Easy to use graphical ARM simulator
QtARMSim is an easy to use graphical ARM simulator. It provides an easy to use multiplatform ARM emulation environment that has been designed to be used on Computer Architecture introductory courses. It is a graphical interface to the ARMSim ARM simulator.
The ARMSim ARM simulator, Copyright (c) 2014-18 by Germán Fabregat, is bundled with QtARMSim. It can be found on the armsim/ subdirectory of the QtARMSim installation path.
1. Installing QtARMSim and its dependencies
The next sections describe how to install QtARMSim, ARMSim, and their dependencies on GNU/Linux, Windows and macOS.
1.1 Installing QtARMSim on GNU/Linux
The major GNU/Linux distributions already provide packages for Python3 and Ruby. Therefore, the actual GNU/Linux distribution package manager can be used to install this software. As for the GNU Gcc, the required part of the GNU Gcc toolchain targeting the ARM platform is bundled with QtARMSim. Gosu can be installed using the Ruby package manager gem. Finally, Qt for Python and QtARMSim can be installed using the pip3 command provided by Python3. (If after installing python3, the pip3 command is not available, it can be manually installed by downloading get-pip.py, and executing it: sudo python3 get-pip.py.)
For example, on Ubuntu you can install QtARMSim, ARMSim and their dependencies using:
$ sudo apt-get install python3-pip ruby $ # See https://github.com/gosu/gosu/wiki/Getting-Started-on-Linux $ # for gosu dependencies $ sudo gem install gosu $ sudo pip3 install PySide2 QtARMSim
On a Gentoo distribution, you can install QtARMSim, ARMSim and their dependencies issuing (as root):
# emerge -av ruby $ # See https://github.com/gosu/gosu/wiki/Getting-Started-on-Linux $ # for gosu dependencies # gem install gosu # pip3 install PySide2 QtARMSim
Note about PySide2. If the command ‘pip3 install PySide2’ fails to install PySide2, you can follow the instructions in Qt for Python/GettingStarted to install the latest PySide2 snapshot wheel, which at the time this installation guide was written, consisted in executing the following command:
pip3 install --index-url=http://download.qt.io/snapshots/ci/pyside/5.11/latest/ PySide2 --trusted-host download.qt.io
1.2 Installing QtARMSim on Windows
To install QtARMSim, ARMSim, and their dependencies on Windows, please follow the next steps:
Download and install a 64 bits Python version, either the 3.5 or the 3.6 version, from the Python releases for Windows page. Please check the ‘Add Python 3.X to PATH’ option when installing it.
Download and install a 64 bits Ruby version from the Ruby Installer for Windows page. During the installation process, make sure that the ‘Add Ruby executables to your PATH’ option is selected.
Open a Windows console (executing either Windows PowerShell or cmd, depending on your Windows version), and execute the commands indicated in the next steps.
Install the Gosu library using the gem command:
PS C:\Users\Username> gem install gosu
Install PySide2 using the pip3 command:
PS C:\Users\Username> pip3 install PySide2
If the latest version of PySide2 is not automatically installed, please follow the instructions in Qt for Python/GettingStarted to install the latest PySide2 snapshot wheel for Windows.
Install QtARMSim using the pip3 command:
PS C:\Users\Username> pip3 install QtARMSim
1.3 Installing QtARMSim on macOS
To install QtARMSim, ARMSim, and their dependencies on macOS, please follow the next steps:
Open a Terminal and execute the commands indicated in the next steps.
Install Python 3.6 (or Python 3.5) and pip:
$ sudo port install python36 py36-pip $ sudo port select --set python3 python36 $ sudo port select --set pip pip36
$ sudo port install ruby25 $ sudo port select --set ruby ruby25
Install libsdl2 and Gosu:
$ sudo port install libsdl2 gosu
$ sudo pip install PySide2
If the latest version of PySide2 is not automatically installed, please follow the instructions in Qt for Python/GettingStarted to install the latest PySide2 snapshot wheel for macOS.
