Compiling the Tiger runtime for SPIM

Note: This is an old post in a blog with a lot of posts. The world has changed, technologies have changed, and I've changed. It's likely this is out of date and not representative. Let me know if you think this is something that needs updating.

I figured I'd post this because I just spent 24 hours trying to work out the issues.

I'm in a compilers class that's using the Modern Compiler Implementation in ML book (aka the Tiger book) by Andrew Appel. Over the course of the first 12 chapters, you build a compiler for a language called Tiger. Appel has a runtime.c that you can download from his web-site, but if you add functions to the runtime.c (for example, we added a ternary string comparison function which made string relops trivial to implement), then you need to compile runtime.c into assembler that's SPIM-appropriate.

Long story short I've got a Gateway 450 something or other laptop (i686) running Ubuntu Feisty Fawn and gcc version 4.1.2. I used the crosstool scripts from Dan Kegel. I used the script, but modified it to this:

set -ex

# Big-endian MIPS


# Really, you should do the mkdir before running this,
# and chown /opt/crosstool to yourself so you don't need to run as root.
mkdir -p $RESULT_TOP

# Build the toolchain.  Takes a couple hours and a couple gigabytes.

eval `cat mips.dat gcc-3.4.5-glibc-2.3.5.dat`        sh --notest

echo Done.

Ubuntu has /bin/sh point to dash--but this causes problems when compiling glibc (see here). So I changed /bin/sh to point to bash instead of dash. That fixes the error: missing terminating " character error.

After you get your cross-compiler working, you can compile your runtime.c into a runtime.s with something like this:

% mips-unknown-linux-gnu-gcc -S -mrnames -mmips-as runtime.c -o runtime.s.raw

After that, you have to remove a few things so that it works in SPIM. Olin Shivers has a page that talks about this some more.

Hopefully I included enough words in here that this pops up in searches and helps future compiler-class takers in the same position I was in.

Want to comment? Send an email to willkg at bluesock dot org. Include the url for the blog entry in your comment so I have some context as to what you're talking about.