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Analysing the Compiler Output

It is often useful to look at the assembly code generated by the compiler. The generated binary, i.e., the output of solc --bin contract.sol, is generally difficult to read. It is recommended to use the flag --asm to analyse the assembly output. Even for large contracts, looking at a visual diff of the assembly before and after a change is often very enlightening.

Consider the following contract (named, say contract.sol):

// SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-3.0
pragma solidity >=0.5.0 <0.9.0;
contract C {
    function one() public pure returns (uint) {
        return 1;
    }
}

The following would be the output of solc --asm contract.sol

======= contract.sol:C =======
EVM assembly:
    /* "contract.sol":0:86  contract C {... */
  mstore(0x40, 0x80)
  callvalue
  dup1
  iszero
  tag_1
  jumpi
  0x00
  dup1
  revert
tag_1:
  pop
  dataSize(sub_0)
  dup1
  dataOffset(sub_0)
  0x00
  codecopy
  0x00
  return
stop

sub_0: assembly {
        /* "contract.sol":0:86  contract C {... */
      mstore(0x40, 0x80)
      callvalue
      dup1
      iszero
      tag_1
      jumpi
      0x00
      dup1
      revert
    tag_1:
      pop
      jumpi(tag_2, lt(calldatasize, 0x04))
      shr(0xe0, calldataload(0x00))
      dup1
      0x901717d1
      eq
      tag_3
      jumpi
    tag_2:
      0x00
      dup1
      revert
        /* "contract.sol":17:84  function one() public pure returns (uint) {... */
    tag_3:
      tag_4
      tag_5
      jump  // in
    tag_4:
      mload(0x40)
      tag_6
      swap2
      swap1
      tag_7
      jump  // in
    tag_6:
      mload(0x40)
      dup1
      swap2
      sub
      swap1
      return
    tag_5:
        /* "contract.sol":53:57  uint */
      0x00
        /* "contract.sol":76:77  1 */
      0x01
        /* "contract.sol":69:77  return 1 */
      swap1
      pop
        /* "contract.sol":17:84  function one() public pure returns (uint) {... */
      swap1
      jump  // out
        /* "#utility.yul":7:125   */
    tag_10:
        /* "#utility.yul":94:118   */
      tag_12
        /* "#utility.yul":112:117   */
      dup2
        /* "#utility.yul":94:118   */
      tag_13
      jump  // in
    tag_12:
        /* "#utility.yul":89:92   */
      dup3
        /* "#utility.yul":82:119   */
      mstore
        /* "#utility.yul":72:125   */
      pop
      pop
      jump  // out
        /* "#utility.yul":131:353   */
    tag_7:
      0x00
        /* "#utility.yul":262:264   */
      0x20
        /* "#utility.yul":251:260   */
      dup3
        /* "#utility.yul":247:265   */
      add
        /* "#utility.yul":239:265   */
      swap1
      pop
        /* "#utility.yul":275:346   */
      tag_15
        /* "#utility.yul":343:344   */
      0x00
        /* "#utility.yul":332:341   */
      dup4
        /* "#utility.yul":328:345   */
      add
        /* "#utility.yul":319:325   */
      dup5
        /* "#utility.yul":275:346   */
      tag_10
      jump  // in
    tag_15:
        /* "#utility.yul":229:353   */
      swap3
      swap2
      pop
      pop
      jump  // out
        /* "#utility.yul":359:436   */
    tag_13:
      0x00
        /* "#utility.yul":425:430   */
      dup2
        /* "#utility.yul":414:430   */
      swap1
      pop
        /* "#utility.yul":404:436   */
      swap2
      swap1
      pop
      jump  // out

    auxdata: 0xa2646970667358221220a5874f19737ddd4c5d77ace1619e5160c67b3d4bedac75fce908fed32d98899864736f6c637827302e382e342d646576656c6f702e323032312e332e33302b636f6d6d69742e65613065363933380058
}

Alternatively, the above output can also be obtained from Remix, under the option “Compilation Details” after compiling a contract.

Notice that the asm output starts with the creation / constructor code. The deploy code is provided as part of the sub object (in the above example, it is part of the sub-object sub_0). The auxdata field corresponds to the contract metadata. The comments in the assembly output point to the source location. Note that #utility.yul is an internally generated file of utility functions that can be obtained using the flags --combined-json generated-sources,generated-sources-runtime.

Similarly, the optimized assembly can be obtained with the command: solc --optimize --asm contract.sol. Often times, it is interesting to see if two different sources in Solidity result in the same optimized code. For example, to see if the expressions (a * b) / ca * b / c generates the same bytecode. This can be easily done by taking a diff of the corresponding assembly output, after potentially stripping comments that reference the source locations.

注解

The --asm output is not designed to be machine readable. Therefore, there may be breaking changes on the output between minor versions of solc.

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