$ sudo pip install QtARMSim
After installing QtARMSim, its executable will be at: /opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.6/bin/qtarmsim.
QtARMSim python source code will be at: /opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.6/lib/python3.6/site-packages/qtarmsim/.
And the ARMSim ruby source code will be at: /opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.6/lib/python3.6/site-packages/qtarmsim/armsim.
1.4 Installing the GNU Gcc toolchain targeting the ARM EABI
Starting with version 0.3.1 of QtARMSim, the required part of the GNU Gcc toolchain targeting the ARM platform is already bundled with QtARMSim. So this step is no longer required, unless there is some problem with the bundled GNU Gcc toolchain (for example, if QtARMSim does not assemble a given source code). In this case, another instance of GNU Gcc can be installed and used.
On GNU/Linux, this can be accomplished by installing a GNU Gcc for ARM package provided by the GNU/Linux distribution being used, by building a cross-compiling toolchain, or by extracting the gcc-arm-none-eabi tar.gz for linux32 from the Arduino download page. For example, on Ubuntu, this optional step can be achieved with:
$ sudo apt-get install gcc-arm-linux-gnueabi
And on Gentoo with:
# emerge -av crossdev # echo "PORDIR_OVERLAY=/usr/local/portage" >> /etc/portage/make.conf # crossdev --target arm --ov-output /usr/local/portage
On Windows, to perform this optional step, download the GNU Gcc ARM cross compiler for Windows from the Arduino download page. Open the gcc-arm-none-eabi-x.y.y-win32.tar.gz file, and extract the gcc-arm-none-eabi folder on any path you prefer.
Once a new GNU Gcc toolchain targeting the ARM platform is installed, please configure the ARMSim Gcc Compiler QtARMSim option to point to the new ‘arm-none-eabi-gcc’ command.
2. Executing QtARMSim
To execute QtARMSim, run the qtarmsim command, or click on the corresponding entry on the applications menu (on GNU/Linux, under the Education category).
3. Upgrading QtARMSim
To upgrade an already installed QtARMSim, execute the following command on GNU/Linux:
$ sudo pip3 install --upgrade QtARMSim
PS C:\Users\Username> pip3 install --upgrade QtARMSim
sudo pip install --upgrade QtARMSim
4. Uninstalling QtARMSim
To uninstall QtARMSim on GNU/Linux, execute the following command:
$ sudo pip3 uninstall QtARMSim
PS C:\Users\Username> pip3 uninstall QtARMSim
sudo pip uninstall QtARMSim
Copyright 2014-18 Sergio Barrachina Mir <email@example.com>
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
3rd party software acknowledgments
The next 3rd party software is used and distributed with QtARMSim.
ARMSim: an ARM simulator, copyright Germán Fabregat Llueca, licensed under the GPLv3+. Included under the qtarmsim/armsim directory.
GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection, copyright the Free Software Foundation, Inc, licensed under the GPLv3, with the addition under section 7 of an exception described in the “GCC Runtime Library Exception, version 3.1” (see <https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/libstdc++/manual/license.html>). Binary versions targeting the ARM EABI are included under the qtarmsim/gcc-arm directory.
Qfplib: an ARM Cortex-M0 floating-point library in 1 kbyte, copyright Mark Owen, licensed under the GPLv2. Source code included under the 3rdparty/ directory. This part of the code is only available under the GPLv2 license.
AlphaSmart 3000 font, designed by Colonel Sanders. Included under the 3rdparty/ directory.
- Added an scroll area inside the LCD Display dock widget (so that the LCD width does not force the whole simulator width).
- Changed LCD font to “AlphaSmart 3000” by Colonel Sanders.
- Added a new example of floating point operations usage, triangle.s, under ‘File > Examples > Floating point’ menu.
- Changed LCD font to “1 Digit” by David Chung.
- Fixed bug that prevented code to be resized.
- Properly acknowledging Qfplib by Mark Owen.
- Added memory contents tooltips.
- Added new example, LCD/ascii, and revised previous ones.
- Changed the way the monospaced font is selected.
- Migrated to Qt for Python (PySide2).
