26 releases (13 breaking)

0.14.0 Feb 25, 2024
0.13.0 Aug 13, 2023
0.12.1 May 10, 2022
0.12.0 Jan 30, 2022
0.4.0 Sep 30, 2018

#65 in Embedded development

Used in fll-rs

MIT license


Rust language bindings for ev3dev

Build Latest version


To use this project with the BrickPi platform the corresponding feature has to be enabled. The features ev3, brickpi and brickpi3 are mutual exclusive.

ev3dev_lang_rust = { version="0.13.0" default-features=false, features=["brickpi"] }


extern crate ev3dev_lang_rust;

use ev3dev_lang_rust::Ev3Result;
use ev3dev_lang_rust::motors::{LargeMotor, MotorPort};
use ev3dev_lang_rust::sensors::ColorSensor;

fn main() -> Ev3Result<()> {

    // Get large motor on port outA.
    let large_motor = LargeMotor::get(MotorPort::OutA)?;

    // Set command "run-direct".

    // Run motor.

    // Find color sensor. Always returns the first recognized one.
    let color_sensor = ColorSensor::find()?;

    // Switch to rgb mode.

    // Get current rgb color tuple.
    println!("Current rgb color: {:?}", color_sensor.get_rgb()?);


There is a template repository that contains all the required configurations for cross-compilation and performance/binary-size optimizations for this "Hello World" example.

Supported features

  • Motors:
    • LargeMotor [lego-ev3-l-motor, lego-nxt-motor]
    • MediumMotor lego-ev3-m-motor
    • TachoMotor: Useful wrapper around LargeMotor and MediumMotor to make common functions easier to use
  • Sensors:
  • Utility
    • Button: Provides access to the integrated buttons on the ev3 brick
    • Led: Provides access to the integrated led's on the ev3 brick
    • PowerSupply: Provides access to the power supply information
    • Screen: Provides access to the integrated display of the ev3 brick
    • sound: Provides access to the integrated speakers of the ev3 brick

Cross compilation for the ev3 robot - using musl toolchain

  1. Install the armv5te-musl toolchain

    rustup target add armv5te-unknown-linux-musleabi
  2. Create .cargo/config.toml with the following content

    target = "armv5te-unknown-linux-musleabi"
    linker = "rust-lld"
  3. Build binary

    cargo build --release

    The --release flag is optional. However, it can speed up the execution time by a factor of 30. The target binary is now in target/armv5te-unknown-linux-musleabi/release/{application_name}.

Cross compilation for the ev3 robot - using docker

If you need to cross compile other dependencies (eg. openssl or paho-mqtt) it is much easier to use a complete cross compile toolchain. For this you can use the provided docker image pixix4/ev3dev-rust:latest.

  1. Setup a docker environment

  2. Create .cargo/config.toml with the following content

    target = "armv5te-unknown-linux-gnueabi"
    linker = "/usr/bin/arm-linux-gnueabi-gcc"
  3. Build binary

    docker run --rm -it -v $(pwd):/build -w /build pixix4/ev3dev-rust:latest \
       cargo build --release

    The --release flag is optional. However, it can speed up the execution time by a factor of 30. The target binary is now in target/armv5te-unknown-linux-gnueabi/release/{application_name}.

    If you do this you will notice that each build gets stuck at Updating crates.io index for a long time. To speed up this step you can use the vendoring mechanic of cargo.

    cargo vendor

    Execute the above command and add this additional config to .cargo/config.

    replace-with = "vendored-sources"
    directory = "vendor"

Optimize binary size

  • Enable "fat" link time optimizations and strip debug symbols: By default rust only performs lto for each crate individually. To enable global lto (which result in a much more aggressive dead code elimination) add the following additional config to your Cargo.toml. This also removes additional debug symbols from the binary. With this you can reduce the binary size of the "Hello World" example by more than 90%.

    lto = true
    strip = "debuginfo"

    The strip option requires rust 1.59.0. If you are using an older version you can do this manually with docker:

    # Run in interactive docker shell
    docker run -it --rm -v $(PWD):/build/ -w /build pixix4/ev3dev-rust
    /usr/bin/arm-linux-gnueabi-strip /build/target/armv5te-unknown-linux-gnueabi/release/{application_name}
    # Run directly (e.g. via Makefile)
    docker run --rm -v $(PWD):/build/ -w /build pixix4/ev3dev-rust \
         /usr/bin/arm-linux-gnueabi-strip /build/target/armv5te-unknown-linux-gnueabi/release/{application_name}

Editor support

If you have problems with code completion or inline documentation with rust analyzer it may help to enable to following settings:

  "rust-analyzer.cargo.loadOutDirsFromCheck": true,
  "rust-analyzer.procMacro.enable": true

(Example from VSCode settings.json)

Docs.rs documentation

To build the complete documentation (including the screen feature) use:

RUSTDOCFLAGS="--cfg docsrs" cargo +nightly doc --features ev3,screen


~47K SLoC