Assembler programming on the Raspberry Pi

Assembler on Pi

© Lead Image © elenabsl,

© Lead Image © elenabsl,

Article from Issue 259/2022

Talk to your Raspberry Pi in its native assembler language.

Assembler programs run directly on the computer's hardware, which means they can reach nearly the maximum achievable speed of execution. Because assembler program code is very low level, writing the code is more complicated, but it is still the best choice for some tasks, especially on a computer such as the Raspberry Pi with its limited resources. Before you can start creating programs, however, you need to plumb the depths of the CPU and peripheral architecture.

Machine Code

To begin, it makes sense to clarify some terms. The CPU only understands machine code – zeros and ones or, more precisely, voltage levels that represent zeros and ones. Each command in machine code has a human-readable abbreviation that is easy to remember. These abbreviations are known as mnemonics and act as assembler commands. Assembler code is specific to a CPU architecture, which means that code for a Raspberry Pi (ARM) will not run on a PC (x86).

Programming in assembler on the Raspberry Pi can be approached in two ways: First, you can create an image in which you package the code and then boot the small-board computer (SBC) from that image to run the program. In other words, you degrade the Raspberry Pi to a microcontroller. With this method, the Pi runs without an operating system. Although you have full access to everything, you don't even get a shell.


Use Express-Checkout link below to read the full article (PDF).

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

  • ARM64 Assembly and GPIO

    Reading, writing, and arithmetic with the Raspberry Pi in ARM64 assembly language.

  • GPIO on Linux Devices

    The general purpose input/output interface is not just for small-board computers anymore: You can use GPIO on your Linux desktop or laptop, too, through the USB port.

  • Kitchen Timer

    A simple kitchen helper with two timers assists budding chefs in coping with dishes that are unlikely to be ready at the same time.

  • Go on the Rasp Pi

    We show you how to create a Go web app that controls Raspberry Pi I/O.

  • Bash Web Server

    With one line of Bash code, you can create a Bash web server for quickly viewing the output from Bash scripts and commands.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95

Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters
Find SysAdmin Jobs