- Speeded up the filling of the simulator data.
- Added examples as a File menu entry.
- Added ARMSim tabs to separate the source code of the different ROMs.
- Added Qfplib (floating point library) API documentation to the help.
- Added UseLabels ARMSim option.
- Memory dock: first RAM is expanded by default and whenever a memory entry is modified it scrolls to its position.
- Corrected typo on the restructured text format of the changelog documentation.
- Added support in the simulator to showing jump labels instead of their addresses.
- Corrected errata on Qfp library acknowledgments.
- Removed legacy code from GlSpim.
- Added SVG icon support explicitly: the toolbar icons now will be also shown on Windows.
- ARMSyntaxHighlighter rules are now generated only the first time.
- ARMSim: - Added support for floating point operations including Qfplib: an ARM Cortex-M0 floating-point library in 1 kbyte. - Corrected minor bug: .global declared labels generated a linking error. - Corrected minor bug: negative displacements on ‘bl’ instructions where incorrectly displayed.
- Added preliminary printing support.
- Changed the icon set to the KDE Breeze one.
- LCD Display not rescaling correctly on some desktop environments fixed.
- LCD display can now be zoomed with CTRL+mouse wheel.
- Editors and panels now honor the system default point size.
- Now the menu bar is displayed on the system menu bar on Mac OS X.
- The Edit menu actions have been implemented.
- Settings values are now automatically stripped to avoid errors due to misplaced spaces.
- ARMSim: updated firmware to correct a bug on sdivide subroutine.
- ARMSim: updated firmware to provide a signed division subroutine.
- Bug corrected: waiting spinner occluded File and Edit menus.
- Added firmware ROM that provides, among others, functions to display strings and numbers on the LCD display. The new memory organization consists of two ROM blocks and two RAM blocks. The first ROM block is filled with the assembled user code. The second ROM, with the firmware machine code. The first RAM can be used to store the user program data. The second RAM is used by the LCD display.
- The graphical interface now uses a thread to retrieve the memory contents and the disassembled code from the two ROM blocks.
- The regular expressions used to highlight the code on the editors have been optimized to increase the highlighting process speed.
- Improved the Mac OS X compatibility and added installation instructions for this platform.
- Changed the minimum size of the code editor container to accommodate lower resolution screens.
- ARMSim: (i) LSL result is now bounded to 32 bits; (ii) command redirection is performed explicitly to avoid an error on newer Windows versions; and (iii) the method used to compare whether memory blocks where not defined has been changed to avoid errors on Ruby with version >= 2.3.
- Added a memory dump dock widget that allows to see and edit the memory at byte level. It also shows the ASCII equivalent of each byte.
- Added a LCD display dock widget that provides a simple output system. It has a size of 32x6 and each character is mapped to a memory position starting a 0x20070000.
- Added a visual indication of which instructions have already been executed on the left margin of the ARMSim panel.
- Added automatic scroll on simulation mode in order to keep the next line that is going to be executed visible.
- Improved the automatic selection of a mono spaced font (previously selected font used ligatures).
- Fixed an error on the Preferences Dialog which prevented to select the ARMSim directory and the Gcc ARM command line using the corresponding directory/file selector dialogs.
- ARMSim: Fixed the simulation of shift instructions: only the 8 least significant bits are now used to obtain the shift amount.
- ARMSim.: Fixed the behavior when memory outside the current memory map is accessed: each wrong access now raises a memory access error.
- Bundled a reduced set of the GNU compiler toolchain. To reduce the package size, only those files actually required to assemble an assembly source code have been included.
- Migrated from PyQt to PySide to allow a simpler installation of QtARMSim.
- Developed a new source code editor based on QPlainTextEdit, though removing the prior QScintilla dependency, which allows a simpler installation of QtARMSim.
- Improved the ARM Assembler syntax highlighting.
- Last revision of the first functional QtARMSim implementation. This implementation was used on the first semester of an introductory course on Computer Architecture at Jaume I University. This is the last version of that implementation, which used PyQt and QScintilla.