Difference Between Golang and Rust

By: | Updated: Jan-22, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Golang vs Rust

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Leveraging Go and Rust for app development is becoming more and more popular. Go is general-purpose with simplicity, readability, and efficiency put in the forefront. Rust is a systems language providing safe memory management and high performance. The two are applicable for a wide range of software, from backend services to web development.

There are still developers and business owners who don’t know how Go compares to Rust (and vice versa). In this article, we would like to discuss the similarities and differences between these two programming languages in an easy-to-follow manner so that you can decide on your own which is right for your project.

But before exploring the Rust language vs Go information, let’s view how these programming languages have become stars in the world of programming.

Difference Between Golang and Rust

Golang: how it started – steps to success

According to the Go Developer Survey 2020, 76 percent of respondents are utilizing Go at work. Golang was originally created as a language for Google engineers to write their code in. This language was required to:

  • Be simple for developers to adopt and utilize
  • Have a small standard library
  • Be compiled into binaries that were fast to run

The idea behind Go was to make programming easy and fun again by avoiding the hassle of C++ or Java, which both have tons of boilerplate code that must be written every time you want to create something new. This helps with productivity because programmers don’t need to spend time writing pointless code anymore, which helps to keep them focused on more important things (like getting awesome code out).

In 2011, Go became an official member of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), which means that projects can now use it for free within any open source project under any license they choose – including commercial licenses such as Microsoft’s Azure Cloud or Rackspace Cloud Servers.

Go is used by many large companies including Google, Dropbox, and Netflix for its high performance, stability, and concurrency features. It’s also used for microservices architecture because it’s easy to build frameworks on top of it.

Rust: its history and why it matters

Stack Overflow carried out Developer Survey 2021. It turned out that more than 80,000 programmers prefer Rust over other programming languages. Rust’s history is similar to that of Golang. In fact, Rust was originally intended as a replacement for C++, but it ended up taking over C++’s spot on the programming languages list. Rust has been growing in popularity ever since its release, and now it’s one of the most popular programming languages out there.

For those used to imperative languages like Java or Python, the syntax may seem unusual at first. However, learning Rust can significantly increase programmer productivity while reducing the likelihood of bugs and security vulnerabilities in large-scale applications.

You can utilize Rust either on the server side or in embedded systems. This makes it extremely flexible and gives you the freedom to choose how to use it depending on what needs your project has.

Go vs Rust: how they differ and what they have in common

Both languages have a lot of similarities, but also some important differences. Let’s explore them to help you decide which language to use in your next project.

Differences between Rust and Go

One major difference between the two is that Go is syntactically simple while Rust can be quite complex due to its type system. Another difference is that Rust’s type system is much more flexible than Go’s; this flexibility allows Rust to support creating new types dynamically at runtime similar to using generics in Java or C# but without any runtime overhead.

Rust’s syntax is comparable to C++. However, Go’s syntax is comparable to Python and Java. However, both languages have a somewhat unique syntax that might take some time to get used to.

Similarities between the two

Talking about Go vs Rust performance, both are designed with high performance in mind, both are memory-safe (Rust is safe by default, and Go must be used with garbage collection), and both have a very small runtime.

For what projects should you use Go?

Golang is commonly used for web development thanks to its small memory footprint, high performance, and concurrency support. This makes it well-suited for writing microservices and other web-based applications where reliability is essential. It’s also used for writing backend services like image processing pipelines and other types of distributed computing tasks like serving large amounts of data from a database or performing complex computations asynchronously.

If you’re building an application where performance matters — especially CPU-bound applications — then Go should be your first choice over most other languages because of its speed of execution. If you need to interface with C libraries, then Go is a good fit too because it compiles down to machine code rather than bytecode like Java does.

Difference Between Golang and Rust

For what projects should you use Rust?

Let’s get down to exploring Rust use cases. Rust can be effectively used for the following kinds of projects:

Network services. There are two libraries that make Rust a great option for network services: tokio and hyper. Tokio is a general-purpose asynchronous IO library built on top of mio that’s used by many Rust crates like tokio-proto, tokio-uds, and hyper. In addition to async IO capabilities, it provides high-level abstractions like futures and promises. Hyper is a high-performance HTTP library that implements RFC 2616 as closely as possible while being very performant on all platforms.

Embedded software. Rust is designed to be as fast as C and as memory safe as Java. This makes it excellent for writing low-level embedded software (hardware drivers, operating systems, etc).

Web applications. Rust is intended to help you write safer code in less time by eliminating many of the common programmer mistakes that lead to security vulnerabilities such as buffer overflows. As such, it’s an ideal language for web developers who need high-performance applications that are reliable under stress.

Afterword

When writing this article on the Golang versus Rust debate, we tried not to miss all the fundamentals of Golang versus Rust and define a Go vs Rust benchmark. For each scenario, you can decide which language will be more suitable. We hope our comparison helped you with that.

Should the performance of your system be crucial, Rust might suit you better. It will be hard to beat it regarding systems programming language performance. This however does not mean Go is a slouch – if your application performs well and does not require extreme memory or CPU management, then Go should absolutely be your first choice.

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