Frequently Asked Questions

What is this?

This is the Decompiler Explorer! It is an interactive online decompiler which shows equivalent C-like output of decompiled programs from many popular decompilers. It's meant to be the reverse of the amazing Compiler Explorer.

What is a decompiler?

A decompiler does the opposite of a compiler! It takes binaries and turns them back into source code (with varying degreees of success depending on the compiler, compiler settings, language, architecture, complexity, and many other factors).

Who made it?

Vector 35, the developers of Binary Ninja (one of the decompilers used on the site), created an internal original prototype which eventually became this thanks to input from the community and some additional inspiration from tools like mdec. Decompiler Explorer is now a fully open source project available on GitHub.

The current iteration is meant to be a community maintained tool and as such, contributions are welcome. More details are available on an introductory blog post.

What is in it?

The following decompilers are currently a part of the Decompiler Explorer:

What happens to the binaries?

All submitted binaries are saved and made available to any of the authors of the tools used so they may improve their decompilers. If you're such an author who would like access, let us know!.

Can I run my own version of this site?

Not publicly with all tools. You may not run your own public version and include any of the commercial tools. This public service is being run with the express permission of the commercial entities involved and they do not intend for other public versions of this website to be run as they are not compatible with the relevent EULAs/licenses.

Note that private instances may or may not be compatible depending on the type of license you have. The safest thing to do is to check with the vendors in question if you wish to run an internal service to verify your services complies with the terms of the license, or only use the open-source services.

In particular, third-parties running their own copy will run afoul of the specific license limitations on time-sharing services and derivative works in Binary Ninja and IDA Pro respectively.

Vector 35 has custom "headless" licenses for Binary Ninja that may be used for longer-term internal deployments (contact them for more info).

Where is the code?

The Decompiler Explorer is completely open source and can be found at GitHub.

How is it being hosted?

Vector 35 and Hex-Rays jointly sponsor the hosting on Digital Ocean as a community service.

Specifically, the infrastructure includes:

  • 1 x "basic" dual-core, 4GB RAM web-front-end -- note that "basic" doesn't specify the exact CPU specs
  • 4 x "basic" quad-core, 8GB RAM worker instances (sometimes scales temporarily to 8 depending on load)
How can I contribute?

Please submit a pull request to the main GitHub repository. Thanks!