How to release Rust ๐Ÿฆ€ apps with jReleaser

How to release Rust ๐Ÿฆ€ apps with jReleaser


6 min read

TL;DR Code


Recently I decided to start learning Rust ๐Ÿฆ€!

And of course, one of the important parts for me was: How can I release the binaries and distribute them. When I program in Golang, I always use GoReleaser or ko

Used to these tools, I wanted a similar tool for Rust too. After searching though the Web and GitHub I found out that jReleaser is also able to release and deploy Rust projects!

In this article, I want to show how to use jReleaser with a simple Rust CLI app and use Homebrew as a first distribution integration.


To code along, you should install the following tools in your workstation:

Creation of the example app

In this example, we will create a simple Rust project and release it with jReleaser. The project will be a simple CLI application that prints the world-famous "Hello, World!" message.

With following command, you can scaffold an empty Rust project:

cargo init

The output should look something like this:

     Created binary (application) package

Next, we want to pass the name of the person we want to greet as an argument to the application. For this, I am going to use clap, a very popular library for parsing command-line arguments.

Enter this cargo command in your terminal:

cargo add clap --features derive

And the clap library will be added under dependencies to your Cargo.toml file:

clap = { version = "4.0.10", features = ["derive"] }

With features, we can add additional functionality to our dependencies. In this case, we want to use the derive

The final code of our application will look like this:

use clap::{Parser, Subcommand};

#[derive(Parser, Debug)]
#[clap(author = "Engin Diri", version, long_about = None)]
/// A very, very simple Hello World application
struct Args {
    cmd: Commands,

#[derive(Subcommand, Debug)]
enum Commands {
    /// Greet someone
    Greet {
        /// Name of the person to greet
        #[clap(default_value = "Unknown")]
        name: String,

fn main() {
    let args = Args::parse();
    match args.cmd {
        Commands::Greet { name } => println!("Hello, {}!", name),

The notable parts are the definition of the Args struct and the SubCommand enum. In the Args struct, we refer to the SubCommand enum as a subcommand. This means that we can call our application with greet as a subcommand.

The Greet struct is a struct that contains the name argument. The name argument is a string that defaults to Unknown if no value is provided.

In the main function, we parse the arguments and match the subcommand. If the subcommand is greet, we print the message.

Go try it out:

cargo run -- greet Engin

Should print:

Hello, Engin!

If you don't provide a name, it will default to Unknown:

cargo run -- greet

Should print:

Hello, Unknown!

Release with jReleaser

Initialize jReleaser

To install jReleaser for your platform, please refer to the installation guide.

I am a macOS user, that is the reason I will use Homebrew to install jReleaser:

brew install jreleaser/tap/jreleaser

After the installation, we can initialize jReleaser:

jreleaser init --format yml

This will create a jreleaser.yml file in the current directory.

Some values in the file are already filled in, and you need to change them to match your project. As we are going to use Homebrew, we need to add the packagers section with the right values. Here I added the tap name and commitAuthor

    active: ALWAYS
      name: dirien
      owner: dirien
      name: homebrew-dirien-dev

The rest of the file jreleaser.yml is pretty straightforward. You can find more information about the configuration here

Now you can build your project with cargo:

  cargo build --release --all-features

Assemble the artifacts:

jreleaser assemble -grs

And check the configuration with:

jreleaser config

You should see something like this:

[INFO]  JReleaser 1.2.0
[INFO]  Konfiguriere mit jreleaser.yml
[INFO]    - Basisverzeichnis 'basedir' ist /Users/dirien/Tools/repos/rust-jreleaser
[INFO]  Reading configuration
[INFO]  Loading variables from /Users/dirien/.jreleaser/
[WARN]  Variables source /Users/dirien/.jreleaser/ does not exist
[INFO]  Validating configuration

Looks very good, now we are ready to create a GitHub workflow to release our project.

Create the GitHub actions

As we're going to create binaries for multiple platforms, we need to create a GitHub workflow which will build the binaries on multiple platforms. For this case, I will use the matrix feature of GitHub actions.

  fail-fast: true
    os: [ ubuntu-latest, macOS-latest, windows-latest ]
runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}

So we have two jobs, one called build and the other called release.

The notable parts of the build job are, that we set the toolchain to stable and we use the actions-rs/cargo action to build the project. Next step is to call the jReleaser assemble command to assemble the artifacts and finally we upload the artifacts to a folder called artifacts.

      - uses: actions-rs/toolchain@b2417cde72dcf67f306c0ae8e0828a81bf0b189f # tag=v1.0.7
          toolchain: stable

      - uses: actions-rs/cargo@ae10961054e4aa8b4aa7dffede299aaf087aa33b # tag=v1.0.3
          command: build
          args: --release --all-features

      - name: jReleaser assemble
        uses: jreleaser/release-action@9d00b8a3e38acac18558faf7152ca24368ed0d9f # tag=v2.2.0
          arguments: assemble
          JRELEASER_GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GH_PAT }}

      - name: Upload artifacts
        uses: actions/upload-artifact@3cea5372237819ed00197afe530f5a7ea3e805c8 # tag=v3.1.0
          name: artifacts
          path: |

The release job very simple, it will download the artifacts folder and uses the jreleaser/release-action action to execute the release command from jReleaser. Use PartifactsDir flag to point to the artifacts folder.

      - name: Download artifacts
        uses: actions/download-artifact@fb598a63ae348fa914e94cd0ff38f362e927b741 # tag=v3.0.0

      - name: jReleaser release
        uses: jreleaser/release-action@9d00b8a3e38acac18558faf7152ca24368ed0d9f # tag=v2.2.0
          arguments: release -PartifactsDir=artifacts -PskipArchiveResolver
          JRELEASER_GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GH_PAT }}

As we going to write to a different repository, we need to create a personal access token with the repo scope and add it to the GitHub secrets. The name is GH_PAT.


Now we are ready to release our project. We need to create a tag and push it to GitHub. I will use the v0.1.2 tag for and push it to GitHub.


If everything went well, you should see the artifacts under the release page, and you should be able to install the binary via Homebrew.

brew install dirien/homebrew-dirien-dev/rust-jreleaser
Running `brew update --auto-update`...
==> Auto-updated Homebrew!
Updated 2 taps (dirien/dirien-dev and homebrew/core).

You have 28 outdated formulae installed.
You can upgrade them with brew upgrade
or list them with brew outdated.

==> Downloading
==> Downloading from
######################################################################## 100.0%
==> Installing rust-jreleaser from dirien/dirien-dev
๐Ÿบ  /usr/local/Cellar/rust-jreleaser/0.1.2: 5 files, 1003.6KB, built in 5 seconds
==> Running `brew cleanup rust-jreleaser`...
Disable this behaviour by setting HOMEBREW_NO_INSTALL_CLEANUP.
Hide these hints with HOMEBREW_NO_ENV_HINTS (see `man brew`).
Removing: /Users/dirien/Library/Caches/Homebrew/ (394.7KB)

And the final test, with running the app:

A very, very simple Hello World application

Usage: rust-jreleaser <COMMAND>

  greet  Greet someone
  help   Print this message or the help of the given subcommand(s)

  -h, --help     Print help information
  -V, --version  Print version information


JReleaser is a very powerful tool, not only for JVM based application but also for Rust.

Next steps would be from here:

  • Add signing with Cosign
  • Create a Docker Image
  • Add ARM architecture