How compilers work


This article offered a brief look at how compilers parse and prepare source code. Keep in mind that not all compilers adhere to the approach described in this article. For example, one-pass compilers do without an internal representation of the code and generate the object code in a single pass. Also, the steps presented in this article sometimes do not occur in distinct phases but are, instead, interwoven.


  1. Compiler construction lecture notes (in German):
  2. Flex:
  3. Bison:

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Perl: Parser

    Lexers and parsers aren’t only for the long-bearded gurus. We’ll show you how you can build a parser for your own custom applications.

  • Parrot

    Parrot is an all-in-one tool for developing and executing new programming languages. Perl 6 runs on Parrot; chances are your language can run on it, too.

  • Kconfig Deep Dive

    The Kconfig configuration system makes it easy to configure and customize the Linux kernel. But how does it work? We'll take a deep dive inside Kconfig.

  • Fuzz Testing

    Fuzzing is an important method for finding bugs and security vulnerabilities in software. Read on to find out what fuzzing is and which methods are commonly used today.

  • Oil Shell

    With its innovative scripting language, Oil, the Bash-compatible Oil shell aims to make life easier for script developers.

comments powered by Disqus