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The MiniVM Logo, a blueish grey brick (Or maybe can of tuna if you are a cat)


MiniVM is a Small but Optimizing Virtual Machine and Runtime.

It has a just-in-time compiler based on Cuik's TB.

Currently it supports Linux x86-64, FreeBSD amd64, Windows x64 and WebAssembly.

MiniVM is written in C11 with (minor GNU extensions), and builds with GCC and Clang, with TCC support not hard to patch in.


MiniVM uses GNU Make as it's build system.


You'll need

  • The MiniVM repo
    • Make sure to get the cuik submodule
      • You can use git clone --recursive
      • If you've already cloned you can use git submodule update --init
  • A C Compiler
    • GCC works
    • Clang works if you replace CC=gcc with CC=clang

Build Configs

Here's some Shell Commands to build MiniVM different ways

  • Debug - make -Bj OPT='-g'
  • For Size - make -Bj CC=gcc OPT='-s -Oz -flto -fno-asynchronous-unwind-tables -fomit-frame-pointer'
    • GCC does a better job than Clang to make tiny binaries of MiniVM.
  • For Speed - make -Bj OPT='-O3 -flto'


Here's some benchmark runs, they aren't too representative yet.

Math + Recursion

shell> ./build/bin/minivm --dump-time test/fib/fib40.lua
took: 1725.805ms

Startup Perf

shell> ./build/bin/minivm --dump-time -e 'print("hello world")'
Hello, World
took: 0.307ms