Programming language: Rust
License: GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
Tags: Development Tools    
Latest version: v3.8.1

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A command line tool that creates tags - for source code navigation by using ctags - for a cargo project, all of its direct and indirect dependencies and the rust standard library.


  • ctags installed, needs a version with the --recurse flag

On a linux system the package is most likely called exuberant-ctags.

Otherwise you can get the sources directly from here or use the newer and alternative universal-ctags.

Only universal-ctags will add tags for struct fields and enum variants.


$ cargo install rusty-tags

The build binary will be located at ~/.cargo/bin/rusty-tags.


Just calling rusty-tags vi or rusty-tags emacs anywhere inside of the cargo project should just work.

After its run a rusty-tags.vi / rusty-tags.emacs file should be beside of the Cargo.toml file.

Additionally every dependency gets a tags file at its source directory, so jumping further to its dependencies is possible.

Rust Standard Library Support

Tags for the standard library are created if the rust source is supplied by defining the environment variable RUST_SRC_PATH.

These tags aren't automatically added to the tags of the cargo project and have to be added manually with the path $RUST_SRC_PATH/rusty-tags.vi or $RUST_SRC_PATH/rusty-tags.emacs.

If you're using rustup you can get the rust source of the currently used compiler version by calling:

$ rustup component add rust-src

And then setting RUST_SRC_PATH inside of e.g. ~/.bashrc.

For rustc >= 1.47.0:

$ export RUST_SRC_PATH=$(rustc --print sysroot)/lib/rustlib/src/rust/library/

For rustc < 1.47.0:

$ export RUST_SRC_PATH=$(rustc --print sysroot)/lib/rustlib/src/rust/src/


The current supported configuration at ~/.rusty-tags/config.toml (defaults displayed):

# the file name used for vi tags
vi_tags = "rusty-tags.vi"

# the file name used for emacs tags
emacs_tags = "rusty-tags.emacs"

# the name or path to the ctags executable, by default executables with names
# are searched in the following order: "ctags", "exuberant-ctags", "exctags", "universal-ctags", "uctags"
ctags_exe = ""

# options given to the ctags executable
ctags_options = ""

Vim Configuration

Put this into your ~/.vimrc file:

autocmd BufRead *.rs :setlocal tags=./rusty-tags.vi;/

Or if you've supplied the rust source code by defining RUST_SRC_PATH:

autocmd BufRead *.rs :setlocal tags=./rusty-tags.vi;/,$RUST_SRC_PATH/rusty-tags.vi


autocmd BufWritePost *.rs :silent! exec "!rusty-tags vi --quiet --start-dir=" . expand('%:p:h') . "&" | redraw!

Emacs Configuration

Install counsel-etags.

Create file .dir-locals.el in rust project root (please note the line to set counsel-etags-extra-tags-files is optional):

((nil . ((counsel-etags-update-tags-backend . (lambda (src-dir) (shell-command "rusty-tags emacs")))
         (counsel-etags-extra-tags-files . ("~/third-party-lib/rusty-tags.emacs" "$RUST_SRC_PATH/rusty-tags.emacs"))
         (counsel-etags-tags-file-name . "rusty-tags.emacs"))))

Use M-x counsel-etags-find-tag-at-point for code navigation.

counsel-etags will automatically detect and update tags file in project root. So no extra setup is required.

Sublime Configuration

The plugin CTags uses vi style tags, so calling rusty-tags vi should work.

By default it expects tag files with the name .tags, which can be set in ~/.rusty-tags/config.toml:

vi_tags = ".tags"

Or by calling rusty-tags vi --output=".tags".

MacOS Issues

Mac OS users may encounter problems with the execution of ctags because the shipped version of this program does not support the recursive flag. See this posting for how to install a working version with homebrew.

Cygwin/Msys Issues

If you're running Cygwin or Msys under Windows, you might have to set the environment variable $CARGO_HOME explicitly. Otherwise you might get errors when the tags files are moved.