This chapter covers the details of how to set up a gem5 developmment environment and build gem5.
See gem5 requirements for more details.
On Ubuntu, you can install all of the required dependencies with the following command. The requirements are detailed below.
sudo apt install build-essential git m4 scons zlib1g zlib1g-dev libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler libprotoc-dev libgoogle-perftools-dev python-dev python
git (Git): : The gem5 project uses Git for version control. Git is a distributed version control system. More information about Git can be found by following the link. Git should be installed by default on most platforms. However, to install Git in Ubuntu use
``` sudo apt install git ```
gcc 5+ : You may need to use environment variables to point to a non-default version of gcc.
On Ubuntu, you can install a development environment with ``` sudo apt install build-essential ```
We support GCC Versions >=5, up to GCC 10
SCons 3.0+ : gem5 uses SCons as its build environment. SCons is like make on steroids and uses Python scripts for all aspects of the build process. This allows for a very flexible (if slow) build system.
To get SCons on Ubuntu use ``` sudo apt install scons ```
Python 3.6+ : gem5 relies on the Python development libraries. To install these on Ubuntu use
``` sudo apt install python3-dev ```
protobuf 2.1+ : “Protocol buffers are a language-neutral, platform-neutral extensible mechanism for serializing structured data.” In gem5, the protobuf library is used for trace generation and playback. protobuf is not a required package, unless you plan on using it for trace generation and playback.
``` sudo apt install libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler libgoogle-perftools-dev ```
Boost (Optional) : The Boost library is a set of general purpose C++ libraries. It is a necessary dependency if you wish to use the SystemC implementation.
``` sudo apt install libboost-all-dev ```
Change directories to where you want to download the gem5 source. Then, to clone the repository, use the
git clone command.
git clone https://gem5.googlesource.com/public/gem5
You can now change directories to
gem5 which contains all of the gem5 code.
Let's start by building a basic x86 system. Currently, you must compile gem5 separately for every ISA that you want to simulate. Additionally, if using ruby-intro-chapter, you have to have separate compilations for every cache coherence protocol.
To build gem5, we will use SCons. SCons uses the SConstruct file (
gem5/SConstruct) to set up a number of variables and then uses the SConscript file in every subdirectory to find and compile all of the gem5 source.
SCons automatically creates a
gem5/build directory when first executed. In this directory you'll find the files generated by SCons, the compiler, etc. There will be a separate directory for each set of options (ISA and cache coherence protocol) that you use to compile gem5.
There are a number of default compilations options in the
build_opts directory. These files specify the parameters passed to SCons when initially building gem5. We'll use the X86 defaults and specify that we want to compile all of the CPU models. You can look at the file
build_opts/X86 to see the default values for the Scons options. You can also specify these options on the command line to override any default.
python3 scons build/X86/gem5.opt -j9
gem5 binary types
The SCons scripts in gem5 currently have 5 different binaries you can build for gem5: debug, opt, fast, prof, and perf. These names are mostly self-explanatory, but detailed below.
debug : Built with no optimizations and debug symbols. This binary is useful when using a debugger to debug if the variables you need to view are optimized out in the opt version of gem5. Running with debug is slow compared to the other binaries.
opt : This binary is build with most optimizations on (e.g., -O3), but with debug symbols included. This binary is much faster than debug, but still contains enough debug information to be able to debug most problems.
fast : Built with all optimizations on (including link-time optimizations on supported platforms) and with no debug symbols. Additionally, any asserts are removed, but panics and fatals are still included. fast is the highest performing binary, and is much smaller than opt. However, fast is only appropriate when you feel that it is unlikely your code has major bugs.
prof and perf : These two binaries are build for profiling gem5. prof includes profiling information for the GNU profiler (gprof), and perf includes profiling information for the Google performance tools (gperftools).
