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PUBLISH DATE: Mar 29 2024
UPD: Apr 11 2024
Reading time: 10 minutes

Rust vs C++: Which Language Is Right for Your Project?

When selecting the right tool and programming language for a web project, the first thing to focus on is functionality and usefulness. Contrasting Rust vs C++ is a new topic for discussion in our blog. Some may wonder why we should compare the old and new established languages – Rust vs C++. The reason is that they both offer similar features that can be employed for development and compete in the context of system-level development. Today, we’ll compare two programming languages: a well-established language with over 30 years of history – C++, and a fresher – Rust, created in the 2010s, with all the chances for growth.

What is Rust?

What is Rust?

Rust is a system programming language developed by Mozilla Research, trying to deliver the performance of C and C++ while providing memory safety and concurrency. It’s a good fit for building performance-critical backend systems, operating systems, crypto and blockchains, and IoT development. It has a Cargo package manager, allowing for managing dependencies and constructing projects.

The Benefits of Rust

Let’s see the key advantages of Rust:

  1. Dynamically-typed language

There are many arguments about dynamic vs. static type systems. While some developers prefer dynamic-typed languages, others use static ones. In terms of dynamic-typed architecture, developers get more flexibility and ease of development, which is practical for quick prototyping and scripting tasks. They can develop a more concise code and are well-suited for projects with changing requirements where the project is likely to scale in perspective with a focus on flexibility.

  1. Memory safety

Thanks to memory safety, Rust focuses on reducing common development errors, which can usually lead to security issues and system breaches. With Rust, developers are sure about the proper memory management while preventing null pointer dereferences and buffer overflows. With Rust, you can control the work of memory allocation and reallocation.

  1. Rust foundation backing

Rust is strong because of its backing, involving members like Meta, Dropbox, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others. 

  1. Performance

Rust doesn’t require a garbage collector to manage the work in the background of hardware and memory, and you have flexibility when working with low-level details. You can replace pieces of code without risking memory-related safety issues. 

  1. Zero-cost abstractions

As a benefit, whatever the abstraction of code the developers use, Rust can accept everything by compiling all the loops and closures into the same assembly without reducing the code performance. 

  1. Rust’s low overhead

The language is resource-efficient, allowing the developers to identify bugs at early development stages, thus preventing any future gaps with the devices. When working with Rust, you can be confident that its code is error-free. Our experience shows that Rust facilitates web development, and if you love to work with high-level languages like Java or Python, then you’re likely to assess Rust and love working with it. 

  1. Cross-compatibility and support

Rust allows for developing front-end and back-end solutions working on Linux, macOS, Windows, and many other platforms. It has a simple syntax that allows one to use Rust efficiently and easily. By opening a toolchain installer and version management tool, you can develop the code per your preferences. You can format it, automate the code formatting up to the default styles, and through Clippy, the Rust tool, maintain the code style.  

  1. Concurrency

Thanks to Rust’s ownership system, developers can write safe concurrent code. The built-in support for concurrent development controls data races and other bugs during compilation, ensuring no unforeseen errors during the program run-time.

Disadvantages of Rust

  1. Ecosystem

Rust has a smaller ecosystem since, in comparison, it’s a relatively new language. So its ecosystem of frameworks and libraries isn’t as large as that of more established languages. What’s more, some libraries are incomplete and underdeveloped, offering not always up-to-date documentation. So, often, those using the language need to look at the source code.

  1. Steep learning curve

Rust is more for experienced developers. The reason is that beginners may not understand some concepts like borrowing and ownership, which won’t allow them to compile the code efficiently. 

  1. Slow compilation time

Rust, which cares a lot about safety and concurrency, takes longer to compile compared to some other languages. This is because its compiler needs to do a lot of work analyzing code and figuring out types, which can slow things down. Also, Rust accomplishes many optimizations to generate efficient code. Especially, for big projects with large codebases, Rust requires a waiting time during compilation.

  1. Tooling

Although Rust has a few great integrated development tools built on the Rust compiler, they aren’t developed enough to make code generation possible. The developers should do code generation by hand since it’s challenging to transform a high-level project automatically into Rust source code using the Rust tool. 

