CSL373 / CSL633 : Operating Systems : Tools

This page describes how to install the tools used in the Operating Systems class. The tools are already installed in the department cluster, so you will need to follow these instructions if you want to do assignments on other machines. We cannot guarantee that these tools will run on your computer, but they should run on recent versions of Linux.

It should be possible to get this development environment running under windows with the help of Cygwin. Install cygwin, and be sure to install the flex and bison packages (they are under the development header). Another alternative is to use virtualization software like VMware and install Linux in a VM.

Compiler Toolchain

Most modern Linuxes and BSDs have an ELF toolchain compatible with the labs. That is, the system-standard gcc, as, ld and objdump should just work. The lab makefile should automatically detect this. However, if your machine is in this camp and the makefile fails to detect this, you can override it by adding the following line to conf/env.mk:


If you are using something other than standard x86 Linux or BSD, you will need the GNU C compiler toolchain, configured and built as a cross-compiler for the target 'i386-csl373-elf', as well as the GNU debugger, configured for the i386-csl373-elf toolchain. You can download the specific versions we used via these links, although any recent versions of gcc, binutils, and GDB should work:

Once you've unpacked these archives, run the following commands as root:

# cd binutils-2.20.1
# ./configure --target=i386-csl373-elf --disable-nls
# make
# make install
# cd ../gcc-4.5.1
# ./configure --target=i386-csl373-elf --disable-nls --without-headers \
              --with-newlib --disable-threads --disable-shared \
              --disable-libmudflap --disable-libssp
# make
# make install
# cd ../gdb-6.8
# ./configure --target=i386-csl373-elf --program-prefix=i386-csl373-elf- \
# make
# make install

Then you'll have in /usr/local/bin a bunch of binaries with names like i386-csl373-elf-gcc. The lab makefile should detect this toolchain and use it in preference to your machine's default toolchain. If this doesn't work, there are instructions on how to override the toolchain inside the GNUmakefile in the labs.

Installing QEMU

QEMU is a modern and fast PC emulator. QEMU version 1.0 is set up on the department cluster for x86 machines. You can use GDB (or other graphical frontends) with QEMU for debugging. If you are unable to find qemu on the command line, ensure that the following is added to your PATH environment variable: /misc/research/teaching/sbansal/csl373/bin.

We highly recommend you use a patched version of QEMU instead of the stock version that may come with your distribution. The version installed on the deparment cluster is already patched. To build your own patched version of QEMU:

  1. Download and unpack the pre-patched 1.0 source tarball
  2. On Linux, you may need to install the SDL development libraries to get a graphical VGA window. On Debian/Ubuntu, this is the libsdl1.2-dev package.
  3. Configure the source code:
    Linux: ./configure --disable-docs --disable-kvm [--prefix=PFX] [--target-list="i386-softmmu x86_64-softmmu"]
    OS X: ./configure --disable-docs --disable-kvm --disable-sdl [--prefix=PFX] [--target-list="i386-softmmu x86_64-softmmu"]
    The prefix argument specifies where to install QEMU; without it QEMU will install to /usr/local by default. The target-list lists the architecture(s) which should be supported by the Qemu build.
  4. Run make && make install
Alternatively, you can download the official 0.12.5 source tarball from the QEMU homepage and apply the following patch series:
debug-seg Use DS-relative virtual addresses instead of linear addresses in the GDB stub.
info-pg Add "info pg" in the QEMU monitor that prints the page table.
triple On triple fault, dump state and halt for inspection instead of resetting.

Installing Bochs

Bochs is an open-source IA-32 emulator, and is another alternative to run your OS. Bochs comes with a very useful internal debugger. See a local (and slightly augmented) copy of the documentation here. All additions in the local copy over the original documentation are in a different colour. The documentation is useful for trying the commands provided in the lecture notes and book draft. The original documentation can be found here (go to "User Guide" and then "Using Bochs internal debugger").

You can access Bochs on the department cluster by ensuring that your PATH environment variable contains the following path: /misc/research/teaching/sbansal/csl373/bin.

We highly recommend you use a patched version of Bochs instead of the stock version to allow reproducible executions. The version installed on the department cluster is already patched. There are two executables that need to be built: bochs (which is compiled with an internal debugger) and bochs-gdb (which is compiled with a gdb-stub for debugging with gdb). Both these executables have been pre-built on the department cluster. To build your own patched version of Bochs:

  1. Download and unpack the pre-patched 2.4.5 source tarball
  2. Configure the source code:
    ./configure [--prefix=/path/to/bochs-install] --enable-disasm --enable-smp --enable-debugger --enable-new-pit --enable-all-optimizations --enable-4meg-pages --disable-reset-on-triple-fault --with-all-libs --with-x --with-x11 --with-nogui
    The X, terminal, and "no GUI" interfaces can be configured, by passing --with-x --with-x11 --with-term --with-nogui to configure.
  3. Run make && make install
  4. This command builds the bochs binary with SMP support that can be used with both xv6 and pintos. This bochs binary supports an internal debugger shipped with bochs.
  5. To debug pintos using gdb, you will need to build another binary. To do this, configure the source code in the following way:
    ./configure [--prefix=/path/to/bochs-gdb-install] --enable-disasm --enable-gdb-stub --enable-new-pit --enable-all-optimizations --enable-4meg-pages --disable-reset-on-triple-fault --with-all-libs --with-x --with-x11 --with-nogui
    Use a different prefix /path/to/bochs-gdb-install for the install directory to avoid overwriting the previous installation.
  6. Run make && make install. This will create another binary called bochs in /path/to/bochs-gdb-install/bin directory. Go to this directory and rename the bochs executable to bochs-gdb using mv bochs bochs-gdb.
  7. Set your PATH variable to include both /path/to/bochs-install and /path/to/bochs-gdb-install directories.
If you would like to patch and build bochs from scratch (instead of using our custom tarball), you can download the official 2.4.5 source tarball from the Bochs homepage and apply the following patch series: These patches are designed for use with Bochs 2.4.5:
jitter Adds the "jitter" feature, in which timer interrupts are delivered at random (but reproducible) intervals.
att Sets the default disassembly mode to AT&T (also used in the handouts and class).

To apply all the patches, cd into the Bochs directory, then type:
  patch -p1 < bochs-2.4.5-jitter.patch
  patch -p1 < bochs-2.4.5-att.patch
You can use patch's --dry-run option if you want to test whether the patches would apply cleanly before trying to apply them.

Other tools

Version management using Git: Here is a basic tutorial.
A very good tool to help you browse your source code: cscope
Index your source code using ctags
Use cscope/ctags with vi: Vim/cscope tutorial, Vim/ctags tutorial