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A framework for building tailored compiler instrumentation.


The following Passes are currently planned [ ] and implemented [x] in InstRO.


  • BooleanCompoundSelector
  • CallpathSelector
  • ConstructTraitSelector
  • ConstructElevator
  • IdentifierMatcherSelector
  • ProgramEntrySelector


  • DefaultInstrumentationAdapter
  • ConstructPrinterAdapter

Rose only Implementations

  • RoseFunctionWrapper (Transformer)
  • RoseUniqueCallpathTransformer
  • RoseStrategyBasedAdapter

Building InstRO


We use the following version of compilers and libraries for building InstRO and ROSE.

Build Steps

Install the required dependencies. We highly recommend to use our InstRO/InstRO-ROSE fork as we added functionality and fixes that are not merged back to the original repository (yet).

$ ./make-config
>> generates the configure script
$ ./configure --with-boost=/PATH/TO/BOOST/BASE --with-rose=/PATH/TO/ROSE/BASE \
  [--with-rapidjson=/PATH/TO/RAPIDJSON/BASE] [--enable-examples] [--prefix=path/to/where/install][--with-scorep=yes]
>> generates the Makefiles
$ make

Optionally you can build and run the tests (requires Python) and install InstRO.

$ make check
>> builds and runs the test suite
$ make install
>> installs the binaries to the given prefix

InstRO comes with an examples directory, which includes some show-cases. In order to build these examples invoke configure with the additional --enable-examples flag. Building with examples enabled gives you a show-case target example-run.

$ make example-run
>> Applies an example InstRO instrumentation tool to a sample target application

The JSON configuration feature requires the optional flag --with-rapidjson.

InstRO is able to instrument with a specialized Score-P adapter. If you are planning to use this functionality it is recommended to also enable the tests using --with-scorep=yes. InstRO assumes that scorep can be found in your PATH variable.


Documentation may be generated from the source code and all readme files via Doxygen. Navigate into the docs subdirectory and type make:

cd docs/

Testing InstRO

Run make check in the top level build directory. For more information please consult the README in the test directory.

Building with Clang

Support for building the InstRO framework with the Clang compiler infrastructure is currently work in progress.


  • CMake >= 3.4.3
  • Clang 3.9 (enabled exceptions and RTTI)
  • Boost 1.60

Build steps

At least in our environment the following steps are sufficient. However, as noted building with Clang is work in progress.

$ mkdir build && cd build
>> We want to build out-of-tree
$ cmake ../repo
>> Generating the Makefiles
$ make

Using InstRO

InstRO includes a few examples which demonstrate some of its components. These examples can be found in either $(builddir)/examples or, if InstRO has been installed, in $(installdir)/bin. When installed, invoking an example is as easy as changing into the bin directory and invoking an example translator on a source file.

$ ./RoseInstrumentor myInputFile.cpp

The above command will create a simple a.out file, just like GCC would do. Running the transformed program may require adding $(installdir)/lib to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable of the system.

Using InstRO with a measurement library

InstRO has two implementations of the InstRO Measurement Interface. The default library (libimi) does not provide any measurement functionality and is implemented using empty function bodies. In addition, a test support library is provided, which does generate console output of the construct identifier for enter/exits.

Command line interface

In order to change the library implementation that InstRO should link the transformed program with, the following command line arguments are accepted:

--instro-library-path tells the translator which directory it should add to the search list in order to find the desired library.

--instro-library-name tells the translator which library it should link. Note: Expects solely the library name without the preceeding lib or succeeding .so.

--instro-include tells the translator where to look for headers which need to be included to declare inserted function signatures. This is only sensible to change if an adapter does not use the InstRO Measurement Interface functions.

Thus, an invocation of a translator in the install directory, which uses the provided support library, is as follows:

$ ./RoseInstrumentor --instro-library-path=../lib --instro-library-name=InstRO_rtsupport myTarget.cpp

Please note that the $(installdir)/include directory is used as the default value of the --instro-include flag.

JSON Configuration

InstRO is able to parse a configuration of connected passes from a JSON file using the ConfigurationLoader in the InstRO::Utility namespace if it was built with the rapidjson library. The JSON file must contain a global array of objects where each object represents a pass. Each pass object must specify the type name of the pass (without Rose or Clang specific prefixes) under the type key and a unique identifier using the id key. The inputs key may be used by a pass to specify multiple input passes via an array of pass identifiers. Passes may need additional arguments like a list of strings or a ConstructTraitType. For convenience, the ConfigInstrumentor is shipped as an example application which reads in the JSON file specified by the environment variable INSTRO_CONFIG and runs the resulting setup.

The following JSON is an example which marks occurences of printf and exit and feeds them to a ConstructRaisingElevator which outputs their file scope to a ConstructPrinterAdapter:


Contributing to InstRO

If you want to contribute to InstRO, please check the Issue page for open ToDos. If you encounter a problem while using InstRO, please also file a bug report on the Issue page.

Further, we developed a workflow on how we manage to create and close issues. In this list, we assume the issue is already present, as it is a feature request or a bug report.

  1. You assign yourself as the responsible person.
  2. In case the issue requires several sub-issues and more involved research, you create a project.
  • The name of the project is #IssueNumber Title Of The Issue.
  • You should add columns for "in-progress" and "done". If you feel like more columns are necessary, create them as well.
  • Assign the issue to the "in-progress" column.
  1. As you are responsible for the issue/project, you should check newly arising issues whether they are connected or not.
  • If they are connected, add them to the respective project.
  1. If the project and all its issues are "done", you prepend the project name with the commit-has of the last commit related to that project.
  2. You close the top-level (first) issue - to which the project name corresponds to.

Style guidelines


Filenames are generally mixed case: A file starts with an uppercase letter and then uses cammel case, e.g, PassFactory.h.

A file should be named like the class it contains. In general, we pursue a one-class-per-file policy, unless there is a very good reason for not following this guideline.

Code style

We use an indentation with only tab characters, so that users may decide to display the source code w.r.t. their personal preference (e.g. 2 vs. 4 spaces per indentation).

Namespaces are not indented. Therefore, a class definition starts at column 0.

Include guards are to correspond to the directory structure leading to the respective file. For example, a header file located at lib/include/instro/pass/foo/Foo.h has the include guard INSTRO_PASS_FOO_FOO_H.

A clang-format configuration file is included in the top level of the repository. The configuration assumes a tab width of two spaces.


Although we utilize namespaces to separate distinct entities, we still reflect this in the name of a class. For instance, a Pass which is specialized to work with ROSE would be named RosePass and put into the Rose namespace.

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