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1 .\" $Id: gxemul.1,v 1.29 2005/08/10 15:51:09 debug Exp $
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3 .\" Copyright (C) 2004-2005 Anders Gavare. All rights reserved.
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16 .\" THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND
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29 .\" This is a minimal man page for GXemul. Process this file with
30 .\" groff -man -Tascii gxemul.1 or nroff -man gxemul.1
31 .\"
32 .Dd AUGUST 2005
33 .Dt GXEMUL 1
34 .Os
35 .Sh NAME
36 .Nm gxemul
37 .Nd an experimental machine emulator
38 .Sh SYNOPSIS
39 .Nm
40 .Op machine, other, and general options
41 .Op file Ar ...
42 .Nm
43 .Op general options
44 .Op Ar @configfile ...
45 .Nm
46 .Op userland, other, and general options
47 .Ar file Op Ar args ...
48 .Sh DESCRIPTION
49 .Nm
50 is an experimental instruction-level machine emulator. It can be used to
51 run binary code for MIPS-based machines, regardless of host
52 platform. Several emulation modes are available. For some modes,
53 processors and surrounding hardware components are emulated well enough to
54 let unmodified operating systems (e.g. NetBSD) run as if they were running
55 on a real machine.
56 .Pp
57 (Non-MIPS emulation modes are also under development, but so far none of
58 those modes has reached the completeness required to run unmodified
59 operating systems.)
60 .Pp
61 There are three ways to invoke the emulator. When emulating a
62 complete machine, settings can be entered directly on the command line, or
63 they can be read from a configuration file. When emulating a userland
64 environment (syscall-only emulation, not emulating complete machines),
65 then the program name and its argument should be given on the command
66 line.
67 .Pp
68 The easiest way to use the emulator is to supply settings directly on the
69 command line. The most important thing you need to supply is the
70 file argument. This is the name of a binary file (an ELF, a.out, ECOFF,
71 SREC, or a raw binary image) which you wish to run in the emulator. This file
72 might be an operating system kernel, or perhaps a ROM image file.
73 .Pp
74 If more than one filename is supplied, all files are loaded into memory,
75 and the entry point (if available) is taken from the last file.
76 .Pp
77 Apart from the name of a binary file, it is also necessary to select
78 which specific emulation mode to use. For example, a MIPS-based machine
79 from DEC (a DECstation) is very different from a MIPS-based machine
80 from SGI. Use
81 .Nm
82 .Fl H
83 to get a list of available emulation modes.
84 .Pp
85 There are two exceptions to the normal invocation usage mentioned above.
86 The first is for DECstation emulation: if you have a bootable
87 DECstation harddisk or CDROM image, then just supplying the diskimage via
88 the
89 .Fl d
90 option is sufficient. (The filename of the kernel can then be
91 skipped, as the emulator runs the bootblocks from the diskimage directly and
92 doesn't need the kernel as a separate file.)
93 The second is if you supply an ISO9660 CDROM disk image. You may then use
94 the
95 .Fl j
96 option to indicate which file on the CDROM filesystem that should be
97 loaded into emulated memory.
98 .Pp
99 Machine selection options:
100 .Bl -tag -width Ds
101 .It Fl E Ar t
102 Try to emulate machine type
103 .Ar "t".
104 This option is not always needed, if the
105 .Fl e
106 option uniquely selects a machine.
107 (Use
108 .Fl H
109 to get a list of types.)
110 .It Fl e Ar st
111 Try to emulate machine subtype
112 .Ar "st".
113 Use this together with
114 .Fl E .
115 (This option is not always needed, if a machine type has no subtypes.)
116 .El
117 .Pp
118 Other options:
119 .Bl -tag -width Ds
120 .It Fl A
121 Disable load/store alignment checks in some cases. This might give a small
122 increase in performance, but the emulator will not run correctly if the
123 emulated code actually tries to do unaligned loads or stores.
124 .It Fl B
125 Disable dynamic binary translation. By default, bintrans
126 will be turned on if the host+target architecture combination is
127 supported.
128 .It Fl C Ar x
129 Try to emulate a specific CPU type,
130 .Ar "x".
