nettle-sys 2.0.8

Low-level Rust bindings for the Nettle cryptographic library


Low-level Rust bindings for the Nettle cryptographic library.

The documentation can be found here.


To build the Nettle bindings, you need a few libraries and support packages. Notably, you need the Nettle cryptographic library version 3.4.1 or up.

Please see below for OS-specific commands to install the needed libraries.


$ sudo apt install clang llvm pkg-config nettle-dev

Arch Linux

$ sudo pacman -S clang pkg-config nettle --needed


$ sudo dnf install clang pkg-config nettle-devel

macOS (Mojave), using MacPorts

$ sudo port install nettle pkgconfig



You can install the needed libraries with the following command:

$ pacboy -S clang:x nettle:x

Cross compilation

nettle-sys can be cross compiled using cross and a custom Docker container. First, build the container and install cross:

cargo install cross
docker -t nettle-sys/<toolchain>:1 docker/<toolchain>

Then, you can cross compile the project:

cross --target <toolchain> -v

The build artifacts will be placed in target/debug/<toolchain>.

Static linking

By default, nettle-sys is dynamically linked to its dependencies.

By defining the NETTLE_STATIC environment variable during the build, it can also be statically link to its dependencies:

env NETTLE_STATIC=yes cargo build

This is particularly useful to produce standalone binaries that can be easily distributed.


By default, nettle-sys invokes bindgen to generate bindings for Nettle. In some build environments, this might not work due to bindgen depending on libllvm. In this case, the may be pregenerated, and used by setting:

env NETTLE_PREGENERATED_BINDINGS=/path/to/ cargo build

Note: is specific to target architecture, operating system, and Nettle version.


This project is licensed under either of

at your option.