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MARSS-x86 : Micro-Architecture & System Simulator for x86

Copyright 2010 Avadh Patel (apatel @

Marss-x86 is a simulation tool for x86-64 based Computing Systems.  It is based
on two independent open-source projects QEMU ( and
PTLsim (  Marss-x86 is developed at Computer
Architecture Group of SUNY Binghamton by Avadh Patel and other group Members.

You can find out more details about Marss go to ( 

System Requirements
To compile Marss on your system, you will need following:
* 2.5GHz CPU with minimum 2GB RAM (4GB Preferred)
* Standard C++ compiler, like g++ or icc
* SCons tool for compiling Marss (Minimum version 1.2.0)
* SDL Development Libraries (Required for QEMU)

If you don't have SCons install, install it using your stanard application
installation program like apt-get or yum.

Once you have SCons install go to Marss directory and give following command:

    $ scons -Q 

Default compile disables debugging and logging functionalities, to compile with
logging functions enable give following command:

    $ scons -Q debug=1

Default compile process compile simulator for single-core configuration.  To
compile Marss for Multi-Core SMP configuration give following command:

    $ scons -Q c=[num_cores]

To clean your compilation:

    $ scons -Q -c

After successfull compilation, to run Marss you have to be in the root of Marss
source directory.  Then give the following command:

    $ qemu/qemu-system-x86_64 -m [memory_size] [path-to-qemu-disk-image]

You can use all the regular QEMU command here, like start VM window in VNC give
'vnc :10' etc.  Once the system is booted, you can switch to Monitor mode using
'Ctrl-Alt-2' key and give following command to switch to simulation mode:

    (qemu) simconfig -run -stopinsns 100m -stats [stats-file-name]

You can also save simulation configuration parameters into a config file and
pass that as argument when you start qemu with '-simconfig' option.

    $ qemu/qemu-system-x86_64 -m [memory_size] [path-to-qemu-disk-image] -simconfig [simulator-config-file]

To get the list of available simulation options give following command:

    (qemu) simconfig

It will print all the simulation options on STDOUT.

For more information on using and modifying Marss please visit our website :

Happy Hacking.


PTLsim and QEMU based Computer Architecture Research Simulator



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