What is C++?

What is C++?

C++ is an old, established object-oriented programming language that is well-suited for developing large-scale apps. C++ gives developers the freedom to define their own data types, and through the use of functions and methods, developers can manipulate those data types. Since the language is object-oriented, you can easily organize and classify the code. With C++, developers get generic programming with all templates, allowing them to reuse the code instead of rewriting the code from scratch. In comparison to Rust, C++ is a great tool for large-scale projects, helping to efficiently and quickly execute the code. C++ is best used for system software, embedded systems, and computing. It simplifies the development process by providing coding utilities and functions thanks to its library. 

The Benefits of C++

Let’s view the benefits of making C++ a widely used programming language.


As we’ve mentioned before, the language is portable, which means it’s platform-independent, which allows the user to run the same program on different operating systems. The code written in the language can be compiled and reused many times without errors. It’s convenient for developers, saving them much time and effort in terms of focusing on app reliability. 

Memory management

This feature can serve both as a benefit and a drawback; it depends on the users’ preferences. It gives total control over memory management, and full responsibility comes to the user rather than the garbage collector. 


When one of the goals of the project is speed, C++ is a reasonable solution. Its compilation and execution times are much faster than those of most general-purpose programming languages. 

Manual memory management

We’ve mentioned above that this feature can be seen as a disadvantage as well. The developers should manage memory manually; if they don’t handle it properly, it can lead to memory leaks and other related issues. Also, the lack of a garbage collector requires the developers to manually reallocate memory when necessary. As a result, direct memory access increases the risk of writing unsafe code. 

Disadvantages of C++

Learning curve

C++ has a steep learning curve because of its extensive set of features. It has many features, from classes, and polymorphism to abstraction and encapsulation, allowing developers to enhance and improve their code. But without a proper understanding of these concepts, it can be challenging for beginners to employ the programming language. Even experienced developers can struggle with some of the advanced functionalities of languages. Before the usage, beginners should know the concepts and features to effectively employ the language in development. 


Writing programs in C++ is more complex since it requires you to manually track things like pointers and memory management. Compared to other languages, C++ has higher risks of memory leaks and segmentation errors. Additionally, because of complex syntax and because of multiple programming paradigms, the code can be more verbose and difficult to read.

No garbage collector

As we’ve mentioned above, C++ doesn’t automatically filter unnecessary data and lays all the responsibility on the user. 

Less flexibility

In terms of syntax, C++ is more strict and less flexible for writing code. Usually, a little mistake can lead to many errors.

Rust vs. C++: What’s the Difference?

Rust vs. C++: What's the Difference?

Both languages have some similar features, including a similar compilation model.

  • Both compile to native code.
  • Both have no runtime or garbage collector.
  • Both offer direct access to memory if needed.
  • Both relate to low-level programming languages working close to the hardware.

But are Rust and C++ as similar as they seem? Find out which programming language is the better choice for your project with this detailed comparison of Rust vs C++. 


In terms of performance level, there is no winner. There are some apparent differences that we can define, but the general results for Rust and C++ are similar. When it comes to C++, it’s a more powerful and flexible language with third-party libraries compared to Rust. C++ is a more well-established language and can achieve better performance than Rust in certain cases. Thanks to the safe parallelism of Rust in the code, the developers can create more efficient code, especially when working with multiple cores. Both languages are strong in terms of their performance, and Rust is a good replacement for C++ for performance-intensive workloads. 


When it comes to safety, Rust vs C++ has a built-in system for managing memory usage and minimizing common development errors, including null pointer dereferences, data races, and buffer overflows. Compared to Rust, C++ doesn’t have a similar system for managing memory, and it’s more vulnerable to errors. So, Rust is a more reliable and secure language. 


Although the syntax of Rust is similar to that of C++, it’s easier to learn and read. The type system of Rust vs C++ is more expressive, and its syntax is designed to be more consistent and predictable than C++, thus simplifying the code and catching errors during compilation. 

