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dart2native

Use the dart2native command to AOT (ahead-of-time) compile a Dart program to native x64 machine code. The dart2native command is supported on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

The output of dart2native is either a standalone executable (the default) or an AOT snapshot that you can run with the dartaotruntime command. A standalone executable is native machine code that’s compiled from the specified Dart file and its dependencies, plus a small Dart runtime that handles type checking and garbage collection.

An AOT snapshot doesn’t include the Dart runtime. Consider using snapshots if you’re distributing multiple programs and disk space is limited.

Creating standalone executables

Here’s an example of using dart2native to create a standalone executable:

$ dart2native bin/main.dart -o bin/my_app

You can distribute and run that executable like you would any other executable file:

$ cp bin/my_app .
$ ./my_app

Creating AOT snapshots

To create an AOT snapshot, add -k aot to the command:

$ dart2native bin/main.dart -k aot

You can then run the app using the dartaotruntime command:

$ dartaotruntime bin/main.aot

Known limitations

The initial (Dart 2.6) version of dart2native has some known limitations:

No cross-compilation support (issue 28617)
The compiler supports creating machine code only for the operating system it’s running on. You need to run the compiler three times — on macOS, Windows, and Linux — to create executables for all three operating systems. A workaround is to use a CI (continuous integration) provider that supports all three operating systems.
No signing support (issue 39106)
The format of the executables isn’t compatible with standard signing tools such as codesign and SignTool.
No support for dart:mirrors and dart:developer
The code compiled by dart2native can use all of the other libraries that the Dart VM supports. For a complete list of the core libraries you can use, see the All and AOT entries in the table of core Dart libraries.

Options

The first argument to dart2native is the path to the main Dart file:

dart2native <main-dart-file> [<options>]

You can use the following options:

-D <key>=<value> or --define=<key>=<value>
Defines an environment variable. To specify multiple variables, use multiple options or use commas to separate key-value pairs.
--enable-asserts
Enables assert statements.
-h or --help
Displays help for all options.
-k (aot|exe) or --output-kind=(aot|exe)
Specifies the output type, where exe is the default (a standalone executable). To generate an AOT snapshot, use -k aot.
-o <path> or --output=<path>
Generates the output into <path>. If you don’t use this option, the output goes into a file next to the main Dart file. Standalone executables have the suffix .exe, by default; the AOT snapshot suffix is .aot.
-p <path> or --packages=<path>
Specifies the path to the package resolution configuration file. For more information, see Package Resolution Configuration File.
-v or --verbose
Displays more information.

dart2aot

Releases before Dart 2.6 contained a tool named dart2aot that produced AOT snapshots. The dart2native command replaces dart2aot and has a superset of the dart2aot functionality.