Golang vs. Rust

Golang and Rust are two modern programming languages that have gained significant popularity in recent years. In the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023, developers voted Rust as the most admired language. An impressive 84.66% of developers surveyed expressed their intention to use Rust in the coming year. Golang also received significant admiration, with 62.45% of developers showing interest in using it.

In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive comparison between Golang and Rust. We will dive into various aspects of these languages, including their background, language features, use cases, ecosystem, and learning curve. 

Whether you’re considering which language to learn next, deciding on the right tool for a new project, or simply curious about what each language has to offer, this post will help you make informed choices. Let’s get started!

Background: Golang vs. Rust

Golang was created at Google by Rob Pike, Ken Thompson, and Robert Griesemer. It was started in 2007 as an internal project to address the challenges Google faced with its existing programming languages. The designers aimed to create a language that combined the efficiency and safety of statically typed languages with the simplicity and ease of use of dynamically typed languages. Golang was officially announced as an open-source project in 2009, with version 1.0 released in March 2012.

In contrast, Rust was initially developed as a side project by Graydon Hoare while working at Mozilla Research. It was later officially sponsored by Mozilla in 2009. The first stable release of Rust arrived in May 2015. Rust was designed to be a safe alternative to C++, which is widely used in systems programming but is prone to memory-related bugs and security vulnerabilities.

Key Language Features: Golang vs. Rust

In this section, we’ll explore the key features that have contributed to Golang’s and Rust’s popularity among developers.

Golang language features

The most significant features of the Golang programming language are as follows:

  • Statically typed: Golang is a statically typed language, meaning that variable types are checked at compile time. This helps catch type-related errors early in the development process, leading to more robust and reliable code.
  • High-speed compilation: Golang has a fast compiler that uses a simplified dependency resolution algorithm. When you build a Golang program, the compiler leverages the compilation cache to intelligently manage and build only the required dependencies. This contributes to faster compilation time compared to other languages such as C++ or Java. 
  • Built-in concurrency support: Golang provides built-in support for concurrency through goroutines and channels. Goroutines are lightweight threads managed by the Go runtime, allowing multiple functions to run concurrently. Channels provide a way for goroutines to communicate and synchronize with each other. This built-in concurrency support enables developers to write efficient, high-performance applications that can handle multiple tasks simultaneously. 
  • Built-in garbage collector: Golang has a built-in garbage collector that automatically manages memory allocation and deallocation. It frees developers from the need to manually manage memory, preventing memory leaks and other memory-related bugs. Moreover, the garbage collector runs concurrently with the program execution, minimizing performance impact.

Rust language features

Moving onto Rust, let's explore the key features that set this programming language apart:

  • Statically typed with type inference: Rust is also a statically typed language, ensuring that types are checked at compile time. Rust goes a step further with a type inference system that can deduce the types of variables based on their usage. This provides the benefits of static typing, such as early error detection and improved performance, while reducing the verbosity of the code.
  • Ahead-of-time compilation: Rust is an ahead-of-time (AOT) compiled language, which means that the code is compiled directly to machine code before execution. This results in fast and efficient binaries that can be deployed without the need for a runtime environment. AOT compilation also enables Rust to catch many errors at compile-time, providing early feedback and reducing the chances of runtime errors.
  • Robust concurrency: Rust's ownership system and type system guarantee thread safety, preventing common concurrency issues like data races and deadlocks. Rust provides several primitives for concurrent programming, such as threads, channels, and locks, which can be used safely without introducing runtime overhead. This allows developers to write efficient and correct concurrent code with confidence.
  • Ownership and borrowing: Rust has a unique ownership system that ensures memory safety at compile time. Each value in Rust has an owner, and there can only be one owner at a time. Rust also has a borrowing system that allows you to reference data without taking ownership. This system prevents common issues like null or dangling pointer dereferences, data races, and memory leaks.

Common Use Cases: Golang vs. Rust

Golang and Rust have distinct strengths that make them suitable for different use cases. In the following sections, we'll explore the key areas where each language excels.

Golang use cases

Although Golang is a general-purpose programming language, its primary use cases are as follows:

  • Cloud and network services: Golang's built-in concurrency features, like goroutines and channels, make it ideal for handling many concurrent requests in cloud environments. This allows Golang to deliver high performance and low latency, which is critical for cloud services.

Servers built with Golang have instant start-up times and lower memory and CPU utilization compared to other languages. This makes Golang applications cheaper to run in serverless deployments on cloud platforms. 

In addition, Go has a robust ecosystem for cloud development. Major cloud providers like GCP, AWS, and Azure offer Golang SDKs for their services. Popular open-source projects for cloud-native development, like Docker and Kubernetes, are built using Golang.

