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PSIM - model the PowerPC environment
Copyright (C) 1994-1996, Andrew Cagney <>.
Running PSIM
This file describes how to run the program PSIM.
o Walk through a number of examples from the
pre-built tar archive psim-test.
o Looks at the device tree used by PSIM.
o Notes on building a programmer environment to
use with PSIM (BSD/UEA and BUG/OEA)
The compressed tar archive psim-test available from:
contains a number of pre-built programs for running under PSIM. Each
pre-built binary is built both big and little endian. The suffixes
.be/.le (executables) .bo/.lo (object files) and .ba/.la (libraries)
are used.
To run one of these programs, use:
powerpc-unknown-eabi-run <image>
for instance:
powerpc-unknown-eabi-run psim-test/uea/envp
The program envp prints out your shells environment - very useful!
More generally psim is run as (this is part of the output from the -h
psim [ <psim-option> ... ] <image> [ <image-arg> ... ]
<image> Name of the PowerPC program to run.
This can either be a PowerPC binary or
a text file containing a device tree
PSIM will attempt to determine from the
specified <image> the intended emulation
If PSIM gets it wrong, the emulation
environment can be specified using the
`-e' option (described below).
<image-arg> Argument to be passed to <image>
These arguments will be passed to
<image> (as standard C argv, argc)
when <image> is started.
<psim-option> See below
The following are valid <psim-option>s:
-m <model> Specify the processor to model (604)
Selects the processor to use when
modeling execution units. Includes:
604, 603 and 603e
-e <os-emul> specify an OS or platform to model
Can be any of the following:
bug - OEA + MOTO BUG ROM calls
netbsd - UEA + NetBSD system calls
chirp - OEA + a few OpenBoot calls
-i Print instruction counting statistics
-I Print execution unit statistics
-r <size> Set RAM size in bytes (OEA environments)
-t [!]<trace> Enable (disable) <trace> option
-o <spec> add device <spec> to the device tree
-h -? -H give more detailed usage
The `-H' option gives a long usage output. This includes a complete
list of all the pre-configured devices.
If you built PSIM with gdb then the following is a quick start
At present GDB, if configured big-endian (say) unlike PSIM, does not
support the debugging of little endian binaries. If you find that
your program won't run at all, make certain that GDB and your
program's endianness match.
The most important thing is that before you can run the simulator you
must enable it. For the simulator, gdb is started like any program:
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-gdb psim-test/uea/
Next the simulator is enabled. The command `target sim' accepts the
same options as can be specified on the PSIM command line.
(gdb) target sim
To trace the communication between psim and gdb specify `target sim -t
gdb'. Once enabled, the binary needs to be loaded, any breakpoints of
interest set, and the program run:
(gdb) load
(gdb) break main
(gdb) run
In addition, if you are wanting to run a program described by a device
tree you can `attach' to the simulation using (I assume that you have
applied the attach patch):
$ cd psim-test/tree
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-gdb
(gdb) target sim
(gdb) attach device-tree
(gdb) run
Here GDB takes the programs initial state from the attached
device-tree instead of forcing initialisation.
PSIM includes a number of performance monitoring (profiling)
o instruction frequency counting
o execution unit modeling (records
effective usage of units).
o instruction cache performance
As discussed in the file INSTALL, each can be configured to individual
-i Enable instruction counting.
The frequency of all instructions is tabulated. In
addition (f configured) the hit/miss rate of the
instruction cache is output.
-I Enable execution unit analysis.
In addition to counting basic instructions also model
the performance of the processors execution units
-m <processor>
Select the processor to be modelled.
For execution unit analysis specify the processor that
is to be analysed. By default the 604 is modelled
however, support for other processors such as the
603 and 603e is included.
The output from a performance run (on a P90) for the program
psim-test/profile/bench is below. In this run psim was fairly
agressively configured (see the file INSTALL for compile time
CPU #1 executed 41,994 AND instructions.
CPU #1 executed 519,785 AND Immediate instructions.
CPU #1 executed 680,058 Add instructions.
CPU #1 executed 41,994 Add Extended instructions.
CPU #1 executed 921,916 Add Immediate instructions.
CPU #1 executed 221,199 Add Immediate Carrying instructions.
CPU #1 executed 943,823 Add Immediate Shifted instructions.
CPU #1 executed 471,909 Add to Zero Extended instructions.
CPU #1 executed 571,915 Branch instructions.
CPU #1 executed 1,992,403 Branch Conditional instructions.
CPU #1 executed 571,910 Branch Conditional to Link Register instructions.
