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Frama-C logo, full.png
Developer(s)Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (CEA-List) and Inria
Written inOCaml
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X
Available inEnglish
TypeFormal verification, Static code analysis
Licensemostly LGPL, some parts under BSD licenses

Frama-C[1] stands for Framework for Modular Analysis of C programs. Frama-C is a set of interoperable program analyzers for C programs. Frama-C has been developed by Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique et aux Énergies Alternatives (CEA-List)[2] and Inria. Frama-C, as a static analyzer, inspects programs without executing them. Despite its name, the software is not related to the French project Framasoft.


Frama-C has a modular plugin architecture[3] comparable to that of Eclipse (software) or GIMP.

Frama-C relies on CIL (C Intermediate Language) to generate an abstract syntax tree. The abstract syntax tree supports annotations written in ANSI/ISO C Specification Language (ACSL).

Several modules can manipulate the abstract syntax tree to add ANSI/ISO C Specification Language (ACSL) annotations. Among frequently used[vague] plugins are:

  • Value analysis – computes a value or a set of possible values for each variable in a program. This plugin uses abstract interpretation techniques and many other plugins make use of its results.
  • Jessie – verifies properties in a deductive manner. Jessie relies on the Why[4] or Why3 back-end to enable proof obligations to be sent to automatic theorem provers like Z3, Simplify, Alt-Ergo or interactive theorem provers like Coq or Why. Using Jessie, an implementation of bubble-sort or a toy e-voting system can be proved to satisfy their respective specifications. It uses a separation memory model inspired by separation logic.
  • WP (Weakest Precondition) – similar to Jessie, verifies properties in a deductive manner. Unlike Jessie, it focuses on parameterization with regards to the memory model. WP is designed to cooperate with other Frama-C plugins such as the value analysis plug-in, unlike Jessie that compiles the C program directly into the Why language. WP can optionally use the Why3 platform to invoke many other automated and interactive provers.
  • Impact analysis – highlights the impacts of a modification in the C source code.
  • Slicing – enables slicing of a program. It enables generation of a smaller new C program that preserves some given properties.[5]
  • Spare code – removes useless code from a C program.

Other plugins are:

  • Dominators – computes dominators and postdominators of statements.
  • From analysis – computes functional dependencies.


Frama-C can be used for the following purposes:

  • To understand C code which you have not written. In particular, Frama-C enables one to observe a set of values, slice the program into shorter programs, and navigate in the program.
  • To prove formal properties on the code. Using specifications written in ANSI/ISO C Specification Language enables it to ensure properties of the code for any possible behavior. Frama-C handles floating point numbers.[6]
  • To enforce coding standards or code conventions on C source code, by means of custom plugin(s)[7]
  • To instrument C code against some security flaws[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Frama-C". Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  2. ^ CEA LIST. "CEA LIST, Smart digital systems". Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  3. ^ Pascal Cuoq; et al. "Experience report: OCaml for an industrial-strength static analysis framework". Proceedings of the 14th ACM SIGPLAN international conference on Functional programming.
  4. ^ "Why homepage".
  5. ^ Benjamin Monate; Julien Signoles (2008). "Slicing for Security of Code". Trusted Computing - Challenges and Applications. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 4968/2008. ISBN 978-3-540-68978-2.
  6. ^ Sylvie Boldo; Thi Minh Tuyen Nguyen (2010). "Hardware-independent proofs of numerical programs" (PDF). Proceedings of NFM 2010.
  7. ^ David Delmas; Stéphane Duprat; Victoria Moya Lamiel; Julien Signoles. "Taster, a Frama-C plug-in to enforce Coding Standards" (PDF). Embedded Real Time Software and Systems 2010, Toulouse, France.
  8. ^ Jonathan-Christofer Demay; Éric Totel; Frédéric Tronel (2009). "Automatic Software Instrumentation for the Detection of Non-control-data Attacks". Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 5758/2009.

External links[edit]