Memory management

While C++ provides the developers with manual memory control over memory allocation and reallocation, Rust uses a new method of memory management known as ownership and borrowing. It ensures memory safety during compilation while eliminating the need for a garbage collector during runtime. The method of ownership guarantees that only one variable has access to a part of the memory, and the method of borrowing allows for using multiple read-only references to the same piece of memory. As a result, there is no data race or memory corruption in Rust, which boosts memory efficiency.

As for C++, manual memory management is more flexible but has two sides of the coin. It may result in more efficient code or lead to problems like memory leaks, buffer overflows, or dangling pointers. Rust vs C++ is more secure in terms of memory management through balancing efficiency and reliability in programming. Yet, C++ is preferable for developers, when there is a need to control the memory allocation in complex apps requiring granular control.

Concurrency and parallelism

Through concurrency and parallel programming, we can achieve high-performance code and efficient resource use. Rust and C++ have different approaches in terms of concurrency and thread safety. In C++, when managing concurrency and ensuring proper synchronization, developers face challenges. Despite the rich C++ ecosystem of concurrency abstractions and libraries, the developers need to use different techniques like condition variables and spin locks. But when using these techniques, developers can face the next issues, including race conditions, deadlocks, starvation, and priority inversion. 

In contrast, Rust offers a dynamic concurrency method prioritizing thread safety and zero-cost abstractions. In Rust, developers can write concurrent code without worrying about common errors in C++. The efficiency of Rust is that the language ensures strict checks during compilation, thus enforcing the safety and reliability of multithreaded apps. 

Rust provides tools to deal with runtime errors, including actual type checking, error handling, and ownership control. Also, the language has a modern module system that allows you to organize and structure your code, making it more readable and maintainable. Rust provides a convenient mechanism for creating parallel programs through the concepts of ownership and borrowing.

Platform support

Behind every language, there is a community contributing to the growth of the language and improvements to its ecosystem. Both Rust and C++ have an active community, providing robust support for any issue. You can find help for any issue, on different forums, and what’s more, both Rust and C++ hold their official annual conferences. The one thing is obvious: Although Rust has an active community, C++ is more mature and has more forums, open-source projects, and executed issues compared to Rust. 

Organization and tooling

Rust provides the developers with ready-to-use tooling. Thanks to Cargo, (which is used for compiling packages, making them distributable, and uploading those to, the Rust code repository looks similar. When it comes to Rust, you should learn the repository from scratch every time because everything looks different. C++ has no similar standardized tooling, but because the language is more mature, it has available tools like debuggers and commercial static analyzers. They are sometimes not enough to handle programming issues, so developers should address the community to ask for support.

The C++ ecosystem is complex and challenging for developers. If the developer is interested in cross-platform compiling and wants to incorporate two or more third-party libraries into an existing project, it’ll be a tough task because of the installation of its dependencies. C++ header files try to describe interfaces and maintain a distinction between the code that should be available in machine code and the code that isn’t. The problem is that since the code relies entirely on the header file, it may lead to definition duplication and security issues. Accordingly, in this case, Rust is a more practical tool since it instead uses modules to organize code and manage visibility and accessibility. Although Rust’s module system may initially seem complicated to beginners, it’s been developed to promote clarity, modularity, and maintainability in large codebases. Rust’s module system allows developers to organize code into logical units, with the structure of modules reflecting the organization of the codebase. The Rust ecosystem is quite extensive and includes numerous libraries and tools for high-performance programming. 


Coding with Rust is faster thanks to its elaborated semantics and system for handling unwanted behavior. While, in C++, raw pointers can only be defined manually in code review, in Rust, you can use tools to find them inside unsafe blocks. 


C++ has a huge community of developers, libraries, utilities, and frameworks that make it a flexible and efficient language. It also has a lower barrier to entry, making it more accessible to beginners in programming. In contrast, the Rust ecosystem is praised for its quality documentation and the integration of Cargo, its package manager, which simplifies dependency management and build processes. Although C++ has a more mature ecosystem with high control and performance, Rust is considered a good alternative, focusing on safety with no performance compromise. 

