Zenroom - crypto language VM

software by Dyne.org

Zenroom is a brand new, small and portable virtual machine for cryptographic operations. The Zenroom VM has no external dependencies, is smaller than 2MB, runs in even less memory and is ready for experimental use on many target platforms: desktop, embedded, mobile, cloud and browsers (webassembly).

Zencode is the name of the language executed by Zenroom: it is simple to understand and can process large data structures while operating cryptographic transformations on them. Zencode is a Domain Specific Language whose design is informed by pilot use-cases in DECODE.

Latest stable release is 0.6.0:


Zenroom is software in ALPHA stage and is part of the DECODE project about data commons and technological sovereignty. Our effort is that of improving people's awareness of how their data is processed by algorithms, as well facilitate the work of developers to create along privacy by design principles.

DECODE project

This software aims to make it easy and less error-prone to write portable scripts using end-to-end encryption inside isolated environments that can be easily made interoperable. Basic crypto functions provided include primitives to manage a/symmetric keys, key derivation, hashing and signing functionalities.

Zenroom is software inspired by the language-theoretical security research, it allows to expresses cryptographic operations in a readable scripting language that has no access to the calling process, underlying operating system or filesystem.

No more Turing Completion!

Zenroom's restricted execution environment is a sort of sandbox whose parser is based on LUA's syntax-direct translation and has coarse-grained control of computations and memory. The Zenroom VM is designed to "brittle" and exit execution returning a meaningful message on any error.

Zenroom's documentation and examples are being written to encourage a declarative approach to scripting, providing functional tools to manipulate efficiently even complex data structures.

Full Recognition Before Processing!

The main use case for Zenroom is that of distributed computing of untrusted code where advanced cryptographic functions are required, for instance it can be used as a distributed ledger implementation (also known as blockchain smart contracts).

Project funded by the European Commission

This project is receiving funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement nr. 732546 (DECODE).


Copyright (C) 2017-2018 by Dyne.org foundation, Amsterdam

Designed, written and maintained by Denis "Jaromil" Roio.

With contributions by Ivan J., Puria Nafisi Azizi, Jordi Coscolla, Christian Espinoza, Enrico Zimuel and Daniele Lacamera.

Special thanks to Francesca Bria for leading the DECODE project and to George Danezis, Ola Bini, Mark de Villiers, Alberto Sonnino and Richard Stallman for their expert reviews.

This software includes software components by: R. Ierusalimschy, W. Celes and L.H. de Figueiredo (lua), Mike Scott and Kealan McCusker (milagro-crypto-c), Ralph Hempel (umm_malloc), Mark Pulford (lua-cjson), Daan Sprenkels (randombytes)

Lua extensions written and documented by: Roland Yonaba (moses), Enrique García Cota (inspect), Sebastian Schoener (schema), Kyle Conroy (finite state machine), Scott Lembcke (debugger)

Licensed under the terms of the GNU Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Source code contained in the full Zenroom build is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License").

We are committed to contribute our code to communities and societies adopting it as free and open source, according to the Free Software Foundation guidelines and GNU artisanal traditions. Here is our Contributor License Agreement.

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License.