CPU #1 executed 320,431 Compare instructions.
CPU #1 executed 471,911 Compare Immediate instructions.
CPU #1 executed 145,867 Compare Logical instructions.
CPU #1 executed 442,414 Compare Logical Immediate instructions.
CPU #1 executed 1 Condition Register XOR instruction.
CPU #1 executed 103,873 Divide Word instructions.
CPU #1 executed 104,275 Divide Word Unsigned instructions.
CPU #1 executed 132,510 Extend Sign Byte instructions.
CPU #1 executed 178,895 Extend Sign Half Word instructions.
CPU #1 executed 871,920 Load Word and Zero instructions.
CPU #1 executed 41,994 Move From Condition Register instructions.
CPU #1 executed 100,005 Move from Special Purpose Register instructions.
CPU #1 executed 100,002 Move to Special Purpose Register instructions.
CPU #1 executed 804,619 Multiply Low Word instructions.
CPU #1 executed 421,201 OR instructions.
CPU #1 executed 471,910 OR Immediate instructions.
CPU #1 executed 1,292,020 Rotate Left Word Immediate then AND with Mask instructions.
CPU #1 executed 663,613 Shift Left Word instructions.
CPU #1 executed 1,151,564 Shift Right Algebraic Word Immediate instructions.
CPU #1 executed 871,922 Store Word instructions.
CPU #1 executed 100,004 Store Word with Update instructions.
CPU #1 executed 887,804 Subtract From instructions.
CPU #1 executed 83,988 Subtract From Immediate Carrying instructions.
CPU #1 executed 1 System Call instruction.
CPU #1 executed 207,746 XOR instructions.
CPU #1 executed 23,740,856 cycles.
CPU #1 executed 10,242,780 stalls waiting for data.
CPU #1 executed 1 stall waiting for a function unit.
CPU #1 executed 1 stall waiting for serialization.
CPU #1 executed 1,757,900 times a write-back slot was unavailable.
CPU #1 executed 1,088,135 branches.
CPU #1 executed 2,048,093 conditional branches fell through.
CPU #1 executed 1,088,135 successful branch predictions.
CPU #1 executed 904,268 unsuccessful branch predictions.
CPU #1 executed 742,557 branch if the condition is FALSE conditional branches.
CPU #1 executed 1,249,846 branch if the condition is TRUE conditional branches.
CPU #1 executed 571,910 branch always conditional branches.
CPU #1 executed 9,493,653 1st single cycle integer functional unit instructions.
CPU #1 executed 1,220,900 2nd single cycle integer functional unit instructions.
CPU #1 executed 1,254,768 multiple cycle integer functional unit instructions.
CPU #1 executed 1,843,846 load/store functional unit instructions.
CPU #1 executed 3,136,229 branch functional unit instructions.
CPU #1 executed 16,949,396 instructions that were accounted for in timing info.
CPU #1 executed 871,920 data reads.
CPU #1 executed 971,926 data writes.
CPU #1 executed 221 icache misses.
CPU #1 executed 16,949,396 instructions in total.
Simulator speed was 250,731 instructions/second
Internally PSIM's configuration is controlled by a tree data
structure. This structure, created at run-time, intentionally
resembles the device tree used by OpenBoot firmware to describe a
machines hardware configuration.
PSIM can either create its device tree using a builtin emulation or
from one read in from a file.
During startup, the device tree is created using the following steps:
o Initial empty tree is created
o Any tree entry options specified on the
command line are merged in (the -o <entry>
option is used).
It should be pointed out that most of the
command line options (eg -r, -e, -m, -t
are all just short hand for corresponding
-o options).
o If the specified program is a device tree spec, that
is loaded.
If the specified program is a text file it is assumed
that that file contains a further specification of the
simulators device tree. That tree is loaded and
merged with the current tree options.
o The selected emulation fills out any remaining details.
By this stage the emulation environment that the program
needs will either be specified in the device tree
(through the -e option) or determined from the
characteristics of the binary.
The selected emulation will then fill out any missing
nodes in the device tree.
Most importantly earlier additions to the tree are not overridden by
later additions. Thus, command line options override information
found in the program file and both override any builtin emulation
The following is a summary of the most useful runtime configuration
-e <os-emul>
-o '/openprom/options/os-emul <os-emul>'
Run program using the <emulation> run-time
-r <ram-size>
-o '/openprom/options/oea-memory-size <ram-size>'
Set the size of the first bank of memory
(RAM from address 0 up).