Thus, both Rust and C++ have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s difficult to define which one is better. Rust continues to develop and receives support from many developers, which makes it a more promising programming language in the future. Rust, despite its novelty, has potential and can become better than C in some areas of programming. However, for this to happen, the Rust must continue to develop and attract more developers.

The choice between two languages depends on your project’s needs and the developer’s vision for the outcomes of the product. Both Rust and C++ have their pros and cons, depending on different development aspects. So, let’s see the use cases of these two languages. 

Rust applications

The Rust Survey Team shared the results of the 2023 survey on Rust, which included insights and feedback from Rust users. It was conducted between December 2023 and January 2024. 

The survey found that 49% of respondents use Rust daily, 31% say that the language is too complicated for them, and 67% say they would like to use Rust but haven’t yet. Rust expertise has increased over the past years – 23% of users can write simple programs in Rust, 28% can write production-ready code, and 47% consider themselves productive using Rust. Rust programmers use various platforms with Rust programs, but the most popular platform is still the Linux machine. Also, the users target WebAssembly, embedded and mobile platforms, which highlights the versatility of Rust. The common reason why the employers of survey respondents invested in Rust was the opportunity to develop relatively bug-free and correct software. In terms of tech domains, Rust is popular for creating server backends, web and networking services, and cloud technologies. 

Here is a list of the top apps built with the Rust programming language:

Dropbox is a file-syncing engine that is partially built with Rust code. Rust static types and comprehensive compile-time programs allow Dropbox to deal with concurrent code and complex architecture.  

Figma, a web design tool for creating interface prototypes and vector graphics, updated their multiplayer synchronization engine from Typescript to Rust to boost performance because of the inability of their server to keep up with user growth.

Mozilla became a loyal supporter of Rust, and it managed to replace about 160K lines of C++ code with only 85K lines of Rust code.

Cloudflare uses Rust to maintain optimal performance. 

Facebook needed a compiled language to rewrite its source control backend. Because of the security features of Rust, its backing was rewritten from Python to Rust.

Discord rewrote their Read States service, the client and server sides of the codebase from Go in Rust.

C++ applications

C++ has many use cases, ranging from operating systems, games, GUI-based apps, web browsers, and embedded systems. Because C++ is a fast and strongly typed programming language, it makes it a good choice for creating operating systems. Windows, Microsoft, and Internet Explorer are some popular systems written in C++. Web browsers must have fast execution, so for rendering purposes, developers can use partly C++. Particularly, Mozilla 

Firefox and the Google File System are written in C++. C++ is a tool that allows the program to be closer to hardware. Accordingly, C++ is also usually used for embedded systems.

Adobe offers its marketing tools and other media solutions by using C++ as a scripting language for different imaging systems and codecs. 

Apple, a multinational corporation of software and consumer electronics, uses C++ for device drivers and software programs. 

Blizzard uses C++ language for game development and constant upgrades to their current games. 

Evernote employs C++ to update its complex programs daily; their product continues to reach millions of users. 

Google offers over 50 internet services, and C++ is one of its tools for updating existing complex software apps and other databases. 

LinkedIn uses C++ for its analytics and search.

Netflix uses different tools for supporting its services, and using C++, Netflix maintains its content lifecycle allowing users to watch and enjoy a range of content the users prefer. 

The popularity of Rust and C++

Rust vs C++: which one is more popular? Despite Rust being a relatively new programming language that was released in 2010, it has become popular and widely used recently. According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022, Rust is the most admired language for the seventh year. More than 80% of developers plan to use it again next year. 

In contrast, C++ is a well-established popular programming language that has been used since the 1980s. It has a well-developed ecosystem of libraries and frameworks for high-performance computing, system software, and game development. Both C++ and Rust are used in different domains for different purposes. While C++ ranks in the fourth position after Java, Python, and SQL due to its performance, control, and portability, Rust, on the other hand, continues to gain popularity in areas where the focus is on memory safety and concurrency. According to the State of the Developer Nation, 22nd Edition, by SlashData, the number of Rust developers increased from 600,000 in 2020 to 2.2 million in 2022. Rust also moved from 14th to 12th place in the Slash Data ranking of programming languages in just 6 months.

