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Re: debug x86 custom OS
From: Blibbet <blibbet () gmail com>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 13:19:23 -0700

[...]
>> Is there anything on a standard Intel PC motherboard that can help?
[...]

Intel ships a UEFI dev box, for firmware IHVs. The Tunnel Mountain box, aka DQ57TM. The box lets you upload custom firmware builds easily, including debug/source-enabled builds.

This will be useful for a custom OS's init code, if it will be supporting modern (UEFI) firmware, not just legacy BIOS.

You can update the box to have an optional "ITP/XTP MB/Chassis Socket Modification", so you can use ICE-like hardware and debugger from Arium.com. Really expensive, so much that they also rent it. :-(

http://www.tunnelmountain.net/
http://uefidk.intel.com/develop/workstation-development-kit

This "Tunnel Mountain" box is the primary UEFI dev platform for IHVs.

Recently, Intel released an Atom-based MinnowBoard, Linux-based, as another UEFI dev board. I don't know as much about it's abilities, compared to Tunnel Mountain box, except that it is MUCH cheaper, unknown if you can connect any ICE/ITP/JTAG/etc debugger. Only for Atom-centric testing of custom OSes.

http://minnowboard.org/
http://uefidk.intel.com/content/minnowboard-uefi-firmware

> If it runs on Intel can you not run it in VMware with debugging
> turned on?

Regarding VM -vs- native, agreed, most things can work there.

Though, w/r/t firmware, VM is not as good as live, depending on what firmware VM supports. For UEFI, you can use TianoCore OVMF to combine with your custom OS embedded image, and use QEMU to debug firmware/OS interactions, no need for custom hardware. VirtualBox has some UEFI support as well.
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