  • Command line interfaces: Golang is an ideal language for CLI development due to its fast compile times, allowing programs to start quickly. Golang compiles into a single binary that can run on any system without requiring external libraries or dependencies, making installation and distribution trivial.
  • Web development: Golang delivers excellent out-of-the-box performance, making it easy to build fast and scalable web applications. It has an excellent standard library for web development, including packages for HTTP servers, routing, templating, encryption, and more. The Golang community has also built web frameworks like Gin, Echo, Revel, and Beego that provide additional functionality and productivity.
  • Development Operations (DevOps) and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE): Golang's fast build times and lean syntax enable rapid development of DevOps and SRE tools. This allows teams to quickly create and iterate on automation scripts, CLIs, and services. Popular DevOps tools like Docker, Kubernetes, and Terraform are built using Golang, which integrates well with cloud platforms and CI/CD systems, making it suitable for modern DevOps practices.

Rust use cases

Rust’s key strength lies in systems programming and low-level development. Let’s explore some of its most common use cases: 

  • Command line applications: Rust's performance and low-level control make it an excellent choice for building efficient command line applications. Rust's compile time error checking and memory safety features help prevent common bugs and vulnerabilities. Its ability to compile to a single binary without external dependencies simplifies the distribution and deployment of CLI tools.
  • Browser-native libraries through WebAssembly: Rust can be compiled to WebAssembly (Wasm), allowing developers to write performance-critical code in Rust and run it in web browsers. This enables building browser-native libraries and applications with near-native performance.

Rust's memory safety makes it well-suited for Wasm development. Its toolchain provides excellent support for Wasm, enabling seamless interoperability between Rust and JavaScript. 

  • Microcontrollers and embedded systems: Rust's low-level control and memory efficiency make it an ideal language for microcontrollers and embedded systems. Its ownership system and borrow checker help prevent common issues like buffer overflows, which are critical in resource-constrained environments.

Rust provides a rich ecosystem for embedded development, including libraries for hardware abstraction and architecture-specific support. Its cross-compilation capabilities make it easy to target different embedded platforms.

  • Network services: Rust's performance, concurrency features, and memory safety make it well-suited for building high-performance network services. Its ownership system and borrow checker help prevent common concurrency bugs.

Rust provides a robust ecosystem for network programming, including libraries for asynchronous I/O, HTTP, and gRPC. Its async/await syntax enables writing efficient and scalable network services.

Ecosystem and Community: Golang vs. Rust

Both Golang and Rust benefit from robust ecosystems and engaged communities, crucial for the success and growth of any programming language.

Golang’s ecosystem and community

Golang has a comprehensive standard library and a rich ecosystem of third-party packages and frameworks that cover various domains, such as web development, database connectivity, logging, testing, and more.

Golang also has an active and growing community of developers worldwide. It has a strong presence on platforms like GitHub, Stack Overflow, and Reddit, where developers actively contribute to open-source projects, share knowledge, and engage in discussions. 

Moreover, Golang has gained significant adoption by major companies and organizations such as Cloudflare, Dropbox, Google Cloud, IBM, Microsoft, Netflix, Stripe, Twitch, Uber and YouTube. The adoption of Golang by major companies demonstrates its reliability, scalability, and suitability for building large-scale systems.

Rust's ecosystem and community

Similarly, Rust has a growing package ecosystem centered around Cargo, its official package manager. The Rust package registry, crates.io, hosts a wide variety of packages contributed by the community. These packages cover various domains, including command-line utilities, embedded development, network programming, web development, and more. The Rust ecosystem is actively expanding, with new packages and frameworks being developed and shared by the community.

In addition to its growing ecosystem, Rust benefits from a supportive and inclusive community. The language has a strong presence on platforms like GitHub, Reddit, and Discord, where developers actively engage in discussions, share knowledge, and collaborate on projects. 

Rust has caught the attention of major companies and organizations. Mozilla, the creator of Rust, uses it in their Servo web browser engine and parts of the Firefox browser. Microsoft has been exploring the use of Rust for secure systems programming and has been actively contributing to the Rust community. Other companies using Rust include Cloudflare, Discord, Figma, and npm. 

Learning Curve: Golang vs. Rust

Golang focuses on simplicity and readability, with a straightforward syntax that is easy to understand. Its simplicity makes Golang relatively quick to learn compared to many other languages. Developers from various backgrounds can pick up Golang without too much difficulty.

To get started learning Golang, check out KodeKloud’s Golang course.

In contrast, Rust has a steeper learning curve compared to Golang. This is largely due to Rust's unique concepts, such as ownership, borrowing, and lifetimes. Fully grasping and correctly applying these concepts takes time and practice for many developers.

However, while Rust's learning curve may be steeper initially, it rewards developers with a powerful type system, built-in memory safety, and fine-grained control over system resources. Once comfortable with its core concepts and idioms, you can leverage its safety and performance benefits to build robust and efficient software systems.


Golang and Rust are both powerful languages with distinct strengths. As you explore these languages further, you'll discover their potential to revolutionize how you build software.

Read about the top 10 programming languages in 2023 in our blog post: Top 10 Programming Languages in 2023.

Starting from scratch in programming? Check out KodeKloud’s Programming Learning Path, which provides a structured approach to mastering programming skills.