InfoTaskForce running on PowerPC (Dynamips)

choices..

choices..

Well considering what a hit it was, the last time I did this, I thought I’d give it another go!

And after a bit of fighting, I got it to run!

Now what were the obstacles?  Well for starters not having a full libc certainly hurts things.  Things like a malloc.  And without getting fancy with the memory map I did the lamest cheat ever, which is a 1MB static array I just handed out with a fake malloc (no free, I didn’t bother to track chunks), and you know it works enough.

Also I need to read files, and I need to look more into the hardware to see how to do that.  There seems to be plenty of hooks for NVRAM, but the ROMMON substitute doesn’t seem to support them.  Also there is no ROMMON hook for reading from the console!  The MIPS cilo is more ROMMON dependent, while the PowerPC c1700 talks to the uart directly so this is a PowerPC thing for right now.

I also learned something exciting about ld, which is how it can absorb binary images into objects, that you can link and access directly into your program!  No more having to convert it to hex, make these insane headders that CPP may or may not bomb over.  No you can make them objects right away!

ppc-elf-ld -r -b binary -o planetfa.o planetfa.dat

In this example I read the file planetfa.dat as BINARY, and encapsulate it in an object file called planetfa.o . It’ll now have a symbol name of _binary_planetfa_dat_start for where the image begins, _binary_planetfa_dat_size will tell me how big it is in memory, and _binary_planetfa_dat_end will mark the end of this ‘file’ in memory.

Now in the old days when it was a file I could access it like this:

fread ((char *)ptr,block_size,(int)num_blocks,game_file);

But that won’t work.  So now instead of calling fopen/fclose (which don’t exist in CILO), I set a counter to what my current offset is, change the ‘fseek’ to just set the global counter to where it should be, and when I fread I just memcpy:

memcpy(ptr,_binary_planetfa_dat_start+fseekp,num_blocks*block_size);
fseekp=fseekp+(num_blocks*block_size);

I suppose I could just have wrapped the f* calls into some emulation library but I don’t need to get all that crazy sophisticated.

C:\temp\dynamips>dynamips.exe -P 1700 -X -r 4 ciscoload.bin
Cisco Router Simulation Platform (version 0.2.15-experimental(merge uppc smips)Build-3-x86/MinGW stable)
Copyright (c) 2005-2011 Christophe Fillot.
Build date: Sep 19 2015 19:33:12

Local UUID: 0450c178-6480-11e5-a559-019031cf957a

Pcap version [WinPcap version 4.1.3 (packet.dll version 4.1.0.2980), based on libpcap version 1.0 branch 1_0_rel0b (20091008)]
Unsure if this file (c1700_i0_rommon_vars) needs to be in binary mode
Virtual RAM size set to 4 MB.
IOS image file: ciscoload.bin

ILT: loaded table “mips64j” from cache.
ILT: loaded table “mips64e” from cache.
ILT: loaded table “ppc32j” from cache.
ILT: loaded table “ppc32e” from cache.
vtty_term_init
CPU0: carved JIT exec zone of 64 Mb into 2048 pages of 32 Kb.
C1700 instance ‘default’ (id 0):
VM Status : 0
RAM size : 4 Mb
NVRAM size : 32 Kb
IOS image : ciscoload.bin

Loading BAT registers
Loading ELF file ‘ciscoload.bin’…
ELF entry point: 0x8000d9c8

C1700 ‘default’: starting simulation (CPU0 IA=0xfff00100), JIT enabled.
ROMMON emulation microcode.

Launching IOS image at 0x8000d9c8…
CILO
CiscoLoader (CILO) – Linux bootloader for Cisco Routers
Available RAM: 4096 kB
Available commands:
queen
hanoi
horse
fib
planetfall
halt

Enter filename to boot:
malloc 64512 offset is 0 offset is now 64522
malloc 38912 offset is 64522 offset is now 103444
PLANETFALL
Infocom interactive fiction – a science fiction story
Copyright (c) 1983 by Infocom, Inc. All rights reserved.
PLANETFALL is a trademark of Infocom, Inc.
Release 37 / Serial number 851003

Another routine day of drudgery aboard the Stellar Patrol Ship Feinstein. This
morning’s assignment for a certain lowly Ensign Seventh Class: scrubbing the
filthy metal deck at the port end of Level Nine. With your Patrol-issue
self-contained multi-purpose all-weather scrub brush you shine the floor with a
diligence born of the knowledge that at any moment dreaded Ensign First Class
Blather, the bane of your shipboard existence, could appear.

