Integer arithmetic with overflow detection
Assembly C C++ Makefile
Latest commit 066586e Jan 15, 2015 @xiw add license
as suggested by Kamil Rytarowski.


libo provides a set of efficient integer arithmetic functions with overflow detection. For example, you can simply use

if (overflow_mul(&c, a, b))

to compute a * b and detect if any multiplication overflow happens. Compared to ad hoc overflow checks, which are in fact very difficult to implement correctly in C/C++, libo API is much easier to read.

The runtime overhead is minimal. Below is the implementation of overflow_mul(int *, int, int) on x86, with only one extra seto instruction.

imull   %edx, %esi
movl    %esi, (%rdi)
seto    %al

Instead of implementing these functions in assembly language for each architecture, libo is generated automatically via Clang/LLVM. See the ARCH-OS-libo.s files in the lib directory.


Include overflow.h to use the libo API.

bool overflow_add(type *, type, type);
bool overflow_sub(type *, type, type);
bool overflow_mul(type *, type, type);
bool overflow_div(type *, type, type);

libo performs signed (or unsigned) overflow checking if type is signed (or unsigned). Note that type is inferred from the first parameter.

To build libo.a, just type make in the libo directory. Currently libo supports x86_64 for Linux and Darwin by default.

Then try the example smul.c.

$ gcc -o smul smul.c libo.a
$ ./smul 123 456
123 * 456 = 56088
$ ./smul 123 45600000
123 * 45600000 = overflow!


If you need support for another target platform, invoke Clang with the target triple to generate the corresponding ARCH-OS-libo.s. See x86_64 examples in GNUmakefile. You need a copy of Clang with overflow builtins.

Sometimes you may also need to link compiler_rt.