j-mueller / llvm-hs

Haskell bindings for LLVM

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llvm-hs - Haskell bindings for LLVM

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This project aims to provide a relatively complete set of bindings for the LLVM API. If you find that anything is missing please open an issue! We generally try to stay close to the LLVM C++-API so you can consult the LLVM documentation and reuse existing resources.

Getting started

If you’ve worked with LLVM before, take a look at the examples in the llvm-hs-examples repo. If not, you can find a translation of the official LLVM tutorial at https://github.com/llvm-hs/llvm-hs-kaleidoscope. There is also a blog series on writing a C compiler with the library. In general, we try to stay very close to the API and AST provided by LLVM itself, so the LLVM language reference is also very useful.


We love all kinds of contributions so feel free to open issues for missing LLVM features, report & fix bugs or report API inconveniences.

Installing LLVM

LLVM 12 is still not fully released, and as such is unavailable in most package managers. For now, the only reliable way to obtain the binaries is to build it form source, following the instructions below.

Building from source

Example of building LLVM from source. Detailed build instructions are available on the LLVM.org website here. CMake 3.4.3 and a recent C++ compiler are required, at least Clang 3.1, GCC 4.8, or Visual Studio 2015 (Update 3).

  1. Download and unpack the LLVM source code:

    git clone https://github.com/llvm/llvm-project -b release/12.x --single-branch
    cd llvm-project
  2. Create a temporary build directory and cd to it, for example:

    mkdir build && cd build
  3. Execute the following to configure the build. Here, INSTALL_PREFIX is where LLVM is to be installed, for example /usr/local:


    See options and variables for a list of additional build parameters you can specify (we especially recommend the ninja build system).

  4. Build and install:

    cmake --build .
    cmake --build . --target install


Trying to represent the version of LLVM in the version number but also allowing for version bumps in the bindings themselves while respecting the PVP can be tricky. Luckily LLVM is switching to a new versioning scheme of major.0.patch starting from version 4.0. This means that we can use the last two components for these bindings while the first component indicates the version of LLVM. A special case are the versions 3.major.minor that represent bindings to LLVM 3.9. Bindings to earlier versions are not provided.

How is this related to llvm-general?

This project is a fork of the venerable llvm-general that aims to improve the public release story, and better provide the interfaces needed for any Haskell project looking to leverage LLVM. Contributions are encouraged.


A IRBuilder, starting out as a thin reinterpretation of the C++ IRBuilder inside of a Haskell State monad. Goal is to eliminate a lot of boilerplate around the most common uses of llvm-hs as a compiler backend.

Example LLVM module that adds two numbers:

; ModuleID = 'exampleModule'

define external ccc i32 @add(i32 %a, i32 %b){
  %0 = add i32 %a, %b
  ret i32 %0
{-# LANGUAGE OverloadedStrings #-}
{-# LANGUAGE RecursiveDo #-}

import Data.Text.Lazy.IO as T

import LLVM.Pretty  -- from the llvm-hs-pretty package
import LLVM.AST hiding (function)
import LLVM.AST.Type as AST
import qualified LLVM.AST.Float as F
import qualified LLVM.AST.Constant as C

import LLVM.IRBuilder.Module
import LLVM.IRBuilder.Monad
import LLVM.IRBuilder.Instruction

simple :: IO ()
simple = T.putStrLn $ ppllvm $ buildModule "exampleModule" $ mdo

  function "add" [(i32, "a"), (i32, "b")] i32 $ \[a, b] -> mdo

    entry <- block `named` "entry"; do
      c <- add a b
      ret c
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Haskell bindings for LLVM


Language:LLVM 98.8%Language:Haskell 1.0%Language:C++ 0.1%Language:C 0.0%Language:Nix 0.0%