The main argument passed to SCons is what you want to build,
build/X86/gem5.opt. In this case, we are building gem5.opt (an optimized binary with debug symbols). We want to build gem5 in the directory build/X86. Since this directory currently doesn‘t exist, SCons will look in
build_opts to find the default parameters for X86. (Note: I’m using -j9 here to execute the build on 9 of my 8 cores on my machine. You should choose an appropriate number for your machine, usually cores+1.)
The output should look something like below:
Checking for C header file Python.h... yes Checking for C library pthread... yes Checking for C library dl... yes Checking for C library util... yes Checking for C library m... yes Checking for C library python2.7... yes Checking for accept(0,0,0) in C++ library None... yes Checking for zlibVersion() in C++ library z... yes Checking for GOOGLE_PROTOBUF_VERIFY_VERSION in C++ library protobuf... yes Checking for clock_nanosleep(0,0,NULL,NULL) in C library None... yes Checking for timer_create(CLOCK_MONOTONIC, NULL, NULL) in C library None... no Checking for timer_create(CLOCK_MONOTONIC, NULL, NULL) in C library rt... yes Checking for C library tcmalloc... yes Checking for backtrace_symbols_fd((void*)0, 0, 0) in C library None... yes Checking for C header file fenv.h... yes Checking for C header file linux/kvm.h... yes Checking size of struct kvm_xsave ... yes Checking for member exclude_host in struct perf_event_attr...yes Building in /local.chinook/gem5/gem5-tutorial/gem5/build/X86 Variables file /local.chinook/gem5/gem5-tutorial/gem5/build/variables/X86 not found, using defaults in /local.chinook/gem5/gem5-tutorial/gem5/build_opts/X86 scons: done reading SConscript files. scons: Building targets ... [ISA DESC] X86/arch/x86/isa/main.isa -> generated/inc.d [NEW DEPS] X86/arch/x86/generated/inc.d -> x86-deps [ENVIRONS] x86-deps -> x86-environs [ CXX] X86/sim/main.cc -> .o .... .... <lots of output> .... [ SHCXX] nomali/lib/mali_midgard.cc -> .os [ SHCXX] nomali/lib/mali_t6xx.cc -> .os [ SHCXX] nomali/lib/mali_t7xx.cc -> .os [ AR] -> drampower/libdrampower.a [ SHCXX] nomali/lib/addrspace.cc -> .os [ SHCXX] nomali/lib/mmu.cc -> .os [ RANLIB] -> drampower/libdrampower.a [ SHCXX] nomali/lib/nomali_api.cc -> .os [ AR] -> nomali/libnomali.a [ RANLIB] -> nomali/libnomali.a [ CXX] X86/base/date.cc -> .o [ LINK] -> X86/gem5.opt scons: done building targets.
When compilation is finished you should have a working gem5 executable at
build/X86/gem5.opt. The compilation can take a very long time, often 15 minutes or more, especially if you are compiling on a remote file system like AFS or NFS.
Error: gcc version 5 or newer required. Installed version: 4.4.7
Update your environment variables to point to the right gcc version, or install a more up to date version of gcc. See building-requirements-section.
If you use a non-default version of Python, (e.g., version 3.6 when 2.5 is your default), there may be problems when using SCons to build gem5. RHEL6 version of SCons uses a hardcoded location for Python, which causes the issue. gem5 often builds successfully in this case, but may not be able to run. Below is one possible error you may see when you run gem5.
Traceback (most recent call last): File "........../gem5-stable/src/python/importer.py", line 93, in <module> sys.meta_path.append(importer) TypeError: 'dict' object is not callable
To fix this, you can force SCons to use your environment's Python version by running
python3 `which scons` build/X86/gem5.opt instead of
If the M4 macro processor isn‘t installed you’ll see an error similar to this:
... Checking for member exclude_host in struct perf_event_attr...yes Error: Can't find version of M4 macro processor. Please install M4 and try again.
Just installing the M4 macro package may not solve this issue. You may nee to also install all of the
autoconf tools. On Ubuntu, you can use the following command.
sudo apt-get install automake