asm statement has the following syntax:
asm asm-qualifiers ( AssemblerInstructions )
asm keyword is a GNU extension. When writing code that can be compiled with -ansi and the various -std options, use
__asm__ instead of
asm (see Alternate Keywords).
volatile qualifier has no effect. All basic
asm blocks are implicitly volatile.
If you use the
inline qualifier, then for inlining purposes the size of the
asm statement is taken as the smallest size possible (see Size of an asm).
This is a literal string that specifies the assembler code. The string can contain any instructions recognized by the assembler, including directives. GCC does not parse the assembler instructions themselves and does not know what they mean or even whether they are valid assembler input.
You may place multiple assembler instructions together in a single
asm string, separated by the characters normally used in assembly code for the system. A combination that works in most places is a newline to break the line, plus a tab character (written as ‘\n\t’). Some assemblers allow semicolons as a line separator. However, note that some assembler dialects use semicolons to start a comment.
asm (see Extended Asm) typically produces smaller, safer, and more efficient code, and in most cases it is a better solution than basic
asm. However, there are two situations where only basic
asm can be used:
asmstatements have to be inside a C function, so to write inline assembly language at file scope (“top-level”), outside of C functions, you must use basic
asm. You can use this technique to emit assembler directives, define assembly language macros that can be invoked elsewhere in the file, or write entire functions in assembly language. Basic
asmstatements outside of functions may not use any qualifiers.
nakedattribute also require basic
asm(see Function Attributes).
Safely accessing C data and calling functions from basic
asm is more complex than it may appear. To access C data, it is better to use extended
Do not expect a sequence of
asm statements to remain perfectly consecutive after compilation. If certain instructions need to remain consecutive in the output, put them in a single multi-instruction
asm statement. Note that GCC’s optimizers can move
asm statements relative to other code, including across jumps.
asm statements may not perform jumps into other
asm statements. GCC does not know about these jumps, and therefore cannot take account of them when deciding how to optimize. Jumps from
asm to C labels are only supported in extended
Under certain circumstances, GCC may duplicate (or remove duplicates of) your assembly code when optimizing. This can lead to unexpected duplicate symbol errors during compilation if your assembly code defines symbols or labels.
Warning: The C standards do not specify semantics for
asm, making it a potential source of incompatibilities between compilers. These incompatibilities may not produce compiler warnings/errors.
GCC does not parse basic
asm’s AssemblerInstructions, which means there is no way to communicate to the compiler what is happening inside them. GCC has no visibility of symbols in the
asm and may discard them as unreferenced. It also does not know about side effects of the assembler code, such as modifications to memory or registers. Unlike some compilers, GCC assumes that no changes to general purpose registers occur. This assumption may change in a future release.
To avoid complications from future changes to the semantics and the compatibility issues between compilers, consider replacing basic
asm with extended
asm. See How to convert from basic asm to extended asm for information about how to perform this conversion.
The compiler copies the assembler instructions in a basic
asm verbatim to the assembly language output file, without processing dialects or any of the ‘%’ operators that are available with extended
asm. This results in minor differences between basic
asm strings and extended
asm templates. For example, to refer to registers you might use ‘%eax’ in basic
asm and ‘%%eax’ in extended
On targets such as x86 that support multiple assembler dialects, all basic
asm blocks use the assembler dialect specified by the -masm command-line option (see x86 Options). Basic
asm provides no mechanism to provide different assembler strings for different dialects.
asm with non-empty assembler string GCC assumes the assembler block does not change any general purpose registers, but it may read or write any globally accessible variable.
Here is an example of basic
asm for i386:
/* Note that this code will not compile with -masm=intel */ #define DebugBreak() asm("int $3")