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Multi-platform approach to reverse debugging of virtual machines


P.M. Dovgalyuk – Ph. D. (Eng.), Associate Professor, Novgorod State University. E-mail: M.A. Klimushenkova – Junior Research Scientist, Novgorod State University. E-mail: D.S. Dmitriev – Junior Research Scientist, Novgorod State University. E-mail: V.A. Makarov – Ph. D. (Eng.), Associate Professor, Novgorod State University. E-mail:

New hardware platforms debugging and prototyping is a highly complicated work. We present multi-platform deterministic replay me-thod for virtual machines. It reduces non-determinism of debugging and makes it more convenient. Presented approach was used to create system-wide reverse debugger upon multi-platform simulator QEMU. It can replay faults without affecting its behavior. Our approach is focused on replaying whole virtual machine state including its peripheral devices. Reverse debugging was tested on i386, x86-64, MIPS, and ARM target platforms, with Windows and GNU/Linux operating systems. One can use our debugger for modelling the peripheral devices and debugging user- and kernel-level code. Reverse debugging mechanism is fast enough to be used with real hardware devices and time critical applications.


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