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Clam: LLVM front-end for Crab

Clam is an Abstract Interpretation-based static analyzer that computes inductive invariants for LLVM bitcode based on the Crab library.

This branch supports LLVM 10 but there are other branches that support newer LLVM versions.

The available documentation can be found in our wiki and Crab wiki.


You can get the latest binary from Docker Hub (nightly built) using the command:

 docker pull seahorn/clam-llvm10:nightly


Clam is written in C++ and uses heavily the Boost library. The main requirements are:

  • Modern C++ compiler supporting c++14
  • Boost >= 1.65
  • GMP
  • Python >= 3.6

In linux, you can install requirements typing the commands:

 sudo apt-get install libboost-all-dev libboost-program-options-dev
 sudo apt-get install libgmp-dev
 sudo apt-get install libmpfr-dev	


Testing infrastructure depends on several Python packages. To run tests you need to install lit and OutputCheck:

 pip3 install lit
 pip3 install OutputCheck

Compilation and installation

The basic compilation steps are:

1. mkdir build && cd build
3. cmake --build . --target llvm && cmake ..  
4. cmake --build . --target crab && cmake ..   
5. cmake --build . --target install 

The command at line 3 will download LLVM 10 and build it from sources. Thus, it might take several minutes depending on your machine. If you have already installed LLVM 10 in your machine, then add option -DLLVM_DIR=$LLVM-10_INSTALL_DIR/lib/cmake/llvm to line 2. The command at line 4 will download Crab and compile it from sources.

Clam provides two components that are installed via the extra target. These components can be used by other projects outside of Clam.

  • sea-dsa: git clone

    sea-dsa is the heap analysis used to translate LLVM memory instructions. Details can be found here and here.

  • llvm-seahorn: git clone

    llvm-seahorn provides specialized versions of InstCombine and IndVarSimplify LLVM passes as well as a LLVM pass to convert undefined values into nondeterministic calls.

The component sea-dsa is mandatory and llvm-seahorn is optional but highly recommended. To include these external components, type instead:

1. mkdir build && cd build
3. cmake --build . --target llvm && cmake .. 
4. cmake --build . --target crab && cmake .. 
5. cmake --build . --target extra && cmake ..                  
6. cmake --build . --target install 

The Boxes/Apron/Elina domains require third-party libraries. To avoid the burden to users who are not interested in those domains, the installation of the libraries is optional.

  • If you want to use the Boxes domain then add -DCRAB_USE_LDD=ON option.

  • If you want to use the Apron library domains then add -DCRAB_USE_APRON=ON option.

  • If you want to use the Elina library domains then add -DCRAB_USE_ELINA=ON option.

Important: Apron and Elina are currently not compatible so you cannot enable -DCRAB_USE_APRON=ON and -DCRAB_USE_ELINA=ON at the same time.

For instance, to install Clam with Boxes and Apron:

1. mkdir build && cd build
3. cmake --build . --target llvm && cmake ..  
4. cmake --build . --target crab && cmake ..
5. cmake --build . --target extra && cmake ..                
6. cmake --build . --target ldd && cmake ..
7. cmake --build . --target apron && cmake ..             
8. cmake --build . --target install 

For instance, lines 6 and 7 will download, compile and install the Boxes and Apron domains, respectively. If you have already compiled and installed these libraries in your machine then skip commands at line 6 and 7 and add the following options at line 2.


Checking installation

To run some regression tests:

 cmake --build . --target test-simple


Clam provides a Python script called (located at $DIR/bin where $DIR is the directory where Clam was installed) to interact with users. The simplest command is test.c. Type --help for all options and read our wiki.