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Getting gem5

  • We are no longer distributing specific releases of gem5 or M5 as tarballs. The latest gem5 source code (including the alpha-system and encumbered files) is available via our Mercurial repository host at
  • It is strongly recommend that you get a copy of gem5 by using Mercurial and the instructions on this page.
    • Install mercurial (hg). This is available in the mercurial package on Ubuntu and Redhat and OS X Fink
    • For the stable repository: hg clone or the development repository hg clone
    • The stable repository is updated about once every 6 months, while the development repository is continuously updated but occasionally breaks.
    • After you clone the repository you can update it by typing hg pull and hg update
      • But you really should read the documentation on this page.
  • If you want to download gem5 without installing Mercurial, you can get a tarball
    • It will be more difficult to merge in changes
    • The stable repository is available via this link -- more stable but only updated every 6 months.
    • The development repository is available via this link -- updated continuously but may occasionally break.

Useful Software not in Mercurial

Full-System Stuff

  • Alpha
    • Full System Files -- Pre-compiled Linux kernels, PALcode/Console code, and a filesystem
      • Unchanged since M5 2.0 beta 3. If you already have these you don't need them again.
    • linux-dist -- Everything you need to create your own disk image and compile everything in it from scratch
  • ARM
    • VExpress_EMM kernel w/PCI support and config -- Pre-compiled Linux 3.3 VExpress_EMM kernel that includes support for PCIe devices, a patch to add gem5 PCIe support to the revision of the vexpress kernel tree and a config file. This kernel is needed if you want to simulated more than 256MB of RAM or networking. Pass --kernel=/path/to/vmlinux-3.3-arm-vexpress-emm-pcie --machine-type=VExpress_EMM on the command line. You'll still need the file systems below. This kernel supports a maximum of 2047MB (one MB less than 2GB) of memory.
    • New Full System Files -- Pre-compiled Linux kernel, and file systems, and kernel config files. This includes both a cut-down linux and a full ubuntu linux.
    • Old Full System Files -- Older pre-compiled Linux kernel, and file system. New users should use package above. This wil likely be removed soon.
    • BBench for gem5 -- Full-system Android files and BBench, a web-browser benchmark.
    • Tarballs of generic file systems are available from Linaro. Scroll down to the Developers and Community Builds section. Some work will be required to make these suitable for simulation, but they're a reasonable starting point.
  • X86
    • Full System Files -- The kernel used for regressions, an SMP version of it, and a disk image
    • config files -- Config files for both of the above kernels, and
  • (The script to create a blank disk image that used to be downloadable here is now included in the m5 repository, in the util directory.)


Pre-compiled Cross-compilers

Externally supplied cross compilers:

All generated with crosstool for x86 linux hosts/linux targets