Understanding Rust Error E0461: Incompatible Target Triples

Rust Error E0461 Explained

Error code E0461 occurs when two crates are compiled with incompatible target triples. A target triple consists of three fields: architecture, vendor, and operating system. For example, x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu represents a target for an x86_64 CPU, unknown vendor, and Linux with GNU ABI. When crates are compiled with different target triples, they cannot be linked together as their binaries are not compatible.

Example of Erroneous Code

#![crate_type = "lib"]

fn foo() {}
extern crate a;

fn main() {

In this example, a.rs is compiled with --target powerpc-unknown-linux-gnu, and main.rs is compiled with --target x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu. The two crates have incompatible target triples (PowerPC vs x86_64), causing the E0461 error.

Fixing Rust Error E0461

To fix Rust Error E0461, you need to ensure that the crates are compiled with the same target triple. There are two methods to achieve this:

1. Using Cargo

Cargo, the Rust package manager, can automatically handle target triples and seamlessly link crates. By using Cargo, you can avoid this error as it ensures that all crates have a consistent target triple.

2. Recompiling Crates

You can manually recompile one or both crates with a consistent target triple. Update the --target flag in the command used for compiling:

For a.rs:
$ rustc --target x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu a.rs
For main.rs:
$ rustc --target x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu --extern a main.rs

By ensuring both crates are compiled with x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu target triple, you will resolve the E0461 error.


Rust Error E0461 is caused by linking crates with incompatible target triples. To fix this error, either use Cargo to handle the target triples automatically or recompile the crates with a consistent target triple.