Clippy is a collection of lints to catch common mistakes in Rust code. It is an excellent tool to run on Rust code in general. It can also help with performance, because a number of the lints relate to code patterns that can cause sub-optimal performance.

Given that automated detection of problems is preferable to manual detection, the rest of this book will not mention performance problems that Clippy detects by default.


Once installed, it is easy to run:

cargo clippy

The full list of performance lints can be seen by visiting the lint list and deselecting all the lint groups except for “Perf”.

As well as making the code faster, the performance lint suggestions usually result in code that is simpler and more idiomatic, so they are worth following even for code that is not executed frequently.

Conversely, some non-performance lint suggestions can improve performance. For example, the ptr_arg style lint suggests changing various container arguments to slices, such as changing &mut Vec<T> arguments to &mut [T]. The primary motivation here is that a slice gives a more flexible API, but it may also result in faster code due to less indirection and better optimization opportunities for the compiler. Example.

Disallowing Types

In the following chapters we will see that it is sometimes worth avoiding certain standard library types in favour of alternatives that are faster. If you decide to use these alternatives, it is easy to accidentally use the standard library types in some places by mistake.

You can use Clippy’s disallowed_types lint to avoid this problem. For example, to disallow the use of the standard hash tables (for reasons explained in the Hashing section) add a clippy.toml file to your code with the following line.

disallowed-types = ["std::collections::HashMap", "std::collections::HashSet"]