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[Xen-devel] Execution Instruction Tracing

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Subject: [Xen-devel] Execution Instruction Tracing
From: "Adnan Khaleel" <Adnan.Khaleel@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 16:32:07 -0500
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Thread-topic: Execution Instruction Tracing
Hi there,

I'm a hardware designer and I'm interested in using Xen for a novel purpose and 
I'd like to know if this is possible at all.
One of my main problems has been the lack of decent execution traces for 
applications on real hardware. Needless to say this is a difficult task and I 
believe that virtual machine technology can play an important part in the 
solution. I recently posted a similar query to the Linux kernel develop group 
to see if there was a hack that would allow me to trace all instructions but 
apparently there isn't and most of the responses I got directed me to approach 
a full system emulator like Simics, SimNow, Bochs or qemu. All of these are 
wonderful pieces of software however I've worked with all of them and I've had 
problems with them trying to boot a modern operating system, be it Linux 2.6 or 
Win2k3, in a close to real configuration that is very stable. 

Since Xen includes a hypervisor, I want to explore the possibility of using 
that to record instructions executed; before we proceed any further I wanted to 
pose this question to the developers of Xen to see if this was indeed possible 
using a modified version of Xen. Although I have mentioned Win2k3 above, I 
would be more than happy if I could collect any traces using Linux, provided I 
can run a decent benchmark on it, say SpecJBB2000 or something similar. I've 
looked at the gdb-stub that Xen provides and that seems like an interesting way 
to start, however I would be interested in collecting system and user activity, 
along with identifiers for each. Additionally I would also like to obtain the 
process id of the current context.

I appreciate any responses or pointers you may have on this.


Adnan Khaleel

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