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Rust vs Python A Head-to-Head Comparison

Rust vs Python – A Head-to-Head Comparison

Choosing the right programming language can be a daunting task, especially when balancing the trifecta of speed, security, and simplicity. Two languages that have gained significant attention in recent years are Rust and Python, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Rust, the systems programming language, has been touted as a game-changer for its memory safety guarantees and blistering performance.
On the other hand, Python has long been a favorite among developers for its ease of use, flexibility, and extensive libraries. But which language is better?
In this head-to-head comparison, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of Rust and Python, examining their performance, security features, and ease of use to help you decide which language is best suited for your next project.

Python Vs Rust – Benchmarks and Performance Comparison

When it comes to comparing the languages, Rust and Python, speed is perhaps the most important factor. Rust, being a statically typed language, is known for its blazing-fast performance, thanks to its ability to compile code directly to machine code. This means that Rust programs can run at speeds comparable to C and C++, making it an ideal choice for applications that require raw speed, such as operating systems, file systems, and other system programming tasks.

On the other hand, Python, as an interpreted language, is inherently slower due to the overhead of runtime type checking and interpretation. However, Python’s speed can be improved through the use of Just-In-Time (JIT) compilers, such as PyPy, which can optimize performance-critical code paths.

The results show a clear advantage for Rust in terms of speed for generating the Mandelbrot set. Here’s a breakdown of some relevant data points:

  • Rust: All Rust entries have execution times under 5 seconds (shown in the CPU secs column). The fastest Rust entry completes in roughly 3.73 seconds.
  • Python: All Python 3 entries have significantly slower execution times compared to Rust. The fastest Python entry takes 10 minutes, which is over 160 times slower than the fastest Rust.

However, it’s worth noting that this test alone is not indicative of all scenarios. There are some scenarios in which Python is better. Plus, Python’s speed can be improved through the use of optimized libraries and frameworks, such as NumPy and Pandas, which provide optimized implementations of common algorithms and data structures.

Winner: Rust

How Rust and Python Handle Memory Management

When it comes to memory safety, Rust and Python take drastically different approaches.


  • Python, being a high-level language, relies on automatic memory management through its garbage collector. This means that Python developers don’t need to worry about manually allocating and deallocating memory, which can be a significant productivity booster.
  • However, this convenience comes at a cost. Python’s garbage collector can introduce performance overhead, leading to slower execution times and increased latency.


  • Rust takes a more hands-on approach to memory management. By using a concept called ownership, Rust ensures that memory is allocated and deallocated explicitly, eliminating the need for a garbage collector.
  • This approach provides several benefits, including improved performance, reduced latency, and enhanced security.
  • With Rust, developers have full control over memory allocation, which can lead to more efficient and optimized code.

However, Rust’s added control comes with a steep learning curve. Rust’s ownership model requires developers to carefully manage memory, which can be error-prone and time-consuming. In contrast, Python’s automatic memory management makes it easier for developers to focus on writing code without worrying about the underlying memory management.

When it comes to memory safety, Rust’s explicit memory management approach provides a significant advantage. By eliminating the risk of null pointer dereferences and data races, Rust reduces the likelihood of memory-related security vulnerabilities. In contrast, Python’s reliance on garbage collection can lead to security vulnerabilities, such as use-after-free attacks.

Winner: Rust

Which Language is More Secure?

When it comes to security, both Rust and Python have their strengths and weaknesses. Rust, with its focus on memory safety and compile-time checks, is designed to prevent common errors that can lead to security vulnerabilities. This makes Rust a more secure language by default, as it eliminates entire classes of errors that can be exploited by attackers. Additionally, Rust’s ownership model and borrow checker ensure that resources are properly managed and released, reducing the risk of memory leaks and other security issues.

On the other hand, Python’s dynamic nature and reliance on runtime checks make it more vulnerable to certain types of attacks. Python’s memory management is handled by the garbage collector, which can lead to security issues if not properly configured. Furthermore, Python’s vast array of libraries and frameworks can introduce additional security risks, as third-party code can potentially introduce vulnerabilities. However, Python’s large and active community, along with its mature security ecosystem, has led to the development of advanced security tools and best practices, such as secure coding guidelines and vulnerability scanning tools.

