cakeml VS CompCert

Compare cakeml vs CompCert and see what are their differences.

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cakeml CompCert
15 37
921 1,804
0.7% 2.3%
9.8 7.5
6 days ago 2 days ago
Standard ML Coq
GNU General Public License v3.0 or later GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
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For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of cakeml. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-10-11.
  • CakeML: A formally verified implementation of ML
    1 project | | 14 May 2024
  • The Deep Link Equating Math Proofs and Computer Programs
    5 projects | | 11 Oct 2023
    If I understand what you are asking about correctly, then I do think you are mistaken.

    As a sibling comment observed, you would be proving something about a program, but proving things about programs is both possible and done.

    This ranges from things like CakeML ( and CompCert (compilers with verified correctness proofs of their optimizations) to something simple like absence of runtime type errors in statically strongly soundly-typed languages.

    Of note is that you are proving properties of your program, not proving them perfect in every way. The properties of your program that you prove can vary wildly in both difficulty and usefulness. A sufficiently advanced formally verified compiler like CakeML can transfer a high-level proof about your source code to a corresponding proof about the behavior of the generated machine-executable code.

  • The future of Clang-based tooling
    3 projects | | 29 Jul 2023
    > A single IR with multiple passes is a good way to build a compiler, which is using, is largely claiming the opposite. Most passes more naturally are not "a -> a", but "a -> b". data structures and data structures work hand in hand, it is very nice to produce "evidence" for what is done in the output data structure.

    This is why, which "can't cheat" with partial functions, has so many IRs!

    Using just a single IR was historically done for cost-control, the idea being that having many IRs was a disaster in repetitive boilerplate. MLIR seeks to solve that exact problem!

  • CakeML – A Verified Implementation of ML
    1 project | | 5 Jun 2023
  • Tools for Verifying a Language and its Semantics
    1 project | /r/ProgrammingLanguages | 2 Jan 2023
    You may want to look at [CakeML]( done in HOL4, there is also a nice proof pearl about a more .. minimalistic verified bootstrapped compiler also in HOL4.
  • old languages compilers
    12 projects | /r/ProgrammingLanguages | 26 Dec 2022
  • Is there a formally-proven real-time language/computing env. or operating system?
    2 projects | /r/ProgrammingLanguages | 7 Sep 2022
    There is also Cake ML which is a formally verified functional programming language compiler and runtime.
  • CakeML: A Verified Implementation of ML
    2 projects | /r/sml | 7 Mar 2022
    There is also a CakeML -> Standard ML compiler though it seems to have been built to translate benchmarks and sort of old so I'm not sure how comprehensive it is:
  • The λ-Cube
    3 projects | | 15 Jan 2022
    > One guess is that lisps cope with being minimal through use of macros and metaprogramming, it's difficult for a typed language to support that level of metaprogramming while maintaining the various guarantees that one wants from such a system.

    Difficult, but certainly not impossible [0].


  • Two Mechanisations of WebAssembly 1.0
    2 projects | /r/ProgrammingLanguages | 3 Jan 2022
    If this interests you, I'd highly recommend checking out CompCert (docs here) and CakeML.


Posts with mentions or reviews of CompCert. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-05-15.
  • Translation of the Rust's core and alloc crates to Coq for formal verification
    3 projects | | 15 May 2024
    You can write programs in Coq and extract them in OCaml with the `Extraction' command:

    This is used by compcert:

  • Differ: Tool for testing and validating transformed programs
    6 projects | | 31 Jan 2024
    A big problem is that proving that transformations preserve semantics is very hard. Formal methods has huge potential and I believe it will be a big part of the future, but it hasn't become mainstream yet. Probably a big reason why is that right now it's simply not practical: the things you can prove are much more limited than the things you can do, and it's a lot less work to just create a large testsuite.

    Example: CompCert (, a formally-verified compiler AKA formally-verified sequence of semantics-preserving transformations from C code to Assembly. It's a great accomplishment, but few people are actually compiling their code with CompCert. Because GCC and LLVM are much faster[1], and have been used so widely that >99.9% of code is going to be compiled correctly, especially code which isn't doing anything extremely weird.

    But as articles like this show, no matter how large a testsuite there may always be bugs, tests will never provide the kind of guarantees formal verification does.

    [1] From CompCert, "Performance of the generated code is decent but not outstanding: on PowerPC, about 90% of the performance of GCC version 4 at optimization level 1"

  • So you think you know C?
    2 projects | | 20 Jan 2024
  • Can the language of proof assistants be used for general purpose programming?
    3 projects | | 27 Oct 2023
    Also a C compiler ( I did exaggerate bit in saying that anything non-trivial is "nearly impossible".

    However, both CompCert and sel4 took a few years to develop, whereas it would only take months if not weeks to make versions of both which aren't formally verified but heavily tested.

  • A Guide to Undefined Behavior in C and C++
    9 projects | | 17 Aug 2023
    From my experience, while many MCUs have settled for the big compilers (GCC and Clang), DSPs and some FPGAs (not Intel and Xilinx, those have lately settled for Clang and a combination of Clang and GCC respectively) use some pretty bespoke compilers (just running ./ --version is enough to verify this, if the compiler even offers that option). That's not necessarily bad, since many of them offer some really useful features, but error messages can be really cryptic in some cases. Also some industries require use of verified compilers, like CompCert[1], and in such cases GCC and Clang just don't cut it.


  • Recently I am having too much friction with the borrow checker... Would you recommend I rewrite the compiler in another language, or keep trying to implement it in rust?
    1 project | /r/programmingcirclejerk | 27 Apr 2023
    CompCert sends its regards
  • Rosenpass – formally verified post-quantum WireGuard
    9 projects | | 28 Feb 2023
  • OpenAI might be training its AI technology to replace some software engineers, report says
    4 projects | /r/programming | 28 Jan 2023
    But that's fine, because we can do even better with things like the CompCert C compiler, which is formally proven to produce correct asm output for ISO C 2011 source. It's designed for high-reliability, safety-critical applications; it's used for things like Airbus A380 avionics software, or control software for emergency generators at nuclear power plants. Software that's probably not overly sophisticated and doesn't need to be highly optimized, but does need to work ~100% correctly, ~100% of the time.
  • There is such thing called bugfree code.
    1 project | /r/ProgrammerHumor | 23 Dec 2022
    For context, CompCert is a formally verified compiler. My former advisor helped with a fuzzer called CSmith which found plenty of bugs in GCC and LLVM but not in CompCert.
  • Checked C
    14 projects | | 21 Dec 2022
    Does anybody know how does this compare to ?

What are some alternatives?

When comparing cakeml and CompCert you can also consider the following projects:

Daikon - Dynamic detection of likely invariants

seL4 - The seL4 microkernel

hardware - Verilog development and verification project for HOL4

coq - Coq is a formal proof management system. It provides a formal language to write mathematical definitions, executable algorithms and theorems together with an environment for semi-interactive development of machine-checked proofs.

mpl - The MaPLe compiler for efficient and scalable parallel functional programming

unbound - Replib: generic programming & Unbound: generic treatment of binders

Checker Framework - Pluggable type-checking for Java


checkedc - Checked C is an extension to C that lets programmers write C code that is guaranteed by the compiler to be type-safe. The goal is to let people easily make their existing C code type-safe and eliminate entire classes of errors. Checked C does not address use-after-free errors. This repo has a wiki for Checked C, sample code, the specification, and test code.

corn - Coq Repository at Nijmegen [maintainers=@spitters,@VincentSe]

smlpkg - Generic package manager for Standard ML libraries and programs

koika - A core language for rule-based hardware design 🦑

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