VMware with CCS

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Running CCStudio on VMware Images

Code Composer Studio can be run on VMware images. There are no limitations when using CCS for a simulator configuration on VMware images. However, VMware has some limitations that need to be taken into consideration if a JTAG debugger is planned to be used with a CCS installation on a VMware image. These limitations are covered in the below sections.

Please note that VMWare is not an officially supported configuration.

PCI Based Debug Probes

The PCI bus doesn't support multiple operating systems sharing it on the same host. What this means is that there is no way to see a PCI card installed in the host on the virtual machine. Thus PCI based debug probes (i.e. TI XDS560 PCI) cannot be used directly by the VMware image. However there is a workaround for people who wish to use a TI XDS560 debug probe - use the Blackhawk Remote Emulation Technology and have the the host PC as the server and the VMware image as the client.

XDS100 Debug Probes

Despite some configurations work fine with XDS100 on a virtual machine, the performance degradation is significant and should be expected, especially with more intricate ISAs such as C66x and ARM cores.

Workstation 5.x / Player 1.x

BlackHawk (BH) 560 USB debug probes have been known to successful work w/ VMWare images. The VMware image must have the USB auto connect feature enabled. The VMWare image will auto detect any USB devices connected to the host PC. This feature is typically disabled (default) when VMWare images are created. VMWare workstation users must enable this feature in the virtual machine settings on the USB Controller when creating the image.

There are various issues with VMWare and other USB devices. In a nutshell, some USB based debug probes (i.e. SD XDS510USB) do not work reliably with a VMware image.

The following debug probe combinations have (so far) been validated with VMware images (using Workstation 5.x / Player 1.x):

  • Spectrum Digital (SD) Parallel Port based debug probes (SD XDS510PP/PLUS, SD SPI515, etc...)
  • TI XDS560 PCI w/BH Remote Emulation Technology
  • BlackHawk 560M USB debug probe
  • Ethernet based debug probes (BlackHawk LAN560, etc...)

The following debug probe combinations have NOT worked with VMware images (using Workstation 5.x / Player 1.x):

  • SD XDS510USB
  • TI XDS560 PCI (on its own)

Currently, there is NOT a viable method for using Trace from a VMWare image. The Blackhawk remote emulation server does not transport the Trace Streams necessary for collecting Trace data.

Workstation 6.x / Player 2.x

VMware has greatly improved their USB support in their latest versions of Workstation and Player. Previous limitations that existed with Workstation 5.x / Player 1.x have been resolved. Among the key improvements is USB 2.0 support, which means USB 2.0 debug probes can run at full speed. Also general improvements to their USB support have allowed some debug probes which did not work with VMware images to now work (such as SD XDS510USB).

NOTE: For full USB 2.0 support, the VMware image must be a Workstation 6.x version. Older Workstation 5.x images can be updated to 6.x using the 'VM->Upgrade or Change Version...' option in Workstation 6.x. VMware Player 2.x can play Workstation 6.x images. Be aware that upgrading the image to Workstation 6.x will make it no longer playable by Workstation 5.x / Player 1.x.

The following debug probe combinations have (so far) been validated with VMware images (Workstation 6.x / Player 2.x):

  • Spectrum Digital XDS510USB
  • BlackHawk 560M USB debug probe
  • Signum JTAGJet

Blackhawk Tested VMware Scenarios
Base System Configurations Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop v4 update5 and v5

VMware Workstation v6.5.1 (includes Player v2.5)
VMware Virtual Image Information Windows XP Pro with SP2

CCStudio: v3.3 with SR11 applied

Blackhawk v3.3.200.3 Drivers (includes VMWare support updates in Windows device drivers)
Debug Probe Models Tested

BH-USB-560bp, BH-USB-560m, BH-LAN-560, BH-USB-510, BH-USB-510L, BH-USB-2000

Platforms Not Recommended for Virtual Emulation

VirtualBox 4.1, Windows 7 XPMode SP1.

Workstation 8.x / Player 4.x

Continuing with the improvements on USB support, these versions were checked to work fine with the following debug probe classes: XDS100v2, XDS200 and XDS560v2. The environment tested was Windows XP as guest and Windows 7 as host Operating system. In the case of XDS200 and XDS560v2, both standalone and the onboard (also called Mezzanine) debug probes were found to work.

Linux and Mac OSX as a guest OS

When using Linux in a Virtual Machine, most of the details and supported debug probes above are applicable to this scenario. However, XDS100-class debug probes perform very slowly in this configuration, thus preventing any practical usage. XDS200 and XDS560v2 work fine when using Windows 7 as host operating system.

Also, Spectrum Digital debug probes are known to have problems in being properly initialized in Linux under VmWare, therefore avoid using them in such environments. The operation under Linux running natively does not have these issues.

Some people reported that XDS200 on Parallels (MacOS virtual machine) does not work when using Windows 7 as guest OS, but no tests were done.