back to article ARM emulator in a VM? Yup, done. Ready to roll, no config required

Hacking low-level code on ARM processors just became a little easier after a researcher who operates under the name Azeria Labs put together virtual machines that emulate common hardware. Azeria’s ARM Lab Environment, here, is a VM that offers a QEMU ARMv6 image on Ubuntu. There’s also a “basic cheat sheet” here, covering how …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    This. This could be fun. For Intel you are into pretty exotic hardware and software since the basic wells have already been tapped. Here you have some space to play in. All the better that I have a RasPi doing a whole lot of nothing, at the moment. And other architectures are in the playing field? Nice.

    1. John Gamble

      Yup, was going to post something similar, though I admit my enjoyment of assembly-code writing (for small useful functions; I haven't done lengthy assembly coding for decades now) is a little off the norm.

  2. murakh

    Just how big are they?

    "Hacking ARM processors just became a little after a researcher" ... so if they became little, how big are they, or were they?

    Or is this another classic example of El' Reg proofreading as usual? Nearly every article of late has obvious words missing, or mistakes of some kind.

    1. Nolveys

      Re: Just how big are they?

      El' Reg proofreading

      You say that as if it's a simple job. Sure, when it comes to commercially bottled alcohol one can just read the label. However, proofreading the stuff that comes from the barn at the potato farm requires the knowledge of both chemistry and fire safety.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just how big are they?

        To proofread just shake the bottle and check the bead of the alcohol - gets me within 5% most of the time - no chemistry or fire needed

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Just how big are they?

      "just became a little easier"

      I didn't notice on first read-through because I think my brain auto-inserted the missing word to make the sentence work.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Just how big are they?

      If you email their corrections team (there's a link under each article) then they're usually pretty responsive (and they always say 'thank you').

      1. murakh

        Re: Just how big are they?

        No. This general concept lately in IT of alpha releases that the community must (bug)fix must come to an end.

        Of the 4 articles I read today on The Register, 2 had obvious mistakes (one even being really basic that even a basic spell-check should have flagged). Writing an e-mail with corrections for 50% of the articles I read here becomes a job, which should have been done internally or should be remunerated in some way.

    4. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Just how big are they?

      Software has bugs, stories have typos. We try to catch them all but it isn't always possible. Some days we're pretty good at catching them pre-publication, some days we're not.

      Just drop a line if you spot anything wrong. Takes just as long as a comment post.


  3. karlkarl Silver badge

    Nothing really that special

    This has been around for a long time.

    Biggest issue? You are limited to 256MB of ram in the VM :(

    Also... the manual steps are trivial. Who would piss about installing some Ubuntu image to do this when you can just run QEMU directly on your host OS?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Nothing really that special

      "This has been around for a long time."

      Well as noted in the story, it's for newbs to get into reverse-engineering and exploit dev on non-x86 architectures. If you know how to set it all up already, this isn't for you.


  4. David Roberts

    Not as exciting as I first thought

    ARM emulation seemed to be an opportunity to reverse the trend of trying to run full fat Linux on a phone or tablet.

    Run Android on your PC for a full test environment for mobile phone Apps. Test run the software for the Galaxy S$n without having to buy the hardware.

    Then I thought about the hardware abstraction layer. Loads of stuff on a phone and not a standard PC including compass, GPS, accelerometer, etc.

    So perhaps not, or they would already be doing it with the Raspberry Pi.

    Edit: perhaps people alread are and I just haven't noticed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not as exciting as I first thought

      Google provide a separate set of tools for emulating GPS etc... but no idea if it is compatible with this kind of setup.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The advantage that ARM had over Intel/AMD

    Whilst each ARM implementation was different for each SOC manufacturer then targeting ARM as a platform required finding some vulnerability in common to all those different designs.

    However since ARM are now rushing to repeat Intel's mistakes of adding in "management" software below the OS then expect things to go the same way as they did for the PC but quicker.

  6. Slabfondler

    So when...

    Can I run an AIX VM inside my WinTel box?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So when...

      Now, with VirtualBox

    2. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: So when...

      Can I run an AIX VM inside my WinTel box?

      Now that's what I call masochism...

  7. JeffyPoooh

    VMs meet Moore's Law

    Eventually almost every computer will be replaced by a virtual machine running on-line. So we will really only need one big actual (hardware) computer, or perhaps one big computer running on each landmass-continent (due to communications latency).

    So, eventually... [wait for it]

    ...I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

    - Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943

    1. JLV
      Black Helicopters

      Re: VMs meet Moore's Law

      Not even.

      Pretty soon they'll run the VMs on our synapses while we are tied down hallucinating in bunk beds. Or, kinder alternative, while we are teleporting around between our toilets and our living rooms.

  8. GBE

    What's Ubuntu-specific about it?

    Azeria’s ARM Lab Environment, here, is a VM that offers a QEMU ARMv6 image on Ubuntu.

    I don't get the "on Ubuntu" part of it.

    Is the ARM VM image running an ARM port of Ubuntu?

    Has Ubuntu done something stupid to it's build of QEMU so that images for it are Ubuntu-specific and won't run on QEMU hosted on Gentoo or CentOS or whatever?

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