The State of Rust in MacPorts Today

David Gilman davidgilman1 at
Tue Dec 13 16:53:13 UTC 2022

The work on mrustc is novel but I don't think it solves the issues we have
here. On modern systems MacPorts uses bootstrap compilers provided by Rust
upstream. MCL's bootstrap compilers are for older systems.

To update rust, my understanding is that you have to do the usual work of
rebasing patches (my PR), but you also have to provide the binaries for
older systems which I could not provide.

On Tue, Dec 13, 2022, 11:07 AM Kirill A. Korinsky via macports-dev <
macports-dev at> wrote:

> Folks,
> From the third hand we may build our own bootstrap chain of rust from
> scratch.
> Or almost.
> We have a which is able
> to bootstrap 1.54 rust on x86_64 and arm64.
> Unfortunately support of i386 isn't yet finished at upstream. I plan to
> fix it, but it requires time and availability of hardware to test it :)
> I do have a commits which implements rust bootstrap by cahin: mrustc ->
> rust 1.54 -> rust 1.55 -> rust 1.56; I can start to open PRs to move
> step-by-step and in month we'll have the last rust via this chain.
> --
> wbr, Kirill
> On 13. Dec 2022, at 16:49, Christopher Jones <jonesc at>
> wrote:
> Hi,
> In my opinion, hosting and maintaining these ‘bootstrap’ compilers outside
> the macports infrastructure was a poor choice, for all the reasons you
> mention below. I thought this at the time it was done, and even more so now.
> Personally, I would suggest you think about a change to how the rust
> compiler is package, to mirror a bit how things are done with gcc and
> clang. Namely, move to a model where the version is part of the port name,
> e.g. the current one would be called something like rust-1.61.
> The main reason for doing this, is adding a new version would that not
> remove the previous version, and thus you could simple use it as the
> bootstrap compiler. So with the above, when you add rust-1.62 that would
> simple configure itself to bootstrap using the macports rust-1.61 port.
> Yes, this will require some work to set up. You will need to make all the
> various rust versions installable along side each other, so some tweaking
> of the install prefix would be needed.
> One thing I would do differently though to how gcc/clang do things is I
> would try and have a single rust port file, that implements all the
> versions as sub-ports. I suspect most of what each needs can then just be
> shared , such that what needs to be different for each sub-port is actually
> not that much.
> Regarding how users of rust then use these ports, there are a couple
> options
> 1. Add a shim port ‘rust’ which simply installs sym-links etc. to the
> ‘current best version’ that mimics the current installation, i.e. in the
> main prefix. If done well, users should then be blind to the changes above.
> 2. Users that want an older rust could explicitly depend on and use a
> specific versioned rust-N
> For me, this approach makes a lot more sense than the current way these
> bootstrap compilers are maintained.
> cheers Chris
> On 13 Dec 2022, at 2:57 pm, Herby G <herby.gillot at> wrote:
> Hello all,
> Right now, Rust in MacPorts is severely out of date. It's about 5 versions
> behind the current release, which at the moment is at 1.65.0. In
> comparison, MacPorts Rust is currently at 1.61.0.
> As a core language underlying a lot of other ports, many of these ports
> cannot be updated to their latest versions because these versions require
> current versions of Rust. At the time of this writing, 156 ports are being
> built using Rust ( ), some
> quite heavily used by the community, including projects like `git-delta`,
> `bat` and `fd`.
> MarcusCalhoun-Lopez's PR here (
> ) heavily rewrote
> the Rust port to run on older systems, and was very much celebrated and
> endorsed. However, as a result of this PR, the Rust port became a lot more
> complicated, and also introduced a new critical bootstrap compiler
> (referenced in the Rust portgroup here:
> which is being hosted in MarcusCalhoun-Lopez's personal Github account (
> ).  Marcus did try
> to ask about a more official location to host the bootstrap compiler in a
> macports-dev thread:
> , but ultimately per the  responses he decided to just host it in his
> personal account himself.
> Since this massive change to the Rust port at 1.60.0, it's only seen one
> update since then to 1.61.0 (
> )
> David Gilman opened a PR recently attempting to update Rust to 1.64.0 (
> ), but Gilman
> doesn't have access to update the bootstrap compiler, because as of right
> now, only MarcusCalhoun-Lopez knows how to build it, and also it's hosted
> in Calhoun's Github account as mentioned prior.
> We need to figure out a more sustainable approach for this bootstrap
> compiler, including how it can be built, and hosting it somewhere where a
> small set of MacPorts maintainers can build and update it so that we can
> get MacPorts Rust back on track.  As things are today, only
> MarcusCalhoun-Lopez has all the pieces required to update this port, and
> there's been no word from him for months now as the Rust port has fallen
> further and further behind. Being such a critical core language port, it
> may make sense to create a repo within the MacPorts Github organization
> where a set of maintainers can host and update the Rust bootstrap compiler.
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