#vl53l1x #lidar #linux #time-of-flight


Library for the VL53L1X Time-of-Flight sensor

3 stable releases

Uses old Rust 2015

1.2.0 Jul 1, 2019
1.1.0 Oct 25, 2018
1.0.0 Oct 24, 2018

#1233 in Hardware support

45 downloads per month

MIT license

13K SLoC

C 13K SLoC // 0.2% comments Rust 319 SLoC // 0.0% comments

VL53L1X library for Rust on Linux Latest Version Documentation

A Rust library for the VL53L1x Time-of-Flight sensor. Also, a shared library for using the VL53L1X on Linux without Rust.


extern crate vl53l1x;

pub fn main() {
    let mut vl = vl53l1x::Vl53l1x::new(1, None).unwrap();
    loop {
        println!("Sample: {:?}", vl.read_sample());

See examples/scan.rs for a more thorough example.

Note that if you use the sensor with 2.8 Volts (instead of the default 1.8V) you should enable the cargo feature i2c-2v8-mode, see the Datasheet (section 5.2) for more information. Most existing breakout-boards run at 2.8V (or even 3.3V) so you probably want this. You can do so by putting the following in your Cargo.toml:

version = "1"
features = ["i2c-2v8-mode"]


  • Set distance mode (short, mid, long).
  • Set timing budget and inter measurement period.
  • Change i2c address of device.
  • Get/set region of interest to adjust field of view.
  • Makefile can be used to generate static or dynamic library without Rust.
  • Verified that the ST library and additions made do not leak memory using valgrind.


This compiles a C library that is then statically linked to your Rust program via the crate. The C library is based on the official ST C API. Their headers conveniently abstract away platform-specific i2c implementations into vl53l1_platform.c which I've used to implement the Linux i2c interface (linux/i2c-dev.h).

This approach differs from VL53L1X_Arduino_Library which reimplements the official library with mostly replays of i2c data stream captures. That approach results in a smaller memory footprint (good for Arduinos), but is less featured and more fragile. e.g. I've observed discrepancies in distance measurements between their library and the official. Their painstaking work is a direct result of ST not releasing an official i2c register datasheet for the device.

This approach is similar to vl53l1x-python. However, that relies on Python providing an i2c function. This library implements the i2c adapter in C and is fully self-contained, which makes it ideal for being published as a shared library libvl53l1x.

Cross Compilation

Specify a custom C-compiler and archive utility using the VL53L1X_CC and VL53L1X_AR env args. For example:

VL53L1X_CC=arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc VL53L1X_AR=arm-linux-gnueabihf-ar cargo build


This library has only been tested on the Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

NOTE: Dynamically-Linked Library

At some point, the dynamically-linked library will be published in its own repo without Rust. For now, you can checkout the repo and run the following from the root of the repository:

make libvl53l1x_api.so

The lib will be in the build directory.


  • Publish libvl53l1x for non-Rust, Linux usage.



ST's library is dual licensed with BSD and their own proprietary one. The rest is licensed under MIT.


~44K SLoC