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A program to emit a tiny .NET binary program printing Hello World to the standard output. Blog post:
using System.Text;
using AsmResolver;
using AsmResolver.DotNet;
using AsmResolver.DotNet.Builder.Metadata.Blob;
using AsmResolver.DotNet.Builder.Metadata.Strings;
using AsmResolver.DotNet.Code.Cil;
using AsmResolver.DotNet.Signatures;
using AsmResolver.IO;
using AsmResolver.PE;
using AsmResolver.PE.DotNet.Builder;
using AsmResolver.PE.Code;
using AsmResolver.PE.DotNet;
using AsmResolver.PE.DotNet.Cil;
using AsmResolver.PE.DotNet.Metadata;
using AsmResolver.PE.DotNet.Metadata.Tables;
using AsmResolver.PE.DotNet.Metadata.Tables.Rows;
using AsmResolver.PE.File;
using AsmResolver.PE.File.Headers;
using static AsmResolver.PE.DotNet.Cil.CilOpCodes;
namespace TinySharp;
internal static class Program
public static void Main()
var module = new ModuleDefinition("Dummy");
// Segment containing our string to print.
var segment = new DataSegment(Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes("Hello, World!\0"));
// Initialize a new PE image and set up some default values.
var image = new PEImage
ImageBase = 0x00000000004e0000, // Pick some random image base we will have our module be loaded at.
PEKind = OptionalHeaderMagic.PE64, // Force PE64 to avoid import directory.
MachineType = MachineType.Amd64 // PE64 needs 64-bit arch.
// Ensure PE is loaded at the provided image base.
image.DllCharacteristics &= ~DllCharacteristics.DynamicBase;
// Create new metadata streams.
var tablesStream = new TablesStream();
var blobStreamBuffer = new BlobStreamBuffer();
var stringsStreamBuffer = new StringsStreamBuffer();
// Add empty module row.
// Add container type def for our main function (<Module>).
tablesStream.GetTable<TypeDefinitionRow>().Add(new TypeDefinitionRow(
0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1
var methodTable = tablesStream.GetTable<MethodDefinitionRow>();
// Add puts method.
methodTable.Add(new MethodDefinitionRow(
MethodAttributes.Static | MethodAttributes.PInvokeImpl,
blobStreamBuffer.GetBlobIndex(new DummyProvider(),
MethodSignature.CreateStatic(module.CorLibTypeFactory.Void, module.CorLibTypeFactory.IntPtr), ThrowErrorListener.Instance),
// Add main method calling puts.
using var codeStream = new MemoryStream();
var assembler = new CilAssembler(new BinaryStreamWriter(codeStream), new CilOperandBuilder(new OriginalMetadataTokenProvider(null), ThrowErrorListener.Instance));
assembler.WriteInstruction(new CilInstruction(Ldc_I4, 0x12345678)); // To be replaced with the address to the string to print (applied with a patch below).
assembler.WriteInstruction(new CilInstruction(Call, new MetadataToken(TableIndex.Method, 1)));
assembler.WriteInstruction(new CilInstruction(Ret));
var body = new CilRawTinyMethodBody(codeStream.ToArray())
.Patch(2, AddressFixupType.Absolute32BitAddress, new Symbol(segment.ToReference(0x1b0))); // +0x1B0 is necessary due to a bug in AsmResolver 5.3.0. This won't be necessary in 5.4.0.
methodTable.Add(new MethodDefinitionRow(
blobStreamBuffer.GetBlobIndex(new DummyProvider(),
MethodSignature.CreateStatic(module.CorLibTypeFactory.Void), ThrowErrorListener.Instance),
// Add urctbase module reference
tablesStream.GetTable<ModuleReferenceRow>().Add(new ModuleReferenceRow(stringsStreamBuffer.GetStringIndex("ucrtbase")));
// Add P/Invoke metadata to the puts method.
tablesStream.GetTable<ImplementationMapRow>().Add(new ImplementationMapRow(
tablesStream.GetIndexEncoder(CodedIndex.MemberForwarded).EncodeToken(new MetadataToken(TableIndex.Method, 1)),
// Define assembly manifest.
tablesStream.GetTable<AssemblyDefinitionRow>().Add(new AssemblyDefinitionRow(
1, 0, 0, 0,
stringsStreamBuffer.GetStringIndex("puts"), // The CLR does not allow for assemblies with a null name. Reuse the name "puts" to safe space.
// Add all .NET metadata to the PE image.
image.DotNetDirectory = new DotNetDirectory
EntryPoint = new MetadataToken(TableIndex.Method, 2),
Metadata = new Metadata
VersionString = "v4.0.", // Needs the "." at the end. (original: v4.0.30319)
Streams =
// Assemble PE file.
var file = new MyBuilder().CreateFile(image);
// Put string to print in the padding data.
file.ExtraSectionData = segment;
// Write to disk.
internal class DummyProvider : ITypeCodedIndexProvider
public uint GetTypeDefOrRefIndex(ITypeDefOrRef type) => throw new NotImplementedException();
public class MyBuilder : ManagedPEFileBuilder
protected override PESection CreateTextSection(IPEImage image, ManagedPEBuilderContext context)
// We override this method to only have it emit the bare minimum .text section.
var methodTable = context.DotNetSegment.DotNetDirectory.Metadata?
for (uint rid = 1; rid <= methodTable.Count; rid++)
ref var methodRow = ref methodTable.GetRowRef(rid);
var bodySegment = methodRow.Body.IsBounded
? methodRow.Body.GetSegment()
: null;
if (bodySegment is not null)
context.DotNetSegment.MethodBodyTable.AddNativeBody(bodySegment, 4);
methodRow.Body = bodySegment.ToReference();
return new PESection(".text",
SectionFlags.ContentCode | SectionFlags.MemoryExecute | SectionFlags.MemoryRead,
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JefferyPlante commented Jul 12, 2023

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