Quick Start (Built-In Workloads)

After a fresh clone of the FireMarshal repository, you may need to update submodules. You may skip this step if you only intend to build bare-metal workloads:


FireMarshal comes with a few basic workloads that you can build right out of the box. These builtin workloads include: br-base.json (buildroot) and fedora-base.json (fedora). You can see the source for these workloads at boards/firechip/base-workloads. In this example, we will build and test the buildroot-based linux distribution (called br-base). The instructions are identical for fedora, just replace br-base.json with fedora-base.json. We begin by building the workload:

./marshal build br-base.json


The base-workloads directory is on the default search path for FireMarshal workloads. This means that we do not need to provide the full-path to the br-base.json configuration file. See Workload Search Paths for details on how workloads are located.

The first time you build a workload may take a long time (buildroot must download and cross-compile a large number of packages), but subsequent builds of the same base will use cached results. Once the command completes, you should see two new files in images/: br-base-bin and br-base.img. These are the boot-binary (linux + boot loader) and root filesystem (respectively). We can now launch this workload in qemu:

./marshal launch br-base.json

You should now see linux booting and be presented with a login prompt. Sign in as ‘root’ with password ‘firesim’. From here you can manipulate files, run commands, and generally use the image as if it had booted on real hardware. Any changes you make here will be persistent between reboots. Once you are done exploring, simply shutdown the workload:

$ poweroff

It is typically not a good idea to modify the *-base workloads directly since many other workloads might inherit those changes. To make sure that we’ve cleaned out any changes, let’s clean and rebuild the workload:

./marshal clean br-base.json
./marshal build br-base.json

Note that this build took significantly less time than the first; FireMarshal caches intermediate build steps whenever possible.

Finally, FireMarshal supports installing workloads to the FireSim cycle-exact simulator. To do this, you will need to use the FireMarshal that comes with FireSim or Chipyard (or manually configure firesim). To run a workload in FireSim, you must first install it from FireMarshal:

./marshal install br-base.json

This command creates a firesim workload file at firesim/deploy/workloads/br-base.json. You can now run this workload using the standard FireSim commands.