Hacking Hotspot in Eclipse
July 27, 2012 13 Comments
I recently started working on Hotspot, with the goal of getting the Zero port up-to-date with respect to he recent developments in MLVM. In order to work most efficiently, I set up a work environment in Eclipse, and thought it’d be useful to share a little HOW-TO.
First of all, you need to install Eclipse/CDT if you haven’t already. This gives you a very powerful C/C++ development environment in Eclipse.
You can then open an OpenJDK source tree as C/C++ project by selecting: File -> New -> Other and then ‘C/C++’ -> ‘Makefile project with existing code’. Enter project name, e.g. OpenJDK8, and the path to the existing location. Select the appropriate ‘Toolchain for indexer Settings’ below. Click Finish.
Then open the project properties by right-clicking on the project, and selecting ‘Properties’. There we need to setup a couple of things.Under ‘C/C++ Build’ -> Environment, enter all environment variables that you would normally set on the command line for building OpenJDK. At the very least, you need ‘ALT_BOOTDIR’ and LANG=C. Under ‘C/C++ Build’, click the tab ‘Refresh Policy’ and remove the only path that is there (otherwise the whole workspace will be refreshed after a build, which takes looooong’). Optionally, add any paths under ‘build’ that you are interested in. Under ‘C/C++ General’ -> ‘Paths and Symbols’, select the tab ‘Source Location’ and remove the toplevel project path, and enter any source paths you are working with (e.g. hotspot/src). This limits what is visible to the indexer, etc. In order to take full advantage of Eclipse for debugging, I also changed ‘C/C++ Build’, ‘Behavior’ tab, replace ‘all’ with ‘debug_build’ This will normally do a debug build of OpenJDK, which means that you get all the symbols and no compiler optimizations in the binaries. In order to be able to load the symbols in gdb, add ‘ZIP_DEBUGINFO_FILES=0’ into the environment variables.Then click ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ to close the settings dialog. Select ‘Project -> Build Project’ to launch the first build of OpenJDK in Eclipse.
Debugging with Eclipse is similarily straightforward, open Debug Configurations, add a new C/C++ application, set up its properties for the binary, arguments and environment variables (make sure you use a debug-build binary) and run the thing! Being able to fully debug in Eclipse, navigating stack, inspecting variables, setting breakpoints and stepping through the code is so much more useful than doing the same in plain GDB: