Setting up your IDE

Our recommended IDE is Visual Studio Code (VSCode).

Visual Studio Code (VSCode)

Install Visual Studio Code, then install the following plugins:

  • rust-analyzer, as described here.
  • CodeLLDB. This extension is optional, but enables package launching with F5 and will be used to provide debugging support in the future.

ambient new will set up your package for VSCode by default by creating a .vscode/settings.json for you.

Mac users: There is currently a bug which triggers a SIGHUP crash each time you close Ambient, when it’s started through VSCode. For a fix and more details, see this issue:


There are multiple ways to configure Emacs as a Rust IDE. The following assumes you are using rustic, lsp-mode and rust-analyzer libraries. Robert Krahn provides a comprehensive guide to configuring Emacs for Rust development.

Once you have Emacs configured for general Rust development, you need to set some explicit values for Ambient packages. Ambient uses some custom cargo configuration values that Emacs and rust-analyzer need to know about. You can manually set these variables with the following elisp:

  (setq lsp-rust-analyzer-cargo-target "wasm32-wasi"
        lsp-rust-analyzer-cargo-watch-args ["--features" "client server"]
        lsp-rust-features ["client" "server"])

Furthermore, you can add a .dir-locals.el file to your Ambient package directory that Emacs will pick up and load settings for. This is similar to the .vscode/settings.json that is created by default. This is an example .dir-locals.el file:

((rustic-mode . ((eval . (setq-local lsp-rust-analyzer-cargo-target "wasm32-wasi"))
                 (eval . (setq-local lsp-rust-analyzer-cargo-watch-args ["--features" "client server"]))
                 (eval . (setq-local lsp-rust-features ["client" "server"])))))

Other IDEs

To get rust-analyzer to work, you need to make sure it’s building with the server and client feature flags enabled. See .vscode/settings.json for an example.