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Build and Test Status of ASN1SCC on Circle CI

For the impatient: if you already know what ASN.1 and ASN1SCC is, and just want to run the ASN1SCC compiler:

docker pull ttsiodras/asn1scc
docker run -it ttsiodras/asn1scc

...and follow the instructions shown.

Executive summary

This is the source code of the ASN1SCC compiler - an ASN.1 compiler that targets C and Ada, while placing specific emphasis on embedded systems. You can read a comprehensive paper about it here (PDF), or a blog post with hands-on examples here. Suffice to say, if you are developing for embedded systems, it will probably interest you.


Ιnstall the Java JRE

First, install the Java JRE. This is a compile-time only dependency, required to execute ANTLR.

Install .Net Core SDK

Install the .Net core sdk. and then exexcute dotnet build Antlr/ dotnet build "asn1scc.sln" and the compiler will be built.

Under Windows, you can also open open asn1scc.sln and build the asn1scc project (right-click/build)

Run the tests - if you want to:

cd v4Tests

Note that in order to run the tests you need both GCC and GNAT. The tests will process hundreds of ASN.1 grammars, generate C and Ada source code, compile it, run it, and check the coverage results.

Continuous integration and Docker image

ASN1SCC is setup to use CircleCI for continuous integration. Upon every commit or merge request, we instruct CircleCI to...

  • create on the fly a Docker image based on Debian Stretch
  • build ASN1SCC with the new code inside that image
  • then run all the tests and check the coverage results.

In addition, a runtime docker image can be build with the following command which can then be used instead of installing ASN1SCC on the host (or any of the dependencies or build tools).

DOCKER_BUILDKIT=1 docker build -t asn1scc-runtime -f Dockerfile.asn1scc-runtime .

...and your Docker will build an "asn1scc-runtime" Docker image. This image can be used as if the ASN1SCC is installed on the host system. The bash script can be used to wrap the docker run ... call into a easy to use compiler command. For example, let's assume your ASN.1 files are in a folder as /tmp/myasnfiles/. You can use this script file like calling asn1.exe file as if it is on your host system. The ASN1SCC will be executed inside a docker container and the generated files will appear in the folder where the script was called. Assuming that the ASN.1 file is named sample.asn, here is a sample call of the script ( script is inside /opt/asn1scc folder and the docker image named asn1scc-runtime is already built.)

$ pwd
$ cat sample.asn 

Message ::= SEQUENCE {
    msgId INTEGER,
    myflag INTEGER,
    value REAL,
    szDescription OCTET STRING (SIZE(10)),
    isReady BOOLEAN

$ /opt/asn1scc/ -c -uPER sample.asn
$ ls 
acn.c  asn1crt.c  asn1crt.h  real.c  sample.asn  sample.c  sample.h

As can be seen above, the host does not have the ASN1SCC installation, but only the asn1scc-runtime docker image.


The compiler has many features - documented in Chapter 10 of the TASTE manual, and you can see some simple usage examples in a related blog post.

You can also check out the official TASTE project site.


George Mamais (, Thanassis Tsiodras (