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User visible changes in mruby3.1 from mruby3.0

New Features

Core Language Features

Keyword Arguments

CRuby3.0 compatible keyword arguments are introduced. Keyword arguments are basically separated from ordinal arguments.

Other Language Enhancement

Configuration Options Changed

Some configuration macros are available:

  • MRB_WORDBOX_NO_FLOAT_TRUNCATE: by default, float values are packed in the word if possible, but define this macro to allocate float values in the heap.
  • MRB_USE_RO_DATA_P_ETEXT: define this macro if _etext is available on your platform.
  • MRB_NO_DEFAULT_RO_DATA_P: define this macro to avoid using predefined mrb_ro_data_p() function

Updated Features

New build configurations

We have added several new build configurations in the build_config directory.

  • cross-mingw-winetest.rb
  • cross-mingw.rb
  • nintendo_switch.rb
  • serenity.rb
  • minimal: minimal configuration
  • host-f32: compiles with mrb_float as 32 bit float
  • host-nofloat: compiles with no float configuration
  • android_arm64_v8a.rb: renamed from android_arm64-v8a.rb

Core Libraries

New Methods

  • Array#product
  • Array#repeated_combination
  • Array#repeated_permutation
  • Kernel#__ENCODING__
  • Random.bytes
  • Random#bytes
  • String#center

New Gem Enhancement

  • mrbgems/mruby-pack now supports M directive (Q encoding)
  • mrbgems/mruby-pack now supports X directive (back-up by bytes)
  • mrbgems/mruby-pack now supports @ directive (absolute position)
  • mrbgems/mruby-pack now supports w directive (BER compression)


  • mruby-config now supports --cc and --ld options.
  • Remove OP_ prefix from mruby -v code dump output.
  • Prohibit use of OP_EXT{1,2,3} by mrbc with --no-ext-ops option.

Features for mruby Developer

  • Add new specifier c to mrb_get_args() for receive Class/Module.

Breaking Changes

Incompatibly Changed Methods

  • Kernel#printf (mruby-sprintf) Format specifiers %a and %A are removed.
  • Kernel#puts (mruby-print) Now expand Array arguments.

mruby VM and bytecode

Due to improvements in the binary format, mruby binaries are no longer backward compatible. To run the mruby binaries on mruby 3.1, recompile with the mruby 3.1 mrbc.

  • Upgrade mruby VM version RITE_VM_VER to 0300 (means mruby 3.0 or after).
  • Upgrade mruby binary version RITE_BINARY_FORMAT_VER to 0300.

Reintroduced Instructions

mruby3.0 removed OP_EXT1, OP_EXT2, OP_EXT3 for operand extension. But the operand size limitations was too tight for real-world application. mruby3.1 reintroduces those extension instructions.

Removed Instructions

mruby3.1 removed following instructions.

  • OP_LOADL16
  • OP_BLOCK16
  • OP_EXEC16

Those instructions are no longer needed by reintroduction of extension instructions.


Those instructions for method calls with variable number of arguments are no longer needed. They are covered by OP_SEND instruction with n=15.

New Instructions

mruby3.1 introduces following new instructions.

  • OP_GETIDX: takes 1 operands R[a][a+1]
  • OP_SETIDX: takes 1 operands R[a][a+1]=R[a+2]
  • OP_SSEND: takes 3 operands a=self.b(c...); see OP_SEND
  • OP_SSENDB: takes 3 operands a=self.b(c...){...}; see OP_SEND
  • OP_SYMBOL: takes 2 operands R[a] = intern(Pool[b])


Execute obj[int] and obj[int] = value respectively, where obj is string|array|hash.


They are similar to OP_SEND and OP_SENDB respectively. They initialize the R[a] by self first so that we can skip one OP_LOADSELF instruction for each call.


Extracts the character string placed in the pool as a symbol.

Changed Instructions


Method calling instructions are unified. Now OP_SEND and OP_SENDB (method call with a block) can support both splat arguments and keyword arguments as well.

The brief description of the instructions:

|OP_SEND | BBB | R[a] = R[a].call(Syms[b],R[a+1..n],R[a+n+1],R[a+n+2]..nk) c=n|nk<<4 | |OP_SENDB | BBB | R[a] = R[a].call(Syms[b],R[a+1..n],R[a+n+1..nk],R[a+n+2..nk],&R[a+n+2*nk+2]) c=n|nk<<4 |

Operand C specifies the number of arguments. Lower 4 bits (n) represents the number of ordinal arguments, and higher 4 bits (nk) represents the number of keyword arguments. When n == 15, the method takes arguments packed in an array. When nk == 15, the method takes keyword arguments are packed in a hash.


Now takes 2 operands and pushes multiple entries to an array.

Boxing Updated

Word Boxing

MRB_WORD_BOXING now packs floating-point numbers in the word, if the size of mrb_float is equal or smaller than the size of mrb_int by default. If the size of mrb_float and mrb_int are same, the last 2 bits in the mrb_float are trimmed and used as flags. If you need full precision, you need to define MRB_WORDBOX_NO_FLOAT_TRUNCATE as described above.

NaN Boxing

Previous NaN boxing packs values in NaN representation, but pointer retrievals are far more frequent than floating-point number references. So we add constant offset to NaN representation to clear higher bits of pointer representation. This representation is called "Favor Pointer" NaN Boxing.

Also, previous NaN boxing limit the size of mrb_int to 4 bytes (32 bits) to fit in NaN values. Now we allocate integer values in the heap, if the value does not fit in the 32 bit range, just like we did in Word Boxing.

Constant Folding

The code generator was updated to reduce the number of instructions, e.g.

a = 2 * 5

will be interpreted as

a = 10

In addition, we have improved peephole optimizations, for example:

GETIV R4 :@foo


GETIV R1 :@foo

String#hash now use FNV1a algorithm

For better and faster hash values.

Major bug fixes

  • Fix infinite recursive call bugs in integer division 98799aa6
  • Fix to raise TypeError with super inside instance_eval / class_eval #5476
  • Fix to call method_added hooks on method definitions; #2339
  • Fix a potential buffer overflow in time_zonename 26340a88
  • Fix Module.instance_eval bug #5528
  • Fix fix M packing bug bfe2bd49
  • Fix a bug regarding attribute assignment with kargs de2b4bd0
  • Fix SIGSEGV with mrbgems/mruby-method #5580
  • Fix print error before cleanup in codegen_error() #5603
  • Fix a bug in unpacking BER #5611
  • Fix a bug with numbered parameters as arguments #5605
  • Fix mrb_ary_shift_m initialization bug 27d1e013
  • Fix keyword argument with super #5628
  • Fix a bug with numbered parameters on toplevel 7e7f1b2f
  • Fix keyword argument bug #5632
  • Fix multiple assignments in parameters #5647
  • Fix keyword parameters not passing through super #5660
  • Fix infinite loop from unclosed here-doc #5676
  • Fix negative integer division bug #5678


Fixed CVEs

Following CVEs are fixed in this release.

Unaffected CVEs

Following CVEs do not cause problems in this release. They are fixed in the later release.