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Add a build flag MALLOC_IMPL that can be set to dlmalloc or none
(defaulting to dlmalloc) which controls the malloc implementation to
use. The dlmalloc option is the same as before, but selecting none
removes dlmalloc from the libc build.

This flag replaces the BUILD_DLMALLOC flag, which never worked and thus
can be removed without breaking any builds. By switching to MALLOC_IMPL,
there is a clear path towards a different heap implementation, such as

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WASI Libc is a libc for WebAssembly programs built on top of WASI system calls. It provides a wide array of POSIX-compatible C APIs, including support for standard I/O, file I/O, filesystem manipulation, memory management, time, string, environment variables, program startup, and many other APIs.

WASI Libc is sufficiently stable and usable for many purposes, as most of the POSIX-compatible APIs are stable, though it is continuing to evolve to better align with wasm and WASI.


The easiest way to get started with this is to use wasi-sdk, which includes a build of WASI Libc in its sysroot.

Building from source

To build a WASI sysroot from source, obtain a WebAssembly-supporting C compiler (currently this is only clang 8+, though we'd like to support other compilers as well), and then run:

make WASM_CC=/path/to/clang/with/wasm/support \
     WASM_AR=/path/to/llvm-ar \

This makes a directory called "sysroot", by default. See the top of the Makefile for customization options.

To use the sysroot, use the --sysroot= option:

/path/to/wasm/supporting/c/compiler --sysroot=/path/to/the/newly/built/sysroot ...

to run the compiler using the newly built sysroot.

Note that Clang packages typically don't include cross-compiled builds of compiler-rt, libcxx, or libcxxabi, for libclang_rt.builtins-wasm32.a, libc++.a, or libc++abi.a, respectively, so they may not be usable without extra setup. This is one of the things wasi-sdk simplifies, as it includes cross-compiled builds of compiler-rt, libc++.a, and libc++abi.a.

Arch Linux AUR package

For Arch Linux users, there's an unofficial AUR package tracking this git repo that can be installed under the name wasi-libc-git.