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Rusalka Virtual Machine

The Rusalka VM is a small personal project of mine to implement a fairly simple register-based process virtual machine.

Rusalka is implemented in C++11. Currently, it supports

  • Executing a limited instruction set

  • Loading and executing Rusalka bytecode [1]

  • Importing host functions into the VM

  • Exporting VM functions as callable C++ objects

  • Working with typed values [2]

  • Keeping concurrent threads of execution per VM process [3]

Once the Rusalka language is fleshed out and implemented on top of the Rusalka VM, there will likely be more to say about what it does and does not support, but for now it’s a fairly bare-bones virtual machine. The upside is that it’s fairly easy to produce bytecode for or to compile to Rusalka assembly.

In all likelihood, Rusalka assembly will be abandoned as a core part of the VM, as it’s only in there for testing at the moment and building an assembler into the VM probably isn’t a great use of resources.

Finally, if you want to read a lot of very dry writing about Rusalka’s design and implementation, see my blog post over on Spifftastic: [4]


If you want to contribute to Rusalka’s development, it’s simplest to create a patch and submit it via a pull request on Rusalka’s GitHub repository. Please include a decent explanation of your changes to help folks read them (i.e., walk me through why you made the change, what it does, etc.).


The Rusalka VM is licensed under the Boost Software License, Version 1.0. The license can be read in full in the accompanying LICENSE_1_0.txt file or at

1. Assembled via asm2bc.
2. Specifically uint64_t, int64_t, and double.
3. Not yet thread-safe for the host process.
4. One large difference between the blog post and the current state of Rusalka is that values are no longer strictly 64-bit floats, but are typed as integers, floats, and other data types depending on the value and the result type of an instruction.


The Rusalka Virtual Machine (old C++11 implementation). (Migrated to





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