As most of you probably know, (byte-addressable) hardware memories can be divided into two categories - little-endian and big-endian. In little-endian memories the bytes are numbered starting with 0 at the little (least significant) end and in big-endian ones the other way round.

Fun fact: These terms are based on Jonathan Swift's book Gulliver's Travels where the Lilliputian king ordered his citizens to break their eggs on the little end (thus the little-endians) and the rebels would break theirs on the big end.

How swapping works

Suppose we have an unsigned integer (32bit) 12648430 in memory, in a big-endian machine that might look as follows:

  addr: 0  1  2  3
memory: 00 C0 FF EE

By inverting the byte-order we get the hexadecimal integer 0xEEFFC000 which is 4009738240 in decimal.

Your task

Write a program/function that receives an unsigned 32bit integer in decimal and outputs the resulting integer when swapping the endianness as described above.


  • Input will always be in the range 0 to 4294967295
  • Output can be printed to STDOUT (trailing newlines/spaces are fine) or returned
  • Input and output are in decimal
  • Behavior on invalid input is left undefined

Test cases

0 -> 0
1 -> 16777216
42 -> 704643072
128 -> 2147483648
12648430 -> 4009738240
16885952 -> 3232235777
704643072 -> 42
3735928559 -> 4022250974
4009738240 -> 12648430
4026531839 -> 4294967279
4294967295 -> 4294967295
  • \$\begingroup\$ For a function answer, does "input and output are in decimal" mean either a string of digit characters or array of digit values is required? Or can a function answer use its language's natural integer value representation, which in most cases has absolutely nothing to do with "decimal"? \$\endgroup\$
    – aschepler
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 18:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @aschepler The language's integer value, eg. 42 is given in decimal but technically it's in binary in C for example. You can of course type 0x2a, what I wanted to prevent is taking input as a string like "2a" or the like. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 19:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related (as this challenge is just making sure to pad to 32 bits first) \$\endgroup\$
    – FlipTack
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 13:48

35 Answers 35


K4, 18 bytes


0b/:,/8#|12 8#0b\:


  0b/:,/8#|12 8#0b\:0
  0b/:,/8#|12 8#0b\:1
  0b/:,/8#|12 8#0b\:42
  0b/:,/8#|12 8#0b\:4294967295
  0b/:,/8#|12 8#0b\:4026531839


There are no unsigned ints, so takes input as a long.

Convert into boolean array (64bits), reshape, reverse, take first 8 bytes, convert back to long.

0b/:,/8#|12 8#0b\: / the solution
              0b\: / convert to bits
         12 8#     / reshape into 12x8 grid (wraps)
        |          / reverse
      8#           / take first 8
    ,/             / flatten
0b/:               / convert to long


19 byte version in oK which you can Try online!

2/,/8#|12 8#(64#2)\

SmileBASIC, 34 bytes


RGBREAD/RGB are functions that convert between a 32-bit integer and four 8-bit values. They're designed for use with (A)RGB color data but you can use them for other things too.


Thunno 2, 9 bytes


Try it online!


ɠ⁴+ɠBḣrɠḋ  # Implicit input
ɠ⁴         # Push 256 ** 4
  +        # Add to the input
   ɠB      # Convert to base 256
     ḣ     # Remove the leading 1
      r    # Reverse the list
       ɠḋ  # Convert from base 256
           # Implicit output

x86 machine code - 11 bytes

     6 00000000 66C1C008                rol ax, 8
     7 00000004 C1C010                  rol eax, 16
     8 00000007 66C1C008                rol ax, 8

Debug it to see value of 0x00C0FFEE has been swapped to 0xeeffc000 in register eax.

% gdb -q swap
Reading symbols from swap...(no debugging symbols found)...done.
(gdb) disassemble _start
Dump of assembler code for function _start:
   0x08048060 <+0>:     mov    eax,0xc0ffee
   0x08048065 <+5>:     rol    ax,0x8
   0x08048069 <+9>:     rol    eax,0x10
   0x0804806c <+12>:    rol    ax,0x8
End of assembler dump.
(gdb) r
Starting program: /home/user/swap 

Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
0x08048070 in ?? ()
(gdb) i r $eax
eax            0xeeffc000   -285229056

Desmos, 51 48 bytes

-3 bytes thanks to @Aiden Chow!


Try it on Desmos!

Extracts each byte and adds them back in reverse order.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Just some very trivial syntax golfing can save 3 bytes: f(n)=∑_{i=0}^3mod(floor(n/256^i),256)256^{3-i} \$\endgroup\$
    – Aiden Chow
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 6:11

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