Deck Nine
This is a featureless corridor similar to every other corridor on the ship. It
curves away to starboard, and a gangway leads up. To port is the entrance to
one of the ship’s primary escape pods. The pod bulkhead is closed.

Deck Nine Score: 0/4451
PLANETFALL
Infocom interactive fiction – a science fiction story
Copyright (c) 1983 by Infocom, Inc. All rights reserved.
PLANETFALL is a trademark of Infocom, Inc.
Release 37 / Serial number 851003

Deck Nine Score: 0/4451
>

For anyone crazy enough, you can find my MinGW Dynamips on sourceforge, cross compilers for PowerPC, and the branch of the firmware source that includes InfoTaskForce, and the binary image.

While I don’t want to write an OS for this, it is almost tempting.  Or go the other route, and add in some non router based hardware… Like audio hardware, or a framebuffer.

Does anyone have a 1700 to test to see if any of this works?  Or a 7200?! 😀

This entry was posted in cisco, Dynamips, gcc, Infocom, powerpc by neozeed. Bookmark the permalink.
avatar

About neozeed

What is there to tell? I've loved UNIX like things since I was first exposed to QNX in highschool (we had the Unisys ICONS!), and spent the better time of my teenage years trying to get my own UNIX... I should have bought Coherent in retrospect.. Anyways latched onto Linux in 1992, and then got some old BSD admin books and have been hooked on the VAX BSD & other big/ancient things since...!

6 thoughts on “InfoTaskForce running on PowerPC (Dynamips)

    • I think you ought to be able to netboot it.. which I know is a PITA on it’s own right… At least on Dynamips this compiles and acts like IOS. This old version of binutils lets me kick out an exe that only has a single program segment. which is what the cisco ROM can only deal with.

      But I totally get that ‘works on an emulator that emulates just enough hardware’ is not the same as real hardware.

      ELFTool – a simple tool for viewing ELF file structures.
      (c) 2008 Philippe Vachon

      ELF File Header:
      ================================================
      Ident bytes:
      Class: 32-bit
      Data type: Big endian
      Version: 1

      ELF Object Type: Executable File (2)
      Machine ID: 0x33
      Cisco 1700 Series Router (PowerPC, MPC860) or Stanford MIPS-X
      Version: 0x00000001
      Entry point: 0x8000d5d0
      Program header offset: 0x00000034
      Section header offset: 0x00025930
      Flags: 0x00000000
      ELF Header Size: 52 bytes
      Program Header Entry Size: 32 bytes
      Program Header Count: 1
      Section header Entry Size: 40 bytes
      Section Header Count: 9
      String table entry index: 8

      Section Header Entries:
      ================================================
      Section 0
      Name: null [0]
      Type: SHT_NULL (0x00000000)
      Flags: 0x00000000

      Address: 0x00000000
      Offset: 0 bytes
      Size: 0 bytes
      Link: 0x00000000
      Additional Info: 0x00000000
      Address Alignment: 0x00000000
      Per-Entry Size: 0 bytes

      Section 1
      Name: .text [11]
      Type: SHT_PROGBITS (0x00000001)
      Flags: 0x00000007
      Awx
      Address: 0x80008000
      Offset: 84 bytes
      Size: 40892 bytes
      Link: 0x00000000
      Additional Info: 0x00000000
      Address Alignment: 0x00000004
      Per-Entry Size: 0 bytes

      Section 2
      Name: .rodata [17]
      Type: SHT_PROGBITS (0x00000001)
      Flags: 0x00000002
      A–
      Address: 0x80011fbc
      Offset: 40976 bytes
      Size: 2772 bytes
      Link: 0x00000000
      Additional Info: 0x00000000
      Address Alignment: 0x00000004
      Per-Entry Size: 0 bytes

      Section 3
      Name: .data [25]
      Type: SHT_PROGBITS (0x00000001)
      Flags: 0x00000003
      Aw-
      Address: 0x80012a90
      Offset: 43748 bytes
      Size: 109543 bytes
      Link: 0x00000000
      Additional Info: 0x00000000
      Address Alignment: 0x00000004
      Per-Entry Size: 0 bytes

      Section 4
      Name: .sdata [31]
      Type: SHT_PROGBITS (0x00000001)
      Flags: 0x00000003
      Aw-
      Address: 0x8002d678
      Offset: 153292 bytes
      Size: 12 bytes
      Link: 0x00000000
      Additional Info: 0x00000000
      Address Alignment: 0x00000004
      Per-Entry Size: 0 bytes

