Similar to Visual Studio, when working with Rust programs, I'd like to press F5 to save the current file, compile it, and run it.

What's a good way to do this?

2 Answers 2


Below is one approach for Windows. If you're in a rust project, it'll run cargo run. Otherwise, it'll use rustc.

(defun rust-save-compile-and-run ()

  (if (locate-dominating-file (buffer-file-name) "Cargo.toml")

      (compile "cargo run")

     (format "rustc %s & %s"
         (file-name-sans-extension (buffer-file-name))))))

(add-hook 'rust-mode-hook
      (lambda ()
        (define-key rust-mode-map (kbd "<f5>") 'rust-save-compile-and-run)))
  • How much harder would it be to make this work with cargo projects with multiple bins? I think it can be done by invoking just cargo once this PR PR is merged.
    – Dogbert
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 8:14
  • How does locate-dominating-file work here? Does it scan all parent directories to the file you're in to check for Cargo.toml?
    – ruscur
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 0:24

Here my version of compile:

(global-set-key (kbd "<f5>") (lambda ()
                               (setq-local compilation-read-command nil)
                               (call-interactively 'compile)))

Basically it reuses previously executed compile command; if you supply with a prefix argument, you are prompted for a new compile command for future reuse.

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