a brainfuck compiler written in brainfuck
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Awib is a brainfuck compiler entirely written in brainfuck.

  • Awib implements several optimization strategies and its compiled output outperforms that of many other brainfuck compilers
  • Awib is itself a 4-language polyglot and can be run/compiled as brainfuck, Tcl, C and bash
  • Awib has 6 separate backends and is capable of compiling brainfuck source code to Linux executables (i386) and five programming languages: C, Tcl, Go, Ruby and Java


Feed awib brainfuck source code as input and the compiled program will be written as output.

Awib is a cross-compiler. The supported target platforms are listed below. By default, the target "lang_c" is chosen.

To specify a target platform, insert a line on the form "@TARGET" (without the quotation marks and with "TARGET" suitably replaced) at the very beginning of the source code you wish to compile. Awib will then produce output accordingly.

386_linux - Linux executables for i386
lang_c    - C code
lang_ruby - Ruby code
lang_go   - Go code
lang_tcl  - Tcl code
lang_java - Java code

For instance, the following input would produce an executable hello world-program for Linux:


The following would produce a hello world-program in Ruby:


And this file would give you the hello world-program in C:



Awib is an optimizing compiler:

  • Sequences of '-','>','<' and '+' are contracted into single instructions. E.g. "----" is replaced with a single SUB(4).
  • Mutually cancelling instructions are reduced. E.g. "+++-->><" is equivalent to "+>" and is compiled accordingly.
  • Some common constructs are identified and replaced with single instructions. E.g. "[-]" is compiled into a single SET(0).
  • Loops known to never be entered are removed. This is the case for loops opened at the very beginning of a program (when all cells are 0) and loops opened immediately after the closing of another loop.
  • Copy and multiplication loops are replaced with constant time operations. E.g. "[->>+++<+<]" is compiled into two RMUL(2, 3), RMUL(1,1)), SET(0)..


Awib will run smoothly in any brainfuck environment where:

  • Cells are 8-bit or larger
  • The read instruction ',' (comma) issued after end of input results in 0 being written OR -1 being written OR no change being made to the cell at all.

The vast majority of brainfuck environments meet these criteria.

Since awib is polyglot, it is also possible to compile and/or run awib directly as C, tcl or bash. For instance, using gcc, the following will build an executable file called awib from awib-0.2.b.

$ cp awib-0.2.b awib-0.2.c
$ gcc awib-0.2.c -o awib.tmp
$ ./awib.tmp < awib-0.2.b > awib-0.2.c
$ gcc -O2 awib-0.2.c -o awib

Using bash works fine, but is very very very slow:

$ (echo "@386_linux"; cat awib.b) | bash awib.b > awib
$ chmod +x awib

And tcl:

$ (echo "@386_linux"; cat awib.b) | tclsh awib.b > awib
$ chmod +x awib


Code compiled with awib will execute in an environment where:

  • Cells are 8-bit wrapping integers.
  • Issuing the read instruction ',' (comma) after end of input results in the current cell being left as is (no-change on EOF).
  • At least 2^16-1 = 65535 cells are available.
  • Operating beyond the available memory, in either direction, results in undefined behaviour.


This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.

Mats Linander, 2014-09-14