ARM Kernel

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This page contains instructions for building up-to-date kernels for gem5 running on ARM.

Linux command-line Configurations

These instructions are for running headless systems. That is a more "server" style system where there is no frame-buffer. The description has been created using the latest known-working tag in the repositories linked below, however the tables in each section list previous tags that are known to work. To built the kernels on an x86 host you'll need ARM cross compilers. If you're running a reasonably new version of ubuntu you can get a AArch32 (32-bit compiler) and AArch64 compiler by installing them from apt:
apt-get install  gcc-arm-linux-gnueabihf gcc-aarch64-linux-gnu

If you can't use these pre-made compilers the next easiest way to obtain the required compilers from Linaro.

Depending on the exact source of your cross compilers, the compiler names used below will required small changes.

32 bit kernel (AArch32)

These are instructions to generate a 32-bit ARM Linux binary.

To checkout the aarch32 kernel, execute the following command:

git clone

The repository contains a tag per gem5 kernel release. Check the GitHub page for a list of release tags. To checkout a tag, execute the following in the repository:

git checkout -b TAGNAME

To compile the kernel, execute the following commands in the repository:

make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf- vexpress_gem5_server_defconfig
make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf- -j4

Testing the just built kernel:

% ./build/ARM/gem5.opt configs/example/  --kernel=/tmp/linux-arm-gem5/vmlinux \
   --machine-type=VExpress_EMM --dtb-file=/tmp/linux-arm-gem5/arch/arm/boot/dts/vexpress-v2p-ca15-tc1-gem5.dtb 

64 bit kernel (AArch64)

These are instructions to generate a 32-bit ARM Linux binary.

wget ";a=snapshot;h=20140821;sf=tgz" -O 20140821-gem5_aarch64.tar.gz
tar zxf 20140821-gem5_aarch64.tar.gz
cd linux-aarch64-gem5-20140821/
make ARCH=arm64 CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-none-elf- gem5_defconfig
make ARCH=arm64 CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-none-elf- -j4
mv vmlinux vmlinux.arm64.20140821

Testing the just built kernel:

% ./build/ARM/gem5.opt configs/example/ --kernel=/tmp/linux-aarch64-gem5-20140821/vmlinux.arm64.20140821 --machine-type=VExpress_EMM64 \
    --dtb-file=/tmp/linux-aarch64-gem5-20140821/arch/arm64/boot/dts/aarch64_gem5_server.dtb --disk-image=linaro-minimal-armv8.img

Known working tags
Latest tag:

Mobile/Android Configuration

Coming soon!