Inline Assembly Comments


I’m investigating how inline assembly is used in C projects. While doing so, I found that a number of projects include comments as part of their inline assembly snippets. The code snippet below is an example:

#include <stdint.h>

uint64_t atomic_swap_long(volatile uint64_t *p, uint64_t v) {

__asm __volatile(

“xchgq %1,%0; # atomic_swap_long”

: “+r” (v), /* 0 */

“+m” (p)); / 1 */

return v;


When compiling with GCC (gcc -O1 -S) the following code is produced for the inline assembly snippet on my system:


4 “inline-assembly-comment.c” 1

xchgq (%rdi),%rax; # atomic_swap_long

0 “” 2


With Clang 3.8 and below, an empty line is inserted instead of the comment:


xchgq %rsi, (%rdi)


With Clang 3.9 and 4.0, the newline disappeared but the comment is still not part of the assembly code.

The comment is retained on the LLVM IR level:

%5 = call i64 asm sideeffect “xchgq\09$1,$0; # atomic_swap_long”, "=r,=m,0,m,~{dirflag},~{fpsr},~{flags}"(i64 %4, i64 %3, i64 %4)

Is this intended? Should I open a bug report?

  • Manuel

Please feel free to file a bug report. Retaining the comments seems like a useful thing to do. -Hal

AFAIK we retain all assembly comments by default. I just tried this locally and it seems to work as expected with inline assembly comments should be preserved by default.

I suspect the comment does exist, but is on the next line. Currently, the trailing semicolon at the end of your instruction is interpreted as an EOL so the following comment is interpreted as a full line comment (We may want to change that). If you remove the semicolon you should find it on the same line.


I filed a bug (see

It seems the comment is swallowed (i.e., it is also not on the next line). I verified this locally and using Compiler Explorer (see Removing the trailing semicolon lets the comment appear when using Clang 4.0, but not on versions below it.

  • Manuel

It looks like godbolt’s comment filtering is removing the line if it gets placed on a separate line. The comments do appear for 4.0 and later.


Ah, okay. Locally, I only tested Clang versions up to 3.9.

Should we close the bug report? Having slightly different conventions than GCC here is probably not an issue.

  • Manuel

Seems reasonable. Some variation in comments between gcc and llvm is fundamental as the integrated assembler will not output preprocessor comments (e.g. /**/ and //) though it accepts them while gcc just passes the inline assembly string through with appropriate replacements. Some minor comment shifting should be fine.