-t print-device-tree
-o '/openprom/trace/print-device-tree 1'
-t dump-device-tree
-o '/openprom/trace/dump-device-tree 1'
Print out the device tree once it has been fully
populated. For dump-device-tree, exit simulator after
dumping the tree.
PSIM is able to reload the dumped device tree.
The format of the dumped tree is under development.
-o '/openprom/options/smp <N>'
Enable <N> processors for the simulation run.
See the directory psim-test/oea for an example.
-o '/openprom/options/alignment <N>'
Where <N> is 1 - nonstrict or 2 - strict.
Specify if the missaligned access are allowed
(non-strict) or result in an alignment exception
Devices (if included in the file device_table.c) can also be specified
in a similar way. For instance, to add a second serial port, a
command like:
-o '/iobus@0x400000/console@0x000010'
would create a `console' device at offset 0x10 within the `iobus' at
memory address 0x400000.
For more detailed information on device specifiers see the notes on
the function dump_device_tree in the file device.c (found in the
source code).
Included in many PowerPC systems is Motorola's BUG monitor. This
monitor includes, for client programs, a set of services that allow
that program to interact with hardware devices such as the console using
a simple system call interface.
PSIM is able to emulate a number of the services (including the
console IO calls). If additional services are needed they can easily
be added.
Cygnus support's newlib library includes includes an interface to the
MOTO BUG services. The notes below discuss how I both built and run
programs compiled using this library on PSIM.
The only confusing part about building a development environment based
around newlib/binutils/gcc is a chicken/egg problem with include
For GCC to build, a fairly complete set of include
files must be installed but newlib won't install its
include files until it has been built with gcc ...
I get around this by installing the problematic include files by hand.
The following files are needed:
From your favorite FTP site, the sources to gas/ld and gcc - mine
happens to be :
From the source code to a library:
From some minor patches and updates to
the above library:
In addition you'll need to decide where you will be installing the
development environment. You will notice that in the below I install
things well away /usr/local instead installing everything under its
own directory in /applications.
These notes are based on an installation performed on a Sun-OS-4/SPARC
host. For other hosts and other configurations, the below should be
considered as a guideline only.
o Sanity check
$ cd .../scratch # your scratch directory
$ ls -1
o Unpack/build/install binutils
This is done first so that there is a gas/ld ready
for the building of GCC and NEWLIB.
$ cd .../scratch
$ gunzip < binutils-2.6.tar.gz | tar xf -
$ cd binutils-2.6
Optionally apply the note patch
$ gunzip ../binutils-2.6+note.diff.gz | patch
Then continue with the build
$ ./configure --target=powerpc-unknown-eabi \
$ make
$ make install
$ cd ..
$ rm -rf binutils-2.6
This also creates much of the installation directory
o Unpack newlib, install the include files so that they
are ready for GCC's build.
$ cd .../scratch
$ gunzip < newlib-1.7.0.tar.gz | tar xf -
New lib-1.7.0 had a few minor bugs (fixed in current):
the header files float.h and ppc-asm.h were missing;
the configure and Makefile's for the rs6000 (ppc) directory
contained typos:
$ cd .../scratch
$ cd newlib-1.7.0
$ gunzip < ../newlib-1.7.0+float+ppc-asm.tar.gz | tar xvf -
$ gunzip < ../newlib-1.7.0+ppc-fix.diff.gz | patch -p1
Finally copy the include files to where GCC will see them:
$ cd .../scratch
$ cd newlib-1.7.0/newlib/libc
$ tar cf - include | \
( cd /applications/psim/powerpc-unknown-eabi && tar xf - )
o Unpack/build gcc
$ cd .../scratch
$ gunzip < gcc-2.7.2,tar.gz | tar xf -
$ cd gcc-2.7.2
$ ./configure --target=powerpc-unknown-eabi \
$ make
$ make install
$ cd ..
$ rm -rf gcc-2.7.2
Gcc likes to install its own dummy version of float that
just returns an error.
$ more /applications/psim/lib/gcc-lib/powerpc-unknown-eabi/2.7.2/include/float.h
$ rm /applications/psim/lib/gcc-lib/powerpc-unknown-eabi/2.7.2/include/float.h
o Finish building/installing newlib
$ cd .../scratch
$ cd newlib-1.7.0
$ ./configure --target=powerpc-unknown-eabi \
Your path will need to include the recently installed
gas/gcc when building. Either add it to your path or
$ PATH=/applications/psim/bin:$PATH make
$ PATH=/applications/psim/bin:$PATH make install
o Finally, test out the build
$ cat hello.c
printf("hello world\n");
The binary is linked with an entry point less than 0x100000
(1mb) so that psim will recognize the binary as needing
the BUG/OEA instead of the BSD/UEA runtime environment.