131 This overrides the default CPU type for the machine being emulated.
132 (Use
133 .Fl H
134 to get a list of available CPU types.)
135 .It Fl d Ar name
136 Add
137 .Ar name
138 as a disk image. By adding one or more modifier characters and then a
139 colon (":") as a prefix to
140 .Ar "name",
141 you can modify the way the disk image is treated. Available modifiers are:
142 .Bl -tag -width Ds
143 .It b
144 Specifies that this is a boot device.
145 .It c
146 CD-ROM.
147 .It d
148 DISK (this is the default).
149 .It f
150 FLOPPY.
151 .It gH;S;
152 Override the default geometry; use H heads and S sectors-per-track.
153 (The number of cylinders is calculated automatically.)
154 .It i
155 IDE.
156 .It r
157 Read-only (don't allow changes to be written to the file).
158 .It s
159 SCSI (this is the default for most machine types).
160 .It t
161 Tape.
162 .It 0-7
163 Force a specific ID number.
164 .El
165 .Pp
166 Unless otherwise specified, filenames ending with ".iso" are assumed to be
167 CDROM images. Most others are assumed to be disks. Depending on which
168 machine is being emulated, the default for disks can be either SCSI or
169 IDE. Some disk images that are very small are assumed to be floppy disks.
170 (If you are not happy with the way a disk image is detected, then you need
171 to use explicit prefixes to force a specific type.)
172 .Pp
173 For floppies, the gH;S; prefix is ignored. Instead, the number of
174 heads and cylinders are assumed to be 2 and 80, respectively, and the
175 number of sectors per track is calculated automatically. (This works for
176 720KB, 1.2MB, 1.44MB, and 2.88MB floppies.)
177 .It Fl I Ar x
178 Emulate clock interrupts at
179 .Ar x
180 Hz. (This affects emulated clock devices only, not actual runtime speed.
181 This disables automatic clock adjustments, which is otherwise turned on.)
182 (This option is probably only valid for DECstation emulation.)
183 .It Fl i
184 Display each instruction as it is being executed.
185 .It Fl J
186 Disable some speed tricks.
187 .It Fl j Ar n
188 Set the name of the kernel to
189 .Ar "n".
190 When booting from an ISO9660 filesystem, the emulator will try to boot
191 using this file. (In some emulation modes, eg. DECstation, this name is passed
192 along to the boot program. Useful names are "bsd" for OpenBSD/pmax,
193 or "vmunix" for Ultrix.)
194 .It Fl M Ar m
195 Emulate
196 .Ar m
197 MBs of physical RAM. This overrides the default amount of RAM for the
198 selected machine type.
199 .It Fl m Ar nr
200 Run at most
201 .Ar nr
202 instructions (on any cpu).
203 .It Fl N
204 Display nr of instructions/second average, at regular intervals.
205 .It Fl n Ar nr
206 Set nr of CPUs (for SMP experiments).
207 .It Fl O
208 Force a "netboot" (tftp instead of disk), even when a disk image is
209 present (for DECstation, SGI, and ARC emulation).
210 .It Fl o Ar arg
211 Set the boot argument (for DEC, ARC, or SGI emulation).
212 Default
213 .Ar arg
214 for DEC is "-a", for ARC "-aN".
215 .It Fl p Ar pc
216 Add a breakpoint. (Remember to use the "0x" prefix for hex.)
217 .It Fl Q
218 Disable the built-in PROM emulation. This is useful for running raw ROM
219 images from real machines.
220 .It Fl R
221 Use a random bootstrap cpu, instead of CPU nr 0. (For SMP experiments.)
222 .It Fl r
223 Dump register contents for every executed instruction.
224 .It Fl S
225 Initialize the emulated RAM to random data, instead of zeroes.
226 .It Fl T
227 Enter the single-step debugger on unimplemented memory accesses.
228 .It Fl t
229 Show a trace tree of all function calls being made.
230 .It Fl U
231 Enable slow_serial_interrupts_hack_for_linux.
232 .It Fl X
233 Use X11.
234 .It Fl x
235 Open up new xterms for emulated serial ports. (Default is to open up
236 xterms when using configuration files, but not when starting an
237 emulation with settings directly on the command line.)
