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Build Status

For now you'll probably just want to read over the notes and instruction set.

Getting started

Hivm uses the Rake build tool which should be available with most Ruby installations or through Rubygems (via [sudo] gem install rake). Hivm also depends on a few other open-source libraries:

  • LLVM around version 3.5: Compiler infrastructure used in the JIT compiler
  • GNOME GLib version 2.*: Common C application library
  • Lua version 5.1: Used by the debugger

On Mac OS X these should be easily-installed via Homebrew:

brew install glib llvm lua51

You can then build the project by invoking Rake:

git clone
cd hivm
rake # Will build the library, headers, and so forth
rake -T # Will show a list of all available tasks

The Manifesto

Virtual machines have become a new layer of abstraction between the programmer and the machine their code runs on. The ecosystem of virtual machines is growing and the machines themselves are becoming increasingly more complex. Furthermore, virtual machines have almost always been closely bound to their "native tongue": the language they were originally designed to execute. Running "non-native" languages on these machines is cumbersome and often incurs a penalty in performance and/or functionality.

The Hivm project aims to overcome these and provide a new, better virtual machine for the execution of static, dynamic, and hybrid languages:

  1. No native tongue: Hivm instead provides a solid, dependable, performant base for implementing languages.
  2. Minimize complexity: bootstrapping a language, interacting with the machine, writing platform-native extensions, and the like should not be hard.
  3. Maximize usable performance: the machine will not only perform well but also provide easy-to-use and powerful tools and APIs for understanding and optimizing how it performs.


Licensed under the Mozilla Public License Version 2.0. See LICENSE for details.