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A compiler for ARM, X86, MSP430, xtensa and more implemented in pure Python

Project description

The PPCI (Pure Python Compiler Infrastructure) project is a compiler written entirely in the Python programming language. It contains front-ends for various programming languages as well as machine code generation functionality. With this library you can generate (working!) machine code using Python (and thus very easy to explore, extend, etc.)!

The project contains:

  • Language frontends for C, Python, Pascal, Basic and Brainfuck

  • Code generation for several architectures: 6500, arm, avr, m68k, microblaze, msp430, openrisc, risc-v, stm8, x86_64, xtensa

  • Command line utilities, such as ppci-cc, ppci-ld and ppci-opt

  • WebAssembly, JVM, OCaml support

  • Support for ELF, EXE, S-record and hexfile formats

  • An intermediate representation (IR) which can be serialized in json

  • The project can be used as a library so you can script the compilation process


Since the compiler is a python package, you can install it with pip:

$ pip install ppci


An example of commandline usage:

$ cd examples/linux64/hello-make
$ ppci-cc -c -O1 -o hello.o hello.c
$ ppci-ld --entry main --layout linux64.ld hello.o -o hello
$ ./hello
Hello, World!

API example to compile C code:

>>> import io
>>> from ppci.api import cc, link
>>> source_file = io.StringIO("""
...  int printf(char* fmt) { }
...  void main() {
...     printf("Hello world!\n");
...  }
... """)
>>> obj = cc(source_file, 'arm')
>>> obj = link([obj])

Example how to assemble some assembly code:

>>> import io
>>> from ppci.api import asm
>>> source_file = io.StringIO("""section code
... pop rbx
... push r10
... mov rdi, 42""")
>>> obj = asm(source_file, 'x86_64')
>>> obj.get_section('code').data

Example of the low level api usage:

>>> from ppci.arch.x86_64 import instructions, registers
>>> i = instructions.Pop(registers.rbx)
>>> i.encode()


  • Command line utilities:
  • Can be used with tools like make or other build tools.

  • Language support:
    • C

    • Pascal

    • Python

    • Basic

    • Brainfuck

    • C3 (PPCI’s own systems language, intended to address some pitfalls of C)

  • CPU support:
    • 6500, arm, avr, m68k, microblaze, msp430, openrisc, risc-v, stm8, x86_64, xtensa

  • Support for:
    • WebAssembly

    • JVM

    • OCaml bytecode

    • LLVM IR

    • DWARF debugging format

  • File formats:
    • ELF files

    • COFF PE (EXE) files

    • hex files

    • S-record files

  • Uses well known human-readable and machine-processable formats like JSON and XML as its tools’ formats.


Documentation can be found here:

You can try out PPCI at, a site which offers Web access to various compilers:

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