238 .It Fl Y Ar n
239 Scale down framebuffer windows by
240 .Ar n
241 x
242 .Ar n
243 times.
244 .It Fl y Ar x
245 Set max_random_cycles_per_chunk to
246 .Ar x
247 (experimental).
248 .It Fl Z Ar n
249 Set the number of graphics cards, for emulating a dual-head or tripple-head
250 environment. (Only for DECstation emulation so far.)
251 .It Fl z Ar disp
252 Add
253 .Ar disp
254 as an X11 display to use for framebuffers.
255 .El
256 .Pp
257 Userland options:
258 .Bl -tag -width Ds
259 .It Fl u Ar emul-mode
260 Userland-only (syscall) emulation. (Use
261 .Fl H
262 to get a list of available emulation modes.) Some (but not all) of the
263 options listed under Other options above can also be used with userland
264 emulation.
265 .El
266 .Pp
267 General options:
268 .Bl -tag -width Ds
269 .It Fl D
270 Guarantee fully deterministic behavior. Normally, the emulator calls
271 srandom() with a seed based on the current time at startup. When the
272 .Fl D
273 option is used, the srandom() call is skipped, which should cause two
274 subsequent invocations of the emulator to be identical, if all other
275 settings are identical and no user input is taking place. (If this option
276 is used, then
277 .Fl I
278 must also be used.)
279 .It Fl H
280 Display a list of available CPU types, machine types, and userland
281 emulation modes. (Most of these don't work. Please read the documentation
282 included in the
283 .Nm
284 distribution for details on which modes that actually work.)
285 .It Fl h
286 Display a list of all available command line options.
287 .It Fl K
288 Force the single-step debugger to be entered at the end of a simulation.
289 .It Fl q
290 Quiet mode; this suppresses startup messages.
291 .It Fl s
292 Show opcode usage statistics after the simulation.
293 .It Fl V
294 Start up in the single-step debugger, paused.
295 .It Fl v
296 Verbose debug messages.
297 .El
298 .Pp
299 Configuration file startup:
300 .Bl -tag -width Ds
301 .It @ Ar configfile
302 Start an emulation based on the contents of
303 .Ar "configfile".
304 .El
305 .Pp
306 For more information, please read the documentation in the doc/
307 subdirectory of the
308 .Nm
309 distribution.
310 .Sh EXAMPLES
311 The following command will start NetBSD/pmax on an emulated DECstation
312 5000/200 (3MAX):
313 .Pp
314 .Dl "gxemul -e 3max -d nbsd_pmax.img"
315 .Pp
316 nbsd_pmax.img should be a raw disk image containing a bootable
317 NetBSD/pmax filesystem.
318 .Pp
319 The following command will start an emulation session based on settings in
320 the configuration file "mysession". The -v option tells gxemul to be
321 verbose.
322 .Pp
323 .Dl "gxemul -v @mysession"
324 .Pp
325 If you have compiled the small Hello World program mentioned in the
326 .Nm
327 documentation, the following command will start up an
328 emulated test machine in "paused" mode:
329 .Pp
330 .Dl "gxemul -E testmips -V hello_mips"
331 .Pp
332 (Paused mode means that you enter the interactive single-step debugger
333 directly at startup, instead of launching the Hello World program.)
334 .Pp
335 Please read the documentation for more details.
336 .Sh BUGS
337 There are many bugs. Some of the known bugs are listed in the BUGS
338 file in the
339 .Nm
340 source distribution, some are indirectly mentioned in the TODO file,
341 and some are mentioned in the source code itself.
342 .Pp
343 The binary translation subsystem is really terrible, but it is less
344 terrible than running without it.
345 .Pp
346 Userland (syscall-only) emulation doesn't really work yet.
347 .Pp
348 .Nm
349 does not simulate individual pipe-line stages or penalties caused by
350 branch-prediction misses or cache misses, so it cannot be used for
351 accurate performance measurement.
352 .Pp
353 .Nm
354 is not timing-accurate.
355 .Sh AUTHOR
356 Anders Gavare <anders@gavare.se>
357 .Pp
358 See http://gavare.se/gxemul/ for more information.

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