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An alternative backend for the PureScript programming language that targets C.


PureScript is a high-level, statically typed, functionally pure programming language that enables various backends using its intermediate representation of elaborated programs.

PureC provides a backend that transpiles to the C programming language, thus enabling native, ahead-of-time compilation of PureScript programs. With a dead simple FFI to C, performance critical sections can easily be implemented outside of PureScript when the need arises.

For an example of how PureC could be used, take a look at purec-uv, a project implementing both purescript-aff and bindings to libuv on top of PureC.


  • Write native programs in PureScript
  • Simple FFI to C
  • Generates readable, human- and machine-debuggable C
  • Simple and efficient reference counted GC
  • Opt-in tracing GC (Boehm–Demers–Weiser garbage collector)


  • Scrap your node.js
  • Write small, easy to distribute command line utilities
  • No JS parsing, instant start up times, native performance


These instructions will get you a copy of the project up and running on your local machine for development and testing purposes.

For now, the default makefiles use the clang compiler toolchain. So either install clang (if not installed already), or open a PR adding support for other compilers.


PureC is written in PureScript and currently not self-hoisting; A full node.js runtime is required. With node.js installed (any recent version will work) install the node.js dependencies to build purec.js: npm install.

Additionally, we require

  • make
  • libcmocka-dev
  • valgrind

Build the purec utility

Run npm run build to build the purec.js utility.

Running the tests

npm t


Please read for details on our code of conduct, and the process for submitting pull requests to us.


This project is alpha quality and will likely remain alpha quality for a while. That means for now there's one version, and that's origin/HEAD.


See also the list of contributors who participated in this project.


This project is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE file for details


  • uthash - A hash table for C structures
  • vec - A type-safe dynamic array implementation for C
  • ccan - The C Code Archive Network
  • purescript-native - An experimental C++11/native compiler backend for PureScript