What is Coccinelle?

Coccinelle is a program matching and transformation engine which provides the language SmPL (Semantic Patch Language) for specifying desired matches and transformations in C code. Coccinelle was initially targeted towards performing collateral evolutions in Linux. Such evolutions comprise the changes that are needed in client code in response to evolutions in library APIs, and may include modifications such as renaming a function, adding a function argument whose value is somehow context-dependent, and reorganizing a data structure. Beyond collateral evolutions, Coccinelle is successfully used (by us and others) for finding and fixing bugs in systems code.


The development of Coccinelle has been supported in the past by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France) under the contracts ANR-09-BLAN-0158-01 and ANR-05-BLAN-0383, the Danish Research Council for Technology and Production Sciences, and INRIA via the cooperative research initiative ARC VeriTLA+.


Coccinelle semantic patches are available in the "scripts" directory of Linux.

A gallery of example semantic patches is available at http://coccinellery.org.

We would like to thank the Linux Foundation, Collabora, and Google Summer of Code for supporting internships that has helped to improve Coccinelle and the associated infrastructure.

Last modified: 12/03/2024 -
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