llvmpy is a Python wrapper around the llvm C++ library which allows simple access to compiler tools. It can be used for a lot of things, but here are some ideas:

  • dynamically create LLVM IR for linking with LLVM IR produced by CLANG or dragonegg
  • build machine code dynamically using LLVM execution engine
  • use together with PLY or other tokenizer and parser to write a complete compiler in Python


  1. Get and extract LLVM 3.3 (or LLVM 3.2) source tarball from llvm.org. Then, cd into the extracted directory.

  2. Run ./configure --enable-optimized --prefix=LLVM_INSTALL_PATH.

    Note: Without the --enable-optimized flag, debug build will be selected. Unless you are developing LLVM or llvmpy, it is recommended that the flag is used to reduce build time and binary size.

    Note: Use prefix to select the installation path. It is recommended to separate your custom build from the default system package. Please replace LLVM_INSTALL_PATH with your own path.

  3. Run REQUIRES_RTTI=1 make to build.

    Note: With LLVM 3.2+, the default build configuration has C++ RTTI disabled. However, llvmpy requires RTTI.

  4. Get llvm-py and install it:

    $ git clone https://github.com/llvmpy/llvmpy.git
    $ cd llvmpy
    $ LLVM_CONFIG_PATH=LLVM_INSTALL_PATH/bin/llvm-config python setup.py install

    Run the tests:

    $ python -c "import llvm; llvm.test()"
  5. See documentation at ‘http://www.llvmpy.org‘ and examples under ‘test’.