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Simulation VCD waveform viewer, using old Motif UI


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Dinotrace README


Dinotrace is a tool designed to aid in viewing Verilog Value Change Dump, ASCII, Verilator, Tempest CCLI, COSMOS, Chango and Decsim Binary simulation traces. It is optimized for rapid design debugging using X-Windows Mosaic. A interface allows signal information to be annotated into source code using Emacs.

Dinotrace is no longer under development, and has a somewhat outdated Motif interface. It is however solid and reliable, and portability or other serious issues are fixed when requested.

license LGPLv3

Screen Shots

Example screen shots:

Example1 Example2

Linux Installation

Build using the GNU configuration process.

# Prerequisites
sudo apt-get install perl
# Obtain distribution kit
git clone
# Build
cd dinotrace
git pull
# Test
#export DISPLAY=:0.0  # If needed
./dinotrace traces/ascii.tra
# Install
make install

Dinotrace requires the Motif Widget set. If your system doesn't include Motif, or OpenMotif, a public domain version, LessTif, is available. Version 0.93.36 was known to work for this release. Be sure to also have the LessTif and X11 development files (header files) installed.

Supported Systems

Previous versions of Dinotrace were once built, and probably will still build on:

  • sparc-sun-solaris2.5.1
  • i386-pc-linux
  • i386-pc-cygwin32 (under Windows-2000 & Windows-XP)
  • x86_64-suse-linux
  • alpha-dec-osf4.0
  • alpha-dec-vms6.0 (see the special section on VMS installation.)
  • mips-dec-ultrix
  • sparc-sun-sunos4.1.4
  • vax-dec-vms6.0 (see the special section on VMS installation.)

Windows Installation

Dinotrace can be built for Windows under the Cygwin environment.

Dinotrace is still a X11 program, even under Windows. Thus you must add several packages to Cygwin.

  • Install Cygwin32. You'll need the gcc-g++, lesstif, make, and XFree96-prog (headers) packages. Generally these aren't installed by default, use the Cygwin setup executable to get them.
  • Obtain a X11 server. You can use XFree86 that came with cygwin. Another alternative is the commercial eXcursion or exceed programs. If using XFree86, you can start the server with xwin -multiwindow.
  • Make and install dinotrace using the instructions in the Linux section.

There are known problems in LessTif from looking at network drives in the Dinotrace File Open requestor. You may want to specify trace files on the command line instead of using the requestor.

VMS Installation

It's unlikely anyone is using VMS, but this is provided for historical reference/entertainment.

The configure program does not support Dinotrace, thus several command files are supplied to build Dinotrace.

# Change to the download directory of dinotrace.
$ set default WHERE_DOWNLOADED
# Build Dinotrace with the file.
# If all was successful, you should be able to invoke the Dinotrace executable.
$ run dinotrace.exe

Create a logical to point to Dinotrace, and make a symbol to invoke Dinotrace into the background. To do this, put in your group's (Substituting in the appropriate directory for somedisk$.)

$! Dinotrace
$ define/group/nolog DINODISK somedisk$:[DINOTRACE]
$ arch_bin_v == "_VV"
$ if f$getsyi("NODE_HWTYPE") .eqs. "ALPH" then arch_bin_v == "_VA"
$ Dinotraceexe :== "$dinodisk:dinotrace''arch_bin_v'"
$ Dinotrace :== "spawn/nowait/nolog/input=nl:/output=nl: dinotraceexe"

Note a hazard with this definition of dinotrace: The display, etc. must be set correctly for Dinotrace to start up. When running under VMS, if Dinotrace has an error message when starting, it will not be seen due to the spawn. To see error messages, users should be told to type:

$ dinotraceexe


See the documentation in `dinotrace.texi' or the equivalent Dinotrace Manual PDF.

Also see the Dinotrace FAQ.


This package is Copyright 1992-2021 by Digital Equipment Corporation, and Wilson Snyder <>.

Dinotrace 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, or (at your option) any later version.

Code created before 1998 was Copyrighted by Digital Equipment Corporation. Their Copyright also disclaims any warranties, and disallows reproduction for sale. Observing the GNU Copyleft should also cover this Copyright for any software distributed not for a fee.