle #cargo

app cargo-bundle

Wrap rust executables in OS-specific app bundles

7 releases (breaking)

Uses old Rust 2015

0.6.0 Mar 22, 2022
0.5.0 Jun 21, 2020
0.4.0 Oct 19, 2018
0.3.0 Feb 28, 2018
0.0.0 Mar 22, 2016

#208 in Cargo plugins

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2.5K SLoC

Cargo bundle

Build Status

Wrap Rust executables in OS-specific app bundles


cargo-bundle is a tool used to generate installers or app bundles for GUI executables built with cargo. It can create .app bundles for Mac OS X and iOS, .deb packages for Linux, and .msi installers for Windows (note however that iOS and Windows support is still experimental). Support for creating .rpm packages (for Linux) and .apk packages (for Android) is still pending.

To install cargo bundle, run cargo install cargo-bundle. This will add the most recent version of cargo-bundle published to crates.io as a subcommand to your default cargo installation.

To start using cargo bundle, add a [package.metadata.bundle] section to your project's Cargo.toml file. This section describes various attributes of the generated bundle, such as its name, icon, description, copyright, as well as any packaging scripts you need to generate extra data. The full manifest format is described below.

To build a bundle for the OS you're on, simply run cargo bundle in your project's directory (where the Cargo.toml is placed). If you would like to bundle a release build, you must add the --release flag to your call. To cross-compile and bundle an application for another OS, add an appropriate --target flag, just as you would for cargo build.


TODO(burtonageo): Write this

Bundle manifest format

There are several fields in the [package.metadata.bundle] section.

General settings

These settings apply to bundles for all (or most) OSes.

  • name: The name of the built application. If this is not present, then it will use the name value from your Cargo.toml file.
  • identifier: [REQUIRED] A string that uniquely identifies your application, in reverse-DNS form (for example, "com.example.appname" or "io.github.username.project"). For OS X and iOS, this is used as the bundle's CFBundleIdentifier value; for Windows, this is hashed to create an application GUID.
  • icon: [OPTIONAL] The icons used for your application. This should be an array of file paths or globs (with images in various sizes/formats); cargo-bundle will automatically convert between image formats as necessary for different platforms. Supported formats include ICNS, ICO, PNG, and anything else that can be decoded by the image crate. Icons intended for high-resolution (e.g. Retina) displays should have a filename with @2x just before the extension (see example below).
  • version: [OPTIONAL] The version of the application. If this is not present, then it will use the version value from your Cargo.toml file.
  • resources: [OPTIONAL] List of files or directories which will be copied to the resources section of the bundle. Globs are supported.
  • script: [OPTIONAL] This is a reserved field; at the moment it is not used for anything, but may be used to run scripts while packaging the bundle (e.g. download files, compress and encrypt, etc.).
  • copyright: [OPTIONAL] This contains a copyright string associated with your application.
  • category: [OPTIONAL] What kind of application this is. This can be a human-readable string (e.g. "Puzzle game"), or a Mac OS X LSApplicationCategoryType value (e.g. "public.app-category.puzzle-games"), or a GNOME desktop file category name (e.g. "LogicGame"), and cargo-bundle will automatically convert as needed for different platforms.
  • short_description: [OPTIONAL] A short, one-line description of the application. If this is not present, then it will use the description value from your Cargo.toml file.
  • long_description: [OPTIONAL] A longer, multi-line description of the application.

Linux-specific settings

These settings are used only when bundling Linux compatible packages (currently deb only).

  • linux_mime_types: A list of strings which represent mime types. If present, these are assigned to the MimeType field of the .desktop file.
  • linux_exec_args: A single string which is inserted after the name of the binary in the Exec field in the .desktop file. For example if the binary is called my_program and linux_exec_args = "%f" then the Exec filed will be Exec=my_program %f. Find out more from the specification

Debian-specific settings

These settings are used only when bundling deb packages.

  • deb_depends: A list of strings indicating other packages (e.g. shared libraries) that this package depends on to be installed. If present, this forms the Depends: field of the deb package control file.

Mac OS X-specific settings

These settings are used only when bundling osx packages.

  • osx_frameworks: A list of strings indicating any Mac OS X frameworks that need to be bundled with the app. Each string can either be the name of a framework (without the .framework extension, e.g. "SDL2"), in which case cargo-bundle will search for that framework in the standard install locations (~/Library/Frameworks/, /Library/Frameworks/, and /Network/Library/Frameworks/), or a path to a specific framework bundle (e.g. ./data/frameworks/SDL2.framework). Note that this setting just makes cargo-bundle copy the specified frameworks into the OS X app bundle (under Foobar.app/Contents/Frameworks/); you are still responsible for (1) arranging for the compiled binary to link against those frameworks (e.g. by emitting lines like cargo:rustc-link-lib=framework=SDL2 from your build.rs script), and (2) embedding the correct rpath in your binary (e.g. by running install_name_tool -add_rpath "@executable_path/../Frameworks" path/to/binary after compiling).
  • osx_minimum_system_version: A version string indicating the minimum Mac OS X version that the bundled app supports (e.g. "10.11"). If you are using this config field, you may also want have your build.rs script emit cargo:rustc-env=MACOSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET=10.11 (or whatever version number you want) to ensure that the compiled binary has the same minimum version.

Example Cargo.toml:

name = "example"
# ...other fields...

name = "ExampleApplication"
identifier = "com.doe.exampleapplication"
icon = ["32x32.png", "128x128.png", "128x128@2x.png"]
version = "1.0.0"
resources = ["assets", "images/**/*.png", "secrets/public_key.txt"]
copyright = "Copyright (c) Jane Doe 2016. All rights reserved."
category = "Developer Tool"
short_description = "An example application."
long_description = """
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do
eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.  Ut
enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris
nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
deb_depends = ["libgl1-mesa-glx", "libsdl2-2.0-0 (>= 2.0.5)"]
osx_frameworks = ["SDL2"]


cargo-bundle has ambitions to be inclusive project and welcome contributions from anyone. Please abide by the Rust code of conduct.


Very early alpha. Expect the format of the [package.metadata.bundle] section to change, and there is no guarantee of stability.


This program is licensed either under the terms of the Apache Software License, or the MIT License.


~256K SLoC