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[Qemu-devel] Developing new user-level target?

From: Patrick Mackinlay
Subject: [Qemu-devel] Developing new user-level target?
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 23:44:42 +0800

In searching across the net, I've managed to stumble across QEMU, which may be the best starting point for a project I have in mind. I'd like some feedback on the difficulty of doing what I propose, or if there are any more appropriate systems that people are aware of that may better satisfy my requirements.

Essentially, I have an interest in some older (mid to late 80's) UNIX computer systems. The one I'm particularly interested in used the CLIPPER processor (one of the first fully commercialised RISC CPUs) and a version of SVR3 named CLIX.

I'm interested in adding support for this system to QEMU. In the first instance, I'd like to get a user-level target working. Without having looked at any of the source yet, can someone comment on the difficulty of adding support for a new CPU? Following that, my next biggest concern is supporting not only the COFF executable format (does QEMU support only ELF at the moment?), but the translation from the native to Linux system calls.

As a final complexity, I'd like to (eventually) host all this on Windows - either natively under Win32, or more probably under the Interix subsystem included in Microsoft's Services For Unix (SFU). Again, the question arises regarding the system call translation component - how much work is involved in adapting this to suit a different (although still UNIX) target and a non-Linux host?

BTW, before anyone asks, I'm specifically interested in the user-level target right now. Producing a full system level emulation is interesting, but I have almost no documentation of the other system hardware and I think it's going to be quite an exercise in reverse-engineering to figure out enough to write emulation code.

Pat Mackinlay.

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