Theseus's Build Process


Theseus uses cargo, Rust's package manager and build tool, to automatically manage dependencies and invoke the actual Rust compiler for us. We utilize cargo's workspace feature with a virtual manifest to group all of the main crates together into a single top-level meta project, which significantly speeds up build times. As such, the crates from the main repository folders (kernel/ and applications/) and all of their dependencies are all compiled into a single target/ folder.

The members of this workspace are defined in the root Cargo.toml manifest file, plus the list of other folders that should be ignored by cargo.


Although we use cargo to build all Rust code, we still use make and Makefiles to handle high-level build tasks. You should never need to directly run cargo or rustc commands; go through make instead.

The top-level Makefile essentially just invokes the Rust toolchain and compiler via cargo, then copies the compiled object files from the appropriate target/ directory into the top-level build/ directory, and finally generates a bootable .iso image using various bootloader tools, e.g., GRUB.

The only special build action the Makefile takes is to use the nasm assembler to compile the architecture-specific assembly code in nano_core/boot/, and then fully link that against the nano_core into a separate static binary.

Configuring Theseus

Continue on to the next section to read more about configuring Theseus's build.