An Ethereum VM implementation

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import ethereumjsVm from '';



NPM Package Actions Status Code Coverage Gitter


Implements Ethereum's VM in Javascript.

Fork Support

The VM currently supports the following hardfork rules:

  • Byzantium
  • Constantinople
  • Petersburg (default)
  • Istanbul
  • MuirGlacier (only mainnet and ropsten)

If you are still looking for a Spurious Dragon compatible version of this library install the latest of the 2.2.x series (see Changelog).

MuirGlacier Hardfork Support

An Ethereum test suite compliant MuirGlacier HF implementation is available since the v4.1.3 VM release. You can activate a MuirGlacier VM by using the muirGlacier hardfork option flag.

Note: The original v4.1.2 release contains a critical bug preventing the MuirGlacier VM to work properly and there is the need to update.

Istanbul Harfork Support

An Ethereum test suite compliant Istanbul HF implementation is available since the v4.1.1 VM release. You can activate an Istanbul VM by using the istanbul hardfork option flag.

Supported Istanbul EIPs:


npm install ethereumjs-vm


const BN = require('bn.js')
var VM = require('ethereumjs-vm').default

// Create a new VM instance
// For explicity setting the HF use e.g. `new VM({ hardfork: 'petersburg' })`
const vm = new VM()

const STOP = '00'
const ADD = '01'
const PUSH1 = '60'

// Note that numbers added are hex values, so '20' would be '32' as decimal e.g.
const code = [PUSH1, '03', PUSH1, '05', ADD, STOP]

vm.on('step', function(data) {
  console.log(`Opcode: ${}\tStack: ${data.stack}`)

  code: Buffer.from(code.join(''), 'hex'),
  gasLimit: new BN(0xffff),
  .then(results => {
    console.log('Returned : ' + results.returnValue.toString('hex'))
    console.log('gasUsed  : ' + results.gasUsed.toString())
  .catch(err => console.log('Error    : ' + err))


This projects contain the following examples:

  1. ./examples/run-blockchain: Loads tests data, including accounts and blocks, and runs all of them in the VM.
  2. ./examples/run-code-browser: Show how to use this library in a browser.
  3. ./examples/run-solidity-contract: Compiles a Solidity contract, and calls constant and non-constant functions.
  4. ./examples/run-transactions-complete: Runs a contract-deployment transaction and then calls one of its functions.
  5. ./examples/decode-opcodes: Decodes a binary EVM program into its opcodes.

All of the examples have their own explaining how to run them.


To build the VM for standalone use in the browser, see: Running the VM in a browser.



For documentation on VM instantiation, exposed API and emitted events see generated API docs.


The API for the StateManager is currently in Beta, separate documentation can be found here, see also release notes from the v2.5.0 VM release for details on the StateManager rewrite.

Internal Structure

The VM processes state changes at many levels.

  • runBlockchain
    • for every block, runBlock
  • runBlock
    • for every tx, runTx
    • pay miner and uncles
  • runTx
    • check sender balance
    • check sender nonce
    • runCall
    • transfer gas charges
  • runCall
    • checkpoint state
    • transfer value
    • load code
    • runCode
    • materialize created contracts
    • revert or commit checkpoint
  • runCode
    • iterate over code
    • run op codes
    • track gas usage
  • OpFns
    • run individual op code
    • modify stack
    • modify memory
    • calculate fee

The opFns for CREATE, CALL, and CALLCODE call back up to runCall.

VM's tracing events

You can subscribe to the following events of the VM:

  • beforeBlock: Emits a Block right before running it.
  • afterBlock: Emits RunBlockResult right after running a block.
  • beforeTx: Emits a Transaction right before running it.
  • afterTx: Emits a RunTxResult right after running a transaction.
  • beforeMessage: Emits a Message right after running it.
  • afterMessage: Emits an EVMResult right after running a message.
  • step: Emits an InterpreterStep right before running an EVM step.
  • newContract: Emits a NewContractEvent right before creating a contract. This event contains the deployment code, not the deployed code, as the creation message may not return such a code.

Asynchronous event handlers

You can perform asynchronous operations from within an event handler and prevent the VM to keep running until they finish.

In order to do that, your event handler has to accept two arguments. The first one will be the event object, and the second one a function. The VM won't continue until you call this function.

If an exception is passed to that function, or thrown from within the handler or a function called by it, the exception will bubble into the VM and interrupt it, possibly corrupting its state. It's strongly recommended not to do that.

Synchronous event handlers

If you want to perform synchronous operations, you don't need to receive a function as the handler's second argument, nor call it.

Note that if your event handler receives multiple arguments, the second one will be the continuation function, and it must be called.

If an exception is thrown from withing the handler or a function called by it, the exception will bubble into the VM and interrupt it, possibly corrupting its state. It's strongly recommended not to throw from withing event handlers.


Developer documentation - currently mainly with information on testing and debugging - can be found here.


See our organizational documentation for an introduction to EthereumJS as well as information on current standards and best practices.

If you want to join for work or do improvements on the libraries have a look at our contribution guidelines.