Friday, March 22, 2013

Finding instructions generated from JS

This is a bit of a beginner's tip for hacking on the JS engine (because I have been hacking a tiny bit on the JS engine (specifically the ARM assembler), and I am definitely a beginner).

If you have just written some code generating code, you probably want to see what code it actually generates. I found this not as easy as I expected.

The plan is to execute the generated code, break as we execute it (just after in my case, though I imagine just before is often more useful), then use gdb to see which instructions are under the program counter.

To break in the generated code, I just called |MacroAssemblerARMCompat::breakpoint()| in the code generation code, which, when we generate code, inserts a breakpoint instruction (and does some other fanciness too, but we don't need that for now).

I could not come up with a minimal test case in the JS shell which hit the breakpoint. So I had to try and find a test that did. (As an aside just because the VM generates code, does not mean that it will run it, I did not realise that). I ran
which runs all the tests and gives a command to run the failing ones. Hitting that breakpoint causes a segfault, and so any test that exercises it will fail.

The output commands look like
[objdir]/js -f [srcdir]/js/src/jit-test/lib/prolog.js -e "const platform='linux2'; const libdir='[srcdir]/js/src/jit-test/lib/'; const scriptdir='[srcdir]/js/src/jit-test/tests/v8-v5/'" -f [srcdir]/js/src/jit-test/tests/v8-v5/check-raytrace.js
You can then run gdb with the js shell (gdb ./js, assuming you are in the objdir) and start execution with
r -f [srcdir]/js/src/jit-test/lib/prolog.js -e "const platform='linux2'; const libdir='[srcdir]/js/src/jit-test/lib/'; const scriptdir='[srcdir]/js/src/jit-test/tests/v8-v5/'" -f [srcdir]/js/src/jit-test/tests/v8-v5/check-raytrace.js
(which are the arguments from the command above). Execution will quickly stop when you hit the breakpoint. At this point you can use a gdb command like
x /10i $pc-36
to give you the 10 instructions up to and including the one pointed to by the pc. You can adjust the 10 and 36 to get the required number of instructions. This will give output something like
   0x766a0c30:    sub    sp, sp, #20
   0x766a0c34:    stm    sp, {r0, r1, r2, r3, r4}
   0x766a0c38:    vpush    {d5}
   0x766a0c3c:    vpush    {d2-d3}
   0x766a0c40:    vpush    {d0}
=> 0x766a0c44:    bkpt    0x000b
The Mozilla pages on hacking JS and Javascript tests were very useful along the way. Thanks to Marty Rosenberg and Nicolas Pierron for helping me along my way.

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