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Getting gem5

The latest gem5 source code (including the encumbered files) is available via our Git repository host at It is strongly recommend that you get a copy of gem5 by using git. You can get more info about the repository and git here. In additional to the main git repository, there is a mirror on GitHub (we can't currently accept pull requests on GitHub) and a Mercurial mirror. Keep in mind that the mirrors are read only. New code can only be submitted to the main git repository.

Official git repository

Steps for getting a copy of the source code:

  • Install git. This is available in the git package on Ubuntu and Redhat and OS X macports or home-brew.
  • After you clone the repository you can update it by typing git pull. Read the documentation on this page for more info on using git.

Mercurial mirror

NOTE: The Mercurial mirror is read-only.

  • Install Mercurial if you don't have it already. This is available in the mercurial package on Ubuntu and OSX Brew.
  • After you clone the repository you can update it by typing hg pull and hg update.

TAR dumps

If you want to download gem5 without installing Mercurial, you can get a tarball. But it will be more difficult to merge in changes when you need to update to new version. Tagged stable versions can be downloaded from GitHub.

Useful Software not in git

Full-System Stuff

You would need one or more of the following files to full system simulations using gem5. If you download these files, read this page for instructions on how to install these files.

IMPORTANT NOTE These links may reference old versions of gem5, Linux, or benchmarks. It is your responsibility to ensure you are using the correct infrastructure for your research!

  • Some scripts to quickly get you up and going
** [1] -- A set of scripts that will build gem5, download required images, and much much more. These scripts are documented, be sure to understand what they are doing!
  • ARM
    • ARM Full-System Files -- Pre-compiled kernel and disk images for 32-bit and 64-bit ARM simulation. Updated October 2014. There kernels all support PCIe devices and the 64-bit kernels support >2GB of DRAM.
    • Legacy ARM Full System Files -- A collection of previous ARM files that have been distributed. Anyone getting started with ARM and gem5 should use the above link.
    • BBench for gem5 -- Full-system Android files and BBench, a web-browser benchmark.
    • AsimBench for gem5 -- Full-system Android files for AsimBench, a benchmark suite containing various types of mobile applications.
  • X86
    • Full System Files -- The kernel used for regressions, an SMP version of it, and a disk image
    • config files -- Config files for both of the above kernels, and
  • (The script to create a blank disk image that used to be downloadable here is now included in the m5 repository, in the util directory.)
  • Alpha
    • Full System Files -- Pre-compiled Linux kernels, PALcode/Console code, and a filesystem
      • Unchanged since M5 2.0 beta 3. If you already have these you don't need them again.
    • linux-dist -- Everything you need to create your own disk image and compile everything in it from scratch


Pre-compiled Cross-compilers

Externally supplied cross compilers:

  • Ubuntu users can simply install ARM compilers with the crossbuild-essential-armhf and libc6-dev-armhf-armel-cross packages for 32-bit ARM and crossbuild-essential-arm64 and libc6-dev-arm64-cross for 64-bit ARM.
  • MIPS cross compilers from CodeSourcery

All generated with crosstool for x86 linux hosts/linux targets