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Re: [Qemu-devel] Help needed testing on ppc
Re: [Qemu-devel] Help needed testing on ppc
Wed, 7 May 2014 01:17:39 +0200 (CEST)
Alpine 2.02 (LMD 1266 2009-07-14)
On Tue, 6 May 2014, Tom Musta wrote:
On 5/6/2014 5:03 AM, BALATON Zoltan wrote:
As I got no reply on the qemu-ppc list so far I try here maybe there
are some people who read this list but don't follow the ppc one.
I don't have the necessary hardware to do the testing needed for the
patch below. Some context for the discussion can be found in this
It seems we have some code that contains instructions with a reserved
bit set in an stwx instruction that works on real hardware but causes
an invalid instruction exception on QEMU.
I'd appreciate some insight and help.
This is a bit tricky. You appear to have code that has a reserved bit
Early forms of the PowerPC ISA (circa 1998) said this: "All reserved
fields in instructions should be zero. If they are not, the instruction
form is invalid. ... Any attempt to execute an invalid form of an
instruction will cause the system illegal instruction error handler to
be invoked or yield boundedly undefined results." QEMU, as a general
rule, meets this requirement by causing illegal instruction exceptions.
More modern versions of the ISA (circa 2006) say this: "Reserved fields
in instructions are ignored by the processor. This is a requirement in
the Server environment and is being phased into the Embedded
environment. ... To maximize compatibility with future architecture
extensions, software must ensure that reserved fields in instructions
contain zero and that defined fields of instructions do not contain
reserved values." Technically, QEMU does not comply with the
requirement in the first sentence; and MorpOS does not comply with the
The newer form of the ISA is compatible with the older one since
ignoring reserved fields is a valid implementation of "boundedly
Thanks for the exhaustive answer with definitive references. This is
really very helpful.
A few questions and comments:
(1) Why is MorphOS using this invalid instruction form? Would it be
easier to fix the OS rather than QEMU?
I don't know why is it used. I can ask the MorphOS developers but they did
not seem to be too supportive so far and at least one of them expressed
that they have no interest supporting other than their officially
supported list of hardware at this time. So I assume it is easier to fix
QEMU than MorphOS and if it works on a real Mac then it should also work
on QEMU's emulation of that Mac hardware.
Is there some undocumented processor behavior that the code is dependent
upon (e.g. is it actually expected CR0 to be set?).
This is what the testing was supposed to find out but MorphOS seems to run
better with the quoted patch so I don't think it depends on any other
undocumented behaviour other than ignoring reserved bits but I have no
(2) Your patch makes some store instructions compliant with the most
recent ISAs but there are many other instructions that are not addressed
by the patch. I think fixing only some will be a future source of
(3) The change risks breaking behavior on older designs which may very
well have taken the illegal instruction interrupt. Would it make more
sense to leave the masks as-is and instead make a single, isolated
change in the decoder (gen_intermediate_code_internal). This behavior
could be made conditional (configuration item? processor family
specific flag?). Unfortunately, the masks also catch some invalid forms
that do not involve reserved fields (e.g. lq/stq to odd numbered
I don't know this code very well so not sure I can follow your suggestion.
Are you proposing that the invalid masks could be ignored globally in
gen_intermediate_code_internal (around target-ppc/traslate.c:11444) based
on some condition for all opcodes?
Since your quotes above show that QEMU does not implement the current
specification and code relying on older behaviour would not run on newer
processors so it's likely they will get fixed so I think the risk of
breaking older designs is less than breaking software that rely on current
specification so IMO it should be changed in QEMU if possible and only
care about older designs when one is actually encountered.
(4) In general, modeling undefined behavior is a slippery slope. I
would much prefer to see the code fixed or justified before changing
I can try to ask on the MorphOS list but their previous answer to another
question was that it works on the hardware they officially support.