#windows #gtk #user-interface #macos


A native, cross-platform and lightweight UI toolkit

4 releases (breaking)

Uses old Rust 2015

0.3.0 Aug 6, 2023
0.2.0 Apr 28, 2023
0.1.0 Mar 29, 2023
0.0.0 Mar 12, 2023

#94 in GUI

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MIT license

47K SLoC

C 19K SLoC // 0.1% comments C++ 14K SLoC // 0.1% comments Objective-C 10K SLoC // 0.1% comments Rust 3.5K SLoC // 0.1% comments Go 132 SLoC Swift 67 SLoC GNU Style Assembly 44 SLoC Python 23 SLoC // 0.1% comments Shell 17 SLoC // 0.1% comments Batch 7 SLoC

libui Crates.io Build Status License: MIT License: Apache

The native cross-platform UI toolkit for Rust

libui is a simple, small and easy to distribute GUI library. It provides a native UI for your platform by utilising your systems API instead of implementing yet another mismatched looking renderer. Thus all libui apps are lightweight, have a native look and feel and start from a highly performant base which is well integrated with the ecosystem on each platform. Because it implements only the common subset of these platform APIs, your apps will work on all platforms and won't have significant behavioral inconsistencies, with no additional effort on your part. If you only plan to support one platform however, a specialized crate will provide a better experience.

Technically, libui is a "rustification" wrapper over the C library libui-ng, which actually abstracts the native GUI framework. That is the Win32 API on Windows, Cocoa on Mac OS X, and GTK3 for Linux and others.


Add libui to your dependency list in cargo.toml with:

libui = "0.3.0"

or use the latest version from the repository:

libui = { git = "https://github.com/libui-rs/libui" }

Next we suggest to have a look at the example applications or start with the minimal example printed here:

#![cfg_attr(not(test), windows_subsystem = "windows")]
#![cfg_attr(test, windows_subsystem = "console")]

extern crate libui;
use libui::controls::*;
use libui::prelude::*;

fn main() {
    let ui = UI::init()
        .expect("Couldn't initialize UI library");
    let mut win = Window::new(&ui, "Example", 300, 200, 
    let layout = VerticalBox::new();

    // add controls to your layout here


We also have documentation on docs.rs for all released versions.


On the left see a libui application running on a GNOME desktop with GTK 3. On the right under Windows 10 with its native user interface.

Example application running under Linux and Windows

For more screenshots, see here.


libui 0.2.0 works down to edition 2018 and was successfully tested on:

  • Windows 7 SP1
  • Windows 10 22H2
  • Debian 12 w/ GNOME 43 & GTK 3.24
  • macOS Big Sur 11.6

libui 0.3.0 works down to edition 2021 and was successfully tested on:

  • Debian 12 w/ GNOME 43 & GTK 3.24
  • Windows 10 22H2

Prerequisits & Building

To build the underlying libui-ng your system must have certain tools installed in addition to your rust toolchain. I am trying to cut down on the inconveniences as far as possible.


  • libgtk-3-dev (debian package) - for compiling libui-ng
  • libclang (debian package) - for generating the libui-ng bindings


  • MSVC (via Windows SDK or Visual Studio)
  • LLVM - for generating the libui-ng bindings

Note: MinGW-64 does compile and link, but the application won't start due to MinGW missing TaskDialog(). Reportedly, with versions >= 5.X, the function is available.


Entity Acknowledgement Further Information
@pcwalton Initial author. Largely shaped this library. pcwalton/libui-rs
@NoraCodes and others Further development and maintenance. rust-native-ui/libui-rs
@tobia libui::layout! macro for easier UI description. tobia/iui-builder
@andlabs Author of the C library libui. andlabs/libui
@szanni and @cody271 Maintainers of libui-ng. The underlying library to this wrapper. libui-ng/libui-ng


~45K SLoC