Rust Toolchain: GCC or MSVC, and GPL?


I want to teach myself Rust, to develop apps for SAFE. I understand that I could use any language to use the API (I know Python and shell scripting), but Rust seems kinda cool, so I’ll give it a try.

The installation went fine on Debian, just the way I want it.

However, I would also like to have it installed on Windows 7, as I want to be able to produce Windows versions of binaries, while keeping them properly GPL3.

For the most general use, the Rust compiler needs to have access to a C++ compiler for those parts of a program that might use C++. On the Rust download site,, for the Windows 64-bit, they give a choice between GNU and MSVC downloads. So far so good.

To cut a long story short: Going the GNU route seemed to be a dead-end, since I wasn’t able to install all the C++ libraries (something called “freetype”) I needed, while going the MSVC route the installation installs straightforwardly enough but I’m not sure whether MS proprietary code will end up in my binaries.

To install everything I need to and stay GNU, I needed to have started at the beginning with the MSYS2 developer environment and compile Rust, Cargo, GCC, Freetype, etc, from with that. And not use the package at

At that point I stopped and wondered if I was going in the right direction. Searching for online help has had me going in circles.

What do people here suggest?


I can’t speak to the windows installation details, however if your motive is to make windows binaries I’m fairly certain you can setup rust to cross-compile it from your debian machine.

That’s not necessary as Powersign said.

That’s not true.
Do you think that the binaries built by the Rust people are violating their own license?


Download what they have.
You aren’t going to learn Rust by compiling Rust from source.