Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

Ordo v0.4.0

Symmetric Cryptography Library

This is the github repository for Ordo, a minimalist cryptography library with an emphasis on symmetric cryptography, which strives to meet high performance, portability, and security standards, while remaining modular in design to facilitate adding new features and maintaining existing ones. The library is written in standard C with system-specific features, but some sections are assembly-optimized for efficiency. Note that while the library is technically usable at this point, it is still very much a work in progress and mustn't be deployed in security-sensitive applications.


Build Status

What's new in 0.4.0:

  • replaced primitive query system with much better limit API

What's new in 0.3.4:

  • added HKDF, SHA-1
  • all hash functions now have a fixed, immutable output length, which simplifies code and reduces the likelihood of overflow or underflow (in exchange, HKDF can be used to stretch insufficiently large hash outputs in a safe and generic fashion - DRBG's are probably next on the list)
  • improved some of the hash function code, particularly the padding implementation
  • restored HMAC to apply hash parameters to the inner hash (result of the above)
  • added a prim_default() function to get default primitives
  • added some unit tests for a few modules (work in progress)
  • simplified the library implementation a bit
  • fixed a few bugs


  • work on tests (!)
  • go over build system

Feature Map

This table doesn't include every single feature but gives a high level overview of what is available so far:

Block Ciphers Stream Ciphers Hash Functions Modes Authentication Key Derivation Misc
Threefish-256 - SHA-1 CBC - HKDF Curve25519
  •         | -              | SHA-256        | OFB   | -              | -              | -
  •         | -              | Skein-256      | CFB   | -              | -              | -
  •         | -              | -              | CTR   | -              | -              | -


Ordo is documented for Doxygen, and you can automatically generate all documentation by using the doc build target, if deemed available on your system (you will need doxygen, and pdflatex with a working TeX environment for the LaTeX output). The HTML documentation will be generated in doc/html, and the LaTeX documentation will be generated in doc/latex, which you can then typeset using the generated makefile.

You can also access a recent version of the documentation online through the project page.

How To Build

We support recent versions of MSVC, GCC, ICC (Linux only), MinGW, and Clang. Other compilers are not officially supported. The build system used is CMake, which has a few configuration options to tweak the library according to your needs. A build folder is provided for you to point CMake to. Python (2.7 or 3.3 or similar) is also required.

  • LTO: use link-time optimization, this should be enabled for optimal performance.
  • ARCH: the architecture to use, pick the one most appropriate for your hardware.
  • NATIVE: tune the build for the current hardware (e.g. -march for GCC).
  • COMPAT: remove some advanced compiler settings for older compiler versions (for GCC only, if this is enabled LTO and NATIVE have no effect)

Note the system is autodetected and automatically included in the build. Additional options, such as the use of special hardware instructions, may become available once an architecture is selected, if they are supported. Link-time optimization may not be available on older compilers (it will let you know). For the Intel compiler (ICC) with native optimization, architecture autodetection is not available - pass the appropriate architecture in ICC_TARGET (e.g. -DICC_TARGET=SSE4.2).

If you are not using the cmake-gui utility, the command-line options to configure the library are:

cd build && cmake .. [-DARCH=arch] [[-DFEATURE=on] ...] [-DLTO=off] [-DNATIVE=off] [-DCOMPAT=on]

For instance, a typical configuration for x86_64 machines with the AES-NI instructions could be:

cd build && cmake .. -DARCH=amd64 -DAES_NI=on

The test driver and sample programs are located in the extra folder.

Assembly Support

We use the NASM assembler for our assembly files. For Linux and other Unix-based operating systems this should work out of the box after installing the assembler. For MSVC on Windows using the Visual Studio generators, custom build rules have been set up to autodetect NASM and get it to automatically compile assembly files, but they have not been tested (and may not necessarily work) for all versions of Visual Studio.

Static Linking

If you wish to link statically to the library, please define the ORDO_STATIC_LIB preprocessor token in your project so that the Ordo headers can configure themselves accordingly (otherwise, they will assume you are linking to a shared library, which may raise some unwelcome compiler warnings as well as forbidding access to the internal headers).


The library will run everywhere a near-C89 compiler (i.e. with stdint.h and long long support) is available, however system-dependent modules will not be available without an implementation for these platforms. For better performance, specialized algorithm implementations may be available for your system and processor architecture.


Of course, do not use Ordo for anything other than testing or contributing for now! It can only be used once it has been completed and extensively checked (and even then, there may still be flaws and bugs, as in any other software).


Symmetric Cryptography Library




No releases published


No packages published