MIPS System emulator

Four executables cover simulation of 32 and 64-bit MIPS systems in both endian options, qemu-system-mips, qemu-system-mipsel qemu-system-mips64 and qemu-system-mips64el. Five different machine types are emulated:

  • A generic ISA PC-like machine “mips”
  • The MIPS Malta prototype board “malta”
  • An ACER Pica “pica61”. This machine needs the 64-bit emulator.
  • MIPS emulator pseudo board “mipssim”
  • A MIPS Magnum R4000 machine “magnum”. This machine needs the 64-bit emulator.

The generic emulation is supported by Debian ‘Etch’ and is able to install Debian into a virtual disk image. The following devices are emulated:

  • A range of MIPS CPUs, default is the 24Kf
  • PC style serial port
  • PC style IDE disk
  • NE2000 network card

The Malta emulation supports the following devices:

  • Core board with MIPS 24Kf CPU and Galileo system controller
  • PIIX4 PCI/USB/SMbus controller
  • The Multi-I/O chip’s serial device
  • PCI network cards (PCnet32 and others)
  • Malta FPGA serial device
  • Cirrus (default) or any other PCI VGA graphics card

The Boston board emulation supports the following devices:

  • Xilinx FPGA, which includes a PCIe root port and an UART
  • Intel EG20T PCH connects the I/O peripherals, but only the SATA bus is emulated

The ACER Pica emulation supports:

  • MIPS R4000 CPU
  • PC-style IRQ and DMA controllers
  • PC Keyboard
  • IDE controller

The MIPS Magnum R4000 emulation supports:

  • MIPS R4000 CPU
  • PC-style IRQ controller
  • PC Keyboard
  • SCSI controller
  • G364 framebuffer

The Fuloong 2E emulation supports:

  • Loongson 2E CPU
  • Bonito64 system controller as North Bridge
  • VT82C686 chipset as South Bridge
  • RTL8139D as a network card chipset

The mipssim pseudo board emulation provides an environment similar to what the proprietary MIPS emulator uses for running Linux. It supports:

  • A range of MIPS CPUs, default is the 24Kf
  • PC style serial port
  • MIPSnet network emulation

Supported CPU model configurations on MIPS hosts

QEMU supports variety of MIPS CPU models:

Supported CPU models for MIPS32 hosts

The following CPU models are supported for use on MIPS32 hosts. Administrators / applications are recommended to use the CPU model that matches the generation of the host CPUs in use. In a deployment with a mixture of host CPU models between machines, if live migration compatibility is required, use the newest CPU model that is compatible across all desired hosts.

mips32r6-generic
MIPS32 Processor (Release 6, 2015)
P5600
MIPS32 Processor (P5600, 2014)
M14K, M14Kc
MIPS32 Processor (M14K, 2009)
74Kf
MIPS32 Processor (74K, 2007)
34Kf
MIPS32 Processor (34K, 2006)
24Kc, 24KEc, 24Kf
MIPS32 Processor (24K, 2003)
4Kc, 4Km, 4KEcR1, 4KEmR1, 4KEc, 4KEm
MIPS32 Processor (4K, 1999)

Supported CPU models for MIPS64 hosts

The following CPU models are supported for use on MIPS64 hosts. Administrators / applications are recommended to use the CPU model that matches the generation of the host CPUs in use. In a deployment with a mixture of host CPU models between machines, if live migration compatibility is required, use the newest CPU model that is compatible across all desired hosts.

I6400
MIPS64 Processor (Release 6, 2014)
Loongson-2F
MIPS64 Processor (Loongson 2, 2008)
Loongson-2E
MIPS64 Processor (Loongson 2, 2006)
mips64dspr2
MIPS64 Processor (Release 2, 2006)
MIPS64R2-generic, 5KEc, 5KEf
MIPS64 Processor (Release 2, 2002)
20Kc
MIPS64 Processor (20K, 2000
5Kc, 5Kf
MIPS64 Processor (5K, 1999)
VR5432
MIPS64 Processor (VR, 1998)
R4000
MIPS64 Processor (MIPS III, 1991)

Supported CPU models for nanoMIPS hosts

The following CPU models are supported for use on nanoMIPS hosts. Administrators / applications are recommended to use the CPU model that matches the generation of the host CPUs in use. In a deployment with a mixture of host CPU models between machines, if live migration compatibility is required, use the newest CPU model that is compatible across all desired hosts.

I7200
MIPS I7200 (nanoMIPS, 2018)

Preferred CPU models for MIPS hosts

The following CPU models are preferred for use on different MIPS hosts:

MIPS III
R4000
MIPS32R2
34Kf
MIPS64R6
I6400
nanoMIPS
I7200

nanoMIPS System emulator

Executable qemu-system-mipsel also covers simulation of 32-bit nanoMIPS system in little endian mode:

  • nanoMIPS I7200 CPU

Example of qemu-system-mipsel usage for nanoMIPS is shown below:

Download <disk_image_file> from https://mipsdistros.mips.com/LinuxDistro/nanomips/buildroot/index.html.

Download <kernel_image_file> from https://mipsdistros.mips.com/LinuxDistro/nanomips/kernels/v4.15.18-432-gb2eb9a8b07a1-20180627102142/index.html.

Start system emulation of Malta board with nanoMIPS I7200 CPU:

qemu-system-mipsel -cpu I7200 -kernel <kernel_image_file> \
    -M malta -serial stdio -m <memory_size> -hda <disk_image_file> \
    -append "mem=256m@0x0 rw console=ttyS0 vga=cirrus vesa=0x111 root=/dev/sda"