Quick Start

All workload-generation related commands and code are in firesim/sw/firesim-software.

FireMarshal comes with a few basic workloads that you can build right out of the box (in workloads/). In this example, we will build and test the buildroot-based linux distribution (called br-base).

We begin by building the workload. This will build the linux binary, the platform specific drivers (and initramfs), and the root filesystem:

./marshal build workloads/br-base.json

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, initramfs, and boot loader) and root filesystem (respectively). We can now launch this workload in qemu:

./marshal launch workloads/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 workloads/br-base.json
./marshal build workloads/br-base.json

Note that this build took significantly less time than the first; FireMarshal caches intermediate build steps whenever possible. The final step is to run this workload on the real firesim RTL with full timing accuracy. To do that we must first install the workload:

./marshal install workloads/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 (e.g. Running a Single Node Simulation, just change the workloadname option to “br-base.json” from “linux-uniform.json”).


While the FireMarshal install command is the recommended way to create firesim configurations, you can still hand-create firesim workloads if needed. For example, the linux-uniform workload described in Running a Single Node Simulation is a manually created workload that uses the br-base-bin and br-base.img files directly.