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GNU Cauldron 2012, Prague, talk10

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Published on Jul 19, 2012

Towards Multicore GDB

Presenter: Stan Shebs

Multicore systems have been around for a while, but the next generation takes it to a whole new level, with high-performance embedded designs consisting of anywhere from 30 to 1,000 cores. GDB needs significant work to be useful in debugging these targets, both in user interface and to improve performance.

The first part of the task is to expand GDB's vocabulary by formalizing the notion of core as its own first-class object, conceptually similar to a thread but persistent, and by introducing the "process/thread/core set", by which the user works with groups of threads, cores, etc, rather than just one at a time.

The second part is to partition the debugging workload so that GDB is less of a bottleneck. For instance, we introduce the notion of an agent library that can run on each core and handles some tasks locally, such as testing of a breakpoint condition, only notifying GDB when the condition is true.

This presentation will review the current status of multicore work, and look ahead to additional ideas to facilitate debugging of future multicore systems.

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