Winner: Draw

Syntax and Simplicity Comparison

When it comes to syntax and simplicity, both Rust and Python have their strengths and weaknesses. Python, known for its readability and ease of use, boasts a syntax that is often described as “executable pseudocode”. With a focus on whitespace and concise syntax, Python code is often easy to write and understand, even for developers without extensive experience. For example, a simple “Hello, World!” program in Python requires only a single line of code: `print(“Hello, World!”)`.

On the other hand, Rust’s syntax is more verbose, with a focus on memory safety and performance. While this can make it more challenging to learn and use, especially for beginners, it also provides a level of explicitness and control that can be beneficial for systems programming. A “Hello, World!” program in Rust, for instance, requires a bit more boilerplate code:

fn main()
println!("Hello, World!");

In terms of simplicity, Python’s dynamic typing and built-in support for high-level data structures like lists and dictionaries make it a great choice for rapid prototyping and development. Rust, on the other hand, requires more manual memory management and explicit type annotations, which can make it more difficult to get started with, but also provide a level of control and performance that is hard to match.

Winner: Python

Which Language Handles Errors Better?

Rust provides a robust set of tools to handle errors. The `Result` type and `?` operator, for instance, allow developers to elegantly handle errors concisely and expressively. This approach ensures that errors are not swept under the rug, and programmers are forced to confront and address them explicitly.

On the other hand, Python takes a more lenient and forgiving approach to error handling. Python’s philosophy is centered around ease of use and rapid development, which sometimes means that errors are not always explicitly handled. While Python does provide a `try`-`except` block for error handling, it’s not as strict as Rust’s approach, and errors can often be masked or ignored. This can lead to issues down the line, but it also allows for quicker prototyping and development.

Winner: Python

Which Language is Faster to Develop With?


With Python, you can quickly prototype and test ideas, making it an ideal choice for

  • proof-of-concepts
  • minimum viable products (MVPs)
  • agile development environments.

Python’s syntax is also designed to be easy to read and write, which reduces the time spent on debugging and maintenance. Additionally, Python’s vast collection of libraries and frameworks, such as NumPy, pandas, and sci kit learn, provide pre-built functionality for various tasks, further accelerating development.


On the other hand, Rust requires a steeper learning curve, especially for developers without prior experience with systems programming languages. While Rust’s borrow checker and compile-time evaluation can help prevent errors and ensure memory safety, they also introduce additional complexity that can slow down development. However, once you’ve overcome the initial learning curve, Rust’s performance benefits and compile-time guarantees can lead to faster development cycles in the long run.

Winner: Python

PyO3 – Combining The Best Of Both Worlds

Python and Rust don’t have to compete in all regards. Pyo3 is a real-life example of that. It stands for Python bindings for Rust and allows you to do two main things:

  1. Create Python extensions in Rust

You can write Rust code that interacts with Python code. This lets you leverage Rust’s performance and features within Python applications. For example, you could create a computationally expensive function in Rust and call it from Python scripts.

  1. Run Python code from Rust

Pyo3 allows your Rust program to interact with the Python interpreter. You can import Python modules, call Python functions, and access Python objects from your Rust code. This can be helpful for tasks like scripting automation or integrating with existing Python libraries.

There are a lot of advantages to using this library too:

  1. Improved Performance

You can significantly speed up Python applications by writing performance-critical parts in Rust and using Pyo3 to integrate them with Python.

  1. Code Reusability

Share Rust code between Python and other languages that have bindings for Pyo3.

  1. Interoperability

Combine the strengths of both languages in a single project.

Despite the initial learning curve, Pyo3 allows developers to bring these languages together by seamlessly integrating them.


If you are looking to learn more about these languages, then you should check out the Rust GitHub and the Python Docs. They will allow you to start with these languages and create applications that take speed, reliability, and security into account. There are stark differences between Rust and Python and we hope that this blog helped you understand them better.

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