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-gcc -v -o hello \
-Wl,-Ttext,0x4000,-Tdata,0x10000 \
/applications/psim/powerpc-unknown-eabi/lib/mvme-crt0.o \
hello.c \
-lc -lmvme
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-objdump -h hello
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-run hello
It is also possible to force psim to use a specific
run-time environment using the -e option vis:
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-run -e bug hello
For a UEA to be useful it needs a supporting run-time environment.
PSIM implements a runtime environment based on the NetBSD system call
More than any thing, this user level emulation was the first
implemented because I happened to have the NetBSD source code lying
This requires the NetBSD-1.1 source tree online. It can either be
obtained vi ftp:
try or
Alternatively obtain one of the NetBSD cdrom's. Patches to this source
tree that fill out much of the PowerPC code are available in:
Fetch everything in that directory - diffs, tar archives and scripts.
In addition patches to the bintuils and gcc are in:
while the compiler (gcc) and assember (binutils) can be found at your
favorite gnu ftp site. I used versions:
These notes are based on an installation performed on a Solaris2/x86
host. For other hosts and other configurations, the below should be
considered as a guideline only.
o Sanity check
I assume that you have already obtained the NetBSD-1.1 source
code and unpacked it into the directory bsd-src. While the
full NetBSD source tree may not be needed, things are easier
if it is all online.
$ cd .../scratch
$ ls -1
o Prepare the destination directory ready for installation.
Firstly create many of the needed directories (some are
created automatically later):
$ for d in \
/applications/psim \
/applications/psim/bsd-root \
/applications/psim/bsd-root/usr \
/applications/psim/bsd-root/usr/share \
/applications/psim/bsd-root/usr/share/doc \
/applications/psim/bsd-root/usr/share/doc/psd \
/applications/psim/bsd-root/usr/share/doc/psd/19.curses \
/applications/psim/bsd-root/usr/include \
/applications/psim/bsd-root/usr/lib \
/applications/psim/powerpc-unknown-eabi \
/applications/psim/powerpc-unknown-eabi/bin \
; \
do test -d $d || mkdir $d ; done
Next, link the BSD and GNU include directories together.
GCC expects include files to be in one location while the
bsd install expects them in a second. The link is in
the direction below because bsd's install also insists on
a directory (not a link) for its install destination.
$ rm -rf /applications/psim/powerpc-unknown-eabi/include
$ ln -s /applications/psim/bsd-root/usr/include \
$ ls -l /applications/psim/powerpc-unknown-eabi/include
lrwxr-xr-x 1 cagney wheel 39 Mar 21 18:09
-> /applications/psim/bsd-root/usr/include
o Build/install Berkeley make
The tar archive make.tar.gz contains a recent snapshot
of bmake from the NetBSD source tree. The notes below
describe how to build/install it. If you have access
to an even more recent version of bmake, use that.
Unpack the source code:
$ cd .../scratch
$ gunzip < make.tar.gz | tar xf -
$ cd make
Apply the patch in make.diff.gz that fixes a minor
problem with a build under Solaris (by now it should
be fixed in the NetBSD-current source tree).
$ gunzip < ../make.diff.gz | more
$ gunzip < ../make.diff.gz | patch
Build it
$ make -f Makefile.boot 'CC=gcc -g -DPOSIX'
With bmake built, install it into the target specific bin
$ cp bmake /applications/psim/powerpc-unknown-eabi/bin/make
$ cd ..
$ rm -rf make
o Set up a number of wrapper scripts for bmake so that it works.
In addition to needing BSD make the build process assumes
a number of BSD specific commands. To get around this
several wrapper scripts are available.
powerpc-unknown-eabi-make (
Front end to Berkeley make setting it up for a
cross compilation
$ cp \
$ chmod a+x \
chown (
Wrapper that does not do any thing.
Avoids the need to be root when installing.
$ cp \
$ chmod a+x \
install (
Wrapper to strip away a number of bsd specific install
$ cp \
$ chmod a+x \
lorder (
Tweaked lorder script that will use nm etc from
$ cp \
$ chmod a+x \
printf (?)
Some operating systems don't include the program
printf. If you host doesn't have one, then a
good source is the gnu sh-utils version.
