String Length Function in NASM

In certain situations when I want to print some string to stdout we need the length for the write syscall in linux. So we can’t always depend on the $-string macro, which is valid for a defined string.

We use the REPNE (REPeat while Not Equal) instruction which will loop as long as CX != 0. Along with REPNE we use SCASB (scan byte string). It compares the content of the accumulator (AL, AX, or EAX) against the current value pointed at by ES:[EDI]. In the end we calculate the difference between offsets of the scanned string (EDI) and the original string (EBX) to find the length.

_strlen:
push ebx
push ecx
mov ebx, edi
xor al, al
mov ecx, 0xffffffff
repne scasb ; REPeat while Not Equal [edi] != al
sub edi, ebx ; length = offset of (edi - ebx)
mov eax, edi
pop ebx
pop ecx
ret

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