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Assembly Language Programming under Mac OS X

  1. Dec 23, 2012 #1
    I want to start with assembly language programming after some years with C, cause I think it's a good way to learn how a computer actually works.

    But how I can compile assembly code under Mac OS X?

    I went to a library, and I had found out that many books are outdated, and no book covers assembly language concerning Mac OS X.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2012 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Hey Agisch and welcome to the forums.

    Can you outline your architecture for your system (since this is important for picking an assembler program)?
  4. Dec 23, 2012 #3


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    Homework Helper

    XCode includes an assembler (as), but I'm not sure what's required to assemble and debug code using XCode. Here's a wiki link, but you should do a web search for "XCode assenbler" to get more information on how to use it, and howto use it with OS X. Assuming the C compiler has an assembly output option, you could write some code in C that makes basic OS X calls such as file I/O and look at the assembly code produced by the C compiler.

  5. Dec 24, 2012 #4
    My system specifications:

    MacBook Pro
    15-inch, Mid 2012

    Processor 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7
    Memory 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 512 MB
    Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5 (11G63)
  6. Dec 24, 2012 #5


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    Given you have an Intel then any x86 64 (or x86 32 if 32-bit size words) will do the trick.

    When you do assembler routines you need to make sure the calling convention is correct. Here is a look at it from Apple:


    Basically this ensures stuff is passed directly between different environments and its a critical thing when using assembly code in conjunction with say C++ or something else.

    As for the actual assembler, I did a google search and I got this:

    This document here mentions NASM which is a common assembly program.


    Read the docs for how to set the platform information (word size, operating system, calling conventions, etc) and you'll be good to go.

    Also check out how you can link object modules compiled with NASM with your other dev tools if you are linking to compiled libraries, dynamic libraries, executables or other code objects.
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