Brainfuck made simple
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.gitignore Add compile commands export Jun 30, 2013
CMakeLists.txt Add JIT support with libjit May 24, 2014


SimpleBrainfuck is a swiss-army knife for brainfuck programmers.

How to use

The syntax is sbf [file] <command> [<args>] <command> [<args>] ...

If file isn't given, sbf read from stdin

For example: sbf file.sbf compile strip -v --output run -v

It is the same as sbf file.sbf compile | sbf strip -v --output | sbf run -v

SimpleBrainfuck compiler: sbf compile

Compile SimpleBrainfuck to Brainfuck


  • -o [file] or --output [file]: output the result to file. Default: none

Brainfuck compressor: sbf strip

Strip comments, compress and optimize brainfuck


  • -o [file] or --output [file]: output the result to file. Default: none
  • -v or --verbose: switch in verbose mode, display statistics about the compression. Default: off

Brainfuck fitter: sbf fit

Fit brainfuck program into an ascii-art image using the "chars" parameter specified below


  • -o [file] or --output [file]: output the result to file. Default: none
  • -i [file] or --image [file]: specify the image file
  • -c [chars] or --chars [chars]: specify the chars to replace by the brainfuck program. Default: #
  • -v or --verbose: switch in verbose mode, display statistics about the fitting. Default: off

Brainfuck interpreter: sbf run

Optimized brainfuck interpreter

With JIT enabled, it is one of the fastest brainfuck interpreter in the world. Without JIT, it is a bit faster than bff4, and a bit slower than bffsree.


  • -d [delimiter] or --delimiter [delimiter]: specify an input delimiter, as for bff4 or self-interpreters. Default: none
  • -p [number] or --positive-memory [number]: specify the amount of positive memory
  • -n [number] or --negative-memory [number]: specify the amount of negative memory
  • -c [number] or --cell-size [number]: specify the number of byte in a cell (1, 2 or 4) (only works in jit)
  • -g or --debug: switch in debugger mode
  • -j or --jit: enable jit
  • -v or --verbose: switch in verbose mode, display statistics about the optimization

Brainfuck debugger: sbf run -g

Help the debugging of brainfuck programs. Same arguments as sbf run, as the brainfuck debugger is itself an argument of sbf run.

Breakpoints are represented by the character # in your program


  • r or run: run the program and stop at the next breakpoint
  • hd [min:][max] or dump [min:][max] or hexdump [min:][max]: make a hexdump from min to max. If min is omited, suppose 0.
  • dd [min:][max] or dummydump [min:][max]: make a simple dump from min to max. In min is omited, suppose 0.
  • w [pos] or watch [pos]: tell the debugger to break if the cell at position pos is modified

SimpleBrainfuck language reference

Variable management

  • #variables(VariableWorld; variableName1; variableName2; ...) define a variable world, and their position on the memory tape
  • @VariableWorld@variableName; tell to the compiler your are at variableName in VariableWorld
  • =variableName; move to variableName in the current world


#variables(ProgDecFinal; continue; instr; zero1; zero2; input; counter)
=zero2; ++ #_ insert `>>> ++`
=instr; - #_ insert `<< -`

Macro support

  • _macroName(arg1; arg2; arg3) call macroName with arg1, arg2, arg3
  • #macro(macroName; arg1; arg2; arg3;; code) define a macro
  • #cmacro(macroName; code) define a macro written in C. You have int argc and char** argv to handle arguments. Call push to give the result


    int i;
    int nb = atoi(argv[0]);
    if(nb < 0) {
        for(i = 0; i < -nb; ++i) {
    } else {
        for(i = 0; i < nb; ++i) {

#macro(moveTo; v1; v2;;
    =v1; [=v2; + =v1; -]

#macro(copy; v1; v2; temp;;
    =v1; [=v2; + =temp; + =v1; -]
    _moveTo(temp; v1)

#variables(VarWorld; var1; var2; var3)
, _add(10) #_ Query a character and add 10 to it
_copy(var1; var2; var3) #_ Copy var1 to var2, use var3 as temporary variable


Sometimes, you want to repeat an expression. You can do it in SimpleBrainfuck, like this:

(+)10 #_ insert `++++++++++`
(>+>-)5 #_ insert `>+>->+>->+>->+>->+>-`

Comments and special characters

  • Use #_ or _# to comment the rest of the line
  • Use ## to insert a # (useful to use the debugger), and __ to insert a _


You can find a brainfuck self-interpreter made with simplebraifuck right there:


The SimpleBrainfuck language is close to brainfuck, which is complicated. Why do you call it "simple"?

You are right it should be "SimplerBrainfuck". But "Simple" is a joke, because almost every software / protocol with "simple" in their name is complicated, like SBT (Simple Build Tool) or SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol).

I get segfaults in the SimpleBrainfuck compiler!

Well, the error handling in the compiler is pretty bad, it's on the todo-list to improve it.

There are much simpler languages that compile to brainfuck, like bfcomp, ebf, and others. The SimpleBrainfuck language is not the simplest language that compiles in brainfuck.

The aim of the SimpleBrainfuck language isn't to provide a high level language, but to simplify brainfuck programming, and eliminate redundancies.