#cargo #install

bin+lib cargo-local-install

Wraps cargo install for better local, non-conflicting installation

8 releases

new 0.1.7 Oct 17, 2020
0.1.6 Oct 11, 2020

#67 in Cargo plugins

30 downloads per month

Apache-2.0 OR MIT

707 lines


Wraps cargo install for better local, non-conflicting installation

GitHub crates.io docs.rs %23![forbid(unsafe_code)] rust: stable License Build Status

Want to script cargo install cargo-web --version 0.6 --root my-project to avoid version conflicts with other projects?
Hate having a million copies of cargo-web 0.6.26 and waiting for it to build if you go down that route?
cargo-local-install now has your back, and will create symlinks into a global cache of reusable bins:


# no dependencies, builds in < 3 seconds on my machine
cargo install cargo-local-install --no-default-features

# slow first builds that create new exes
cargo local-install --locked cargo-web --version "^0.6" --root project-a # symlinks project-a/bin/cargo-web.exe
cargo local-install --locked cargo-web --version "^0.5" --root project-b # symlinks project-b/bin/cargo-web.exe

# fast cached builds that reuse existing exes
cargo local-install --locked cargo-web --version "^0.6" --root project-c # symlinks project-c/bin/cargo-web.exe
cargo local-install --locked cargo-web --version "^0.6"                  # symlinks bin/cargo-web.exe

# Adds Cargo.toml metadata support, < 30 seconds
cargo install cargo-local-install

Options are broadly similar to cargo install, with a few caveats:

  • --locked is strongly encouraged (warns by default unless it or --unlocked is used)
  • --list, --no-track, --features, --bin, and --example are not supported
  • --frozen and --offline are not supported (don't think they worked for cargo install either though!)
  • -Z <FLAG> is not supported

Alternatively, you can specify workspace or package metadata in your Cargo.toml, similar to [dependencies], which will be installed by cargo local-install:

cargo-web = "0.6" # == "^0.6" - includes "0.6.26" - locked by default
cargo-web = { version = "0.6", registry = "crates.io", locked = false } # `locked = false` ignores cargo-web's Cargo.lock
cargo-web = { path = "../cargo-web" }
cargo-web = { git = "https://github.com/koute/cargo-web" }
cargo-web = { git = "https://github.com/koute/cargo-web", branch = "master" }
cargo-web = { git = "https://github.com/koute/cargo-web", rev = "a9895bf536e8ac6a0806382886b7be90138f01f3" }

# not (yet?) implemented:
#   features = [...]
#   default-features = false
#   optional = true

What? Why?

cargo install is great but suffers a few drawbacks:

  • The global ~/.cargo/bin directory can contain only a single installed version of a package at a time - if you've got one project relying on cargo web 0.5 and another prjoect relying on cargo web 0.6, you're SOL.
  • Forcing local installs with --root my/project to avoid global version conflicts means you must rebuild the entire dependency for each project, even when you use the exact same version for 100 other projects before.
  • When building similar binaries, the lack of target directory caching means the entire dependency tree must still be rebuilt from scratch.

cargo local-install attempts to solve these problems:

  • (Ab)uses --target-dir to share built dependencies.
  • Creates a global cache of binaries, but installs a symlink (or copy if that fails) in ./bin by default.

Alternative: sccache

  • github
  • Pro: Can be combined with cargo-local-install, no need to pick and choose!
  • Pro: Cache intermediate built crates for everything, not just installed bins
  • Pro: Network cache options to share with others
  • Con: Hundreds of dependencies if you're a weirdo who installs sccache from source
  • Con: Lots of cache misses, at least when using cargo install ...

Some concrete numbers from some local testing with a global .cargo/config rustc-wrapper configured

with sccache configured for local disk time notes
cargo install cargo-web --root a 3m 38s cleanish cache, no downloads
cargo install cargo-web --root a ~ 1 s noop by cargo install
cargo install cargo-web --root b 1m 21s many cache failures based on lurching progress speed?
with local-install (no sccache) time notes
cargo local-install cargo-web --root c 3m 03s clean cache, no downloads of deps
cargo local-install cargo-web --root c ~ 1 s noop by cargo install
cargo local-install cargo-web --root d ~ 1 s trivial cache hit by cargo local-install


Licensed under either of

at your option.


Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.