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Holistic debugging
Number of Authors: 1
2006 (English)Report (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We present holistic debugging, a novel method for observing execution of complex and distributed software. It builds on an instruction set simulator, which provides reproducible experiments and non-intrusive probing of state in a distributed system. Instruction set simulators, however, provide low-level information, so a holistic debugger contains a translation framework that maps this information to higher abstraction level observation tools, such as source code debuggers. We have created Nornir, a proof-of-concept holistic debugger, built on the simulator Simics. For each observed process in the simulated system, Nornir creates an abstraction translation stack, with virtual machine translators that map machine-level storage contents (e.g. physical memory, registers) provided by Simics, to application-level data (e.g. virtual memory contents) by parsing the data structures of operating systems and virtual machines. Nornir includes a modified version of the GNU debugger (GDB), which supports non-intrusive symbolic debugging of distributed applications. Nornir's main interface is a debugger shepherd, a programmable interface that controls multiple debuggers, and allows users to coherently inspect the entire state of heterogeneous, distributed applications. It provides a robust observation platform for construction of new observation tools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Swedish Institute of Computer Science , 2006, 1. , 24 p.
SICS Technical Report, ISSN 1100-3154 ; 2006:14
Keyword [en]
distributed debugging, complete system simulation, Nornir
National Category
Computer and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-14217OAI: diva2:1035505
Available from: 2016-10-13 Created: 2016-10-13

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