A Brief Diversion: Rust AVR

So I didn’t realize it, but rust has had AVR support since July 2020. So to take a break from the regularly scheduled hardware design to see how rust feels working on the ATTiny85. I didn’t end up getting this working. While I was able to get a build running here, I’m still unclear how to access specific registers of the ATtiny85 like PORTB or DRRB, and I’m not convinced that if I did program my chip with this program that it would run.

It did however make a reasonable sized binary only about twice as large as the similarly simple C++ program.

AVR Memory Usage

Device: attiny85

Program: 92 bytes (1.1% Full) (.text + .data + .bootloader)

Data: 0 bytes (0.0% Full) (.data + .bss + .noinit)

Also it took forever. A release build of this simplist of examples took nearly 20s. I hope I can figure out more and I’ll report back here if I figure anything out.

Getting Started

Still need a bunch of avr packages

sudo apt-get install binutils gcc-avr avr-libc avrdude

You need the avr toolchain

https://www.microchip.com/mplab/avr-support/avr-and-arm-toolchains-c-compilers PATH=$PATH:$HOME/Downloads/avr8-gnu-toolchain-

Installing AVR support

$ rustup toolchain install nightly $ rustup component add rust-src –toolchain nightly

Turning on nightly support

rustup override set nightly


cargo build -Z build-std=core –target target.json –release

Setting up a target

The Rust nightly compiler includes a built-in target for ATmega328 but not ATtiny85. To get support for ATtiny85 you need to build a target json configuration.

rustc –print target-spec-json -Z unstable-options –target avr-unknown-gnu-atmega328 > my-custom-avr-unknown-gnu-atmega328.json