      Section 5
      Name: .sbss [38]
      Type: SHT_NOBITS (0x00000008)
      Flags: 0x00000003
      Aw-
      Address: 0x8002d684
      Offset: 153304 bytes
      Size: 208 bytes
      Link: 0x00000000
      Additional Info: 0x00000000
      Address Alignment: 0x00000004
      Per-Entry Size: 0 bytes

      Section 6
      Name: .bss [44]
      Type: SHT_NOBITS (0x00000008)
      Flags: 0x00000003
      Aw-
      Address: 0x8002d754
      Offset: 153304 bytes
      Size: 1049120 bytes
      Link: 0x00000000
      Additional Info: 0x00000000
      Address Alignment: 0x00000004
      Per-Entry Size: 0 bytes

      Section 7
      Name: .comment [49]
      Type: SHT_PROGBITS (0x00000001)
      Flags: 0x00000000

      Address: 0x00000000
      Offset: 153304 bytes
      Size: 540 bytes
      Link: 0x00000000
      Additional Info: 0x00000000
      Address Alignment: 0x00000001
      Per-Entry Size: 0 bytes

      Section 8
      Name: .shstrtab [1]
      Type: SHT_STRTAB (0x00000003)
      Flags: 0x00000000

      Address: 0x00000000
      Offset: 153844 bytes
      Size: 58 bytes
      Link: 0x00000000
      Additional Info: 0x00000000
      Address Alignment: 0x00000001
      Per-Entry Size: 0 bytes

      Program Header Entries
      ================================================
      Segment 0
      Type: PT_LOAD (0x00000001)
      Offset: 0x00000054
      Virtual Address: 0x80008000
      Physical Address: 0x80008000
      Size in File: 153220 bytes
      Size in Memory: 1202548 bytes
      Flags: 0x00000007
      Alignment: 0x00000004

      • Yup!
        I copied it to flash and added
        boot system flash ciscoload.bin

        *Aug 5 23:33:44.743: %SYS-5-RELOAD: Reload requested by console. Reload Reason: Reload Command.
        System Bootstrap, Version 12.2(7r)XM4, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
        TAC Support: http://www.cisco.com/tac
        Copyright (c) 2003 by cisco Systems, Inc.
        C1700 platform with 98304 Kbytes of main memory

        program load complete, entry point: 0x8000d9c8, size: 0x24f03
        CILO
        CiscoLoader (CILO) – Linux bootloader for Cisco Routers
        Available RAM: 98304 kB
        Available commands:
        c1700-k9o3sy7-mz.124-15.T10.bin
        vlan.dat
        old-startup
        ciscoload.bin
        queen
        hanoi
        horse
        fib
        planetfall
        halt

        Enter filename to boot:
        >
        Enter filename to boot:
        malloc 64512 offset is 0 offset is now 64522
        malloc 38912 offset is 64522 offset is now 103444
        PLANETFALL
        Infocom interactive fiction – a science fiction story
        Copyright (c) 1983 by Infocom, Inc. All rights reserved.
        PLANETFALL is a trademark of Infocom, Inc.
        Release 37 / Serial number 851003

        Another routine day of drudgery aboard the Stellar Patrol Ship Feinstein. This
        morning’s assignment for a certain lowly Ensign Seventh Class: scrubbing the
        filthy metal deck at the port end of Level Nine. With your Patrol-issue
        self-contained multi-purpose all-weather scrub brush you shine the floor with a
        diligence born of the knowledge that at any moment dreaded Ensign First Class
        Blather, the bane of your shipboard existence, could appear.

        Deck Nine
        This is a featureless corridor similar to every other corridor on the ship. It
        curves away to starboard, and a gangway leads up. To port is the entrance to
        one of the ship’s primary escape pods. The pod bulkhead is closed.

        Deck Nine Score: 0/4451
        >

      • Wow that’s pretty cool!!!! Thanks for booting it up, it’s awesome to know it actually works on IRON!

        It ought to be able to load multisegment ELF executables, and I hope single segment executables… Meaning you should be able to load your IOS back to get a functional device…

        Thanks again for testing this!

  1. It didn’t load IOS from the prompt – it eventually dropped me back to the prompt again. Ended up recovering from rommon and tftp booting IOS to recover it.

    I’ll tftp boot ciscoload.bin next time. All good fun though!

    • I guess because it occupies the same space IOS expects to load (because it basically is an IOS), so there is a conflict. I’ll have to read up on relocation, or embedding another copy of itself in itself to relocate in middle memory so high memory and low memory are free…

      But otherwise, I need to see how to talk to the clock so I can run those integer benchmark tools (hanoi, queens etc) to get an idea of how fast the emulation is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.