Is real hardware debugging possible?

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coffeeprogrammer

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2021
116
11
Hi,

So I posted about debugging a whole operating system with QEMU, something I think is possible with WinDbg and QEMU some how using some thing called EXDI, I will put a link below. But that is not what this question is about. I have been wondering if it is possible to do whole system debugging on real hardware. I’ve always wondered about it a bit, but I got more entrusted when Steve said he uses the periscope debugger for SpinRite dev. I looked that up and seemed that part of it was something that plugged in the CPU socket and then the CPU plugged into that. I don’t think that works on today’s CPUs , but I have wondered if today's computers support something like it in their hardware. For example on old intel i5 HP desktop, would that work? I tried to look it up online and I found some kind of a specification called JTAG. I am not sure what it is or if comes on normal desktops (most of the articles were about ARM I think). And similar to QEMU, the type of debugging symbols would be import, unless there is a software in between should hardware and the debugger. QEMU uses the GNU debugging symbols, I don’t remember what the proper name for the GNU/Linux style symbols is, but it is different than the MS program database PDB symbols that Vs/WinDbg use. (That is why I am unsure how one could connect WinDbg to QEMU, different symbol types). Anyway, anyone who knows some simple beginning answers (or even more complex answers) or links to internet resources on this subject is welcomed. Basically I want to do what I did with ReactOS in QEMU on real x86 hardware.



Thank you,

Chad
 
Hi,

So I posted about debugging a whole operating system with QEMU, something I think is possible with WinDbg and QEMU some how using some thing called EXDI, I will put a link below. But that is not what this question is about. I have been wondering if it is possible to do whole system debugging on real hardware. I’ve always wondered about it a bit, but I got more entrusted when Steve said he uses the periscope debugger for SpinRite dev. I looked that up and seemed that part of it was something that plugged in the CPU socket and then the CPU plugged into that. I don’t think that works on today’s CPUs , but I have wondered if today's computers support something like it in their hardware. For example on old intel i5 HP desktop, would that work? I tried to look it up online and I found some kind of a specification called JTAG. I am not sure what it is or if comes on normal desktops (most of the articles were about ARM I think). And similar to QEMU, the type of debugging symbols would be import, unless there is a software in between should hardware and the debugger. QEMU uses the GNU debugging symbols, I don’t remember what the proper name for the GNU/Linux style symbols is, but it is different than the MS program database PDB symbols that Vs/WinDbg use. (That is why I am unsure how one could connect WinDbg to QEMU, different symbol types). Anyway, anyone who knows some simple beginning answers (or even more complex answers) or links to internet resources on this subject is welcomed. Basically I want to do what I did with ReactOS in QEMU on real x86 hardware.



Thank you,

Chad
forgot the links
have had time to read these yet and I don't think it will happen tonight, but maybe somebody else wants too.