Again, if that program is missing, then I suggest
installing it onto the powerpc specific program
o Unpack the bsd source code (if you haven't already)
If you're short on disk space (like me) just unpack:
sys, lib, share/mk, include, usr.sbin/config,
usr.sbin/dbsym, gnu/lib/libg++/g++-include,
Otherwize, assuming you have a CD-DRIVE:
$ cd .../scratch
$ mkdir bsd-src
$ cd bsd-src
$ for d in /cdrom/bsdisc_12_95_disc2/NetBSD-1.1/source/*11
echo $d
cat $d/*.?? | gunzip | tar xf -
Flatten the directory structure a little.
$ mv usr/src/* .
$ rmdir usr/src usr
$ cd ..
o Apply the clayton (PowerPC) patches to your constructed
$ cd .../scratch
$ cd bsd-src
Diffs are applied using something like:
$ gunzip < ../clayton-include-960312.diff.gz | patch -p1
$ gunzip < ../clayton-lib-960203.diff.gz | patch -p1
$ gunzip < ../clayton-sys-960203.diff.gz | patch -p1
The patch to sys/dev/pci/ncr.c.rej might fail.
The tar archives have a different problem, you need
to remove the `src' prefix. I used
$ ln -s . src
$ gunzip < ../clayton-lib-960203.tar.gz | tar xvf -
$ gunzip < ../clayton-sys-960203.tar.gz | tar xvf -
So that src/xxx unpacked into ./xxx
$ cd ..
o install Berkeley make's include (mk) files.
$ cd .../scrath
$ cd bsd-src/share
$ tar cf - mk | ( cd /applications/psim/bsd-root/usr/share \
&& tar xvf - )
$ cd ../..
o Install the include files
$ cd .../scratch
$ cd bsd-src/include
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-make install
$ cd ../..
o Install a few other include files.
As discussed above in the section on building libnew,
the build process can have chicken/egg problems. In the
case of BSD's libc, it wants to use several include files
(from the installed include directory) before they are
installed. Just copy them in as seen below:
$ cd .../scratch
$ cd bsd-src
$ cp gnu/lib/libg++/g++-include/values.h \
$ cp lib/libcurses/curses.h \
$ cd ..
o Unpack/patch/build/install BINUTILS
$ cd .../scratch
$ gunzip < binutils-2.6.tar.gz | tar xf -
gas (bfd) 2.6 didn't support the reading and writing of
note sections. The patch binutils-2.6+note.diff.gz
adds support for this. PowerPC/ELF boot files being loaded
by OpenBoot ROM's should contain a PowerPC note section.
$ cd .../scratch
$ cd binutils-2.6/bfd
$ gunzip < ../../binutils-2.6+note.diff.gz | more
$ gunzip < ../../binutils-2.6+note.diff.gz | patch
$ cd ../..
Then continue with the build
$ cd .../scratch
$ cd binutils-2.6
$ ./configure --target=powerpc-unknown-eabi \
$ make
$ make install
$ cd ..
$ rm -rf binutils-2.6
This has the intended side effect of partially populating
the psim directory tree which makes follow on steps easier.
o Unpack/patch/build/install GCC
$ cd .../scratch
$ gunzip < gcc-2.7.2.tar.gz | tar xf -
$ cd gcc-2.7.2
GCC-2.7.2 and the BSD include files have a conflicting type
declaration. The patch below gets around this problem
(it may still be applicable to more recent versions of
$ gunzip < ../gcc-2.7.2+sys-types.diff.gz | more
$ gunzip < ../gcc-2.7.2+sys-types.diff.gz | patch
If your version of GCC includes the file ginclude/ppc-asm.h
then you should install that header file into the directory:
/applications/psim/powerpc-unknown-eabi/include. More
recent versions of GCC expect this file to be installed:
$ test -r ginclude/ppc-asm.h \
&& cp ginclude/ppc-asm.h \
Other than that, assuming the include files installed
okay, the rest should be fine ....
$ ./configure --target=powerpc-unknown-eabi \
$ make CC=gcc
$ make CC=gcc install
$ cd ..
$ rm -rf gcc-2.7.2
o Build/install the Berkeley library:
$ cd .../scratch
$ cd bsd-src/lib
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-make
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-make install
$ cd ../..
If you encounter problems check the following (each
discussed above):
o GCC and BSD have a common include
o all the missing include files installed
o all the wrapper programs installed
o Build/run a simple BSD program
$ cd .../scratch
$ cd bsd-src/usr.bin/printenv
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-make
$ powerpc-unknown-eabi-run printenv