In summary, C++ and Rust are still important and popular languages in their own areas. C++ remains a great tool in traditional systems programming and apps that need to run fast, while Rust is widely adopted for its modern features and priority on safety and concurrency.

Future of C++ and Rust

Based on the above-discussed features of both languages, the dilemma is: can Rust replace C++ and vice versa? 

Predicting the future of the tech market is difficult. On the one hand, it seems to us that Rust is a kind of improvement of C++; on the other hand, saying that C++ won’t be a practical choice for developers is weird. Although Rust is easier to use, C++ has a larger community with all the extensive libraries needed to create safe code. While Rust is still developing, C++ once went this way. 

If you’re interested in which language to learn or choose for your project – the answer depends on your needs. While C++ has more extensions, Rust isn’t going anywhere, and what’s more, it’s still improving. We suggest addressing our professionals with expertise in C++ and Rust to get further information concerning your request. They can provide you with additional strengths and weaknesses in both languages and help you make the right choice based on your project priorities.


In comparison Rust vs C++ may or may not be the best language for your project. What’s more, Rust may not be the best solution for your software development in general. But we can tell for sure that big companies like Mozilla, Google, Meta, and Cloudflare use the language for a reason, and the developers actively learn the best practices for working with Rust in different areas. 

C++ vs. Rust is the forebear of many modern programming languages. By learning the language, developers can understand its syntax and the array of its uses. Although C++ offers many features for developing high-quality apps, these same features can seem complex for beginners. But practically, the language is a good fit for working with programs that require detailed control. 

When choosing between C++ and Rust, you should assess aspects like the project nature, the feasibility of finding talent, project scalability, community support, and the future perspective considering long-term maintenance. You can trust these issues to Keenethics, a Rust development company. Keenethics experts are here to guide you in your project journey, from sharing your vision and selecting the tech stack to the release of your project. Don’t hesitate to contact us. 


Which language is more secure, Rust or C++?

Rust is known for its memory safety and thread safety, meaning it helps prevent common programming errors like null pointers and buffer overflows. Rust also has many other features, like a borrower checker, which helps prevent common security issues. Compared to C++, Rust promises more security. But, just like with any language, it’s still likely to write insecure code in Rust if the developer isn’t experienced yet. In general, Rust is considered to be a safe programming language that is often used in operating systems, file systems, and web browsers.

Is Rust faster than C++?

Rust can be faster for some programs with smart pointers/references. Since the language has a more restrictive syntax, its compiler can make more automatic reasoning, the results of which you can reuse in the expressions to save storage. Many claim that Rust and C++ are almost the same in terms of performance. Their zero-cost abstraction philosophy means they were designed to avoid any issues leading to performance overhead. In terms of lowering development and maintenance costs, the Rust module system allows you to ensure that code is up-to-date and has the latest version compatible with your code. It saves time by facilitating managed code reuse. Rust is a great tool because it manages the memory for developers without the need for a garbage collector. Another benefit of Rust that speeds up performance is its macros, which allow us to easily rewrite the code in the realm of compilation. What’s more, Rust can do pattern matching and token-stream analysis. Its module system allows better organization of the code and scaling compilation with project size. The last, but not least important feature of Rust is its useful compiler error messages that help easily resolve problems. Once you get a compiler error on the build, you can paste the part of the message into your code and fix the issue. 

Which language has better tooling and libraries, Rust or C++?

In terms of ecosystem, C++ is a more established language with a vast ecosystem in comparison to Rust. Rust has fewer frameworks and libraries for developers, and in some cases, it’s necessary to implement custom libraries and modules. Also, Rust has many robust libraries in its community that are open to use, but developers have to develop many things from scratch since there are no analogs in open access. This increases the language complexity and the development time spent.

Make the right decision for your development needs.

Trust us with your project vision and we’ll offer you the relevant tech stack for your existing or future digital product.

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