Using the Linux dmesg Utility - 2023.2 English

Vitis Unified Software Platform Documentation: Application Acceleration Development (UG1393)

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2023.2 English

Well-designed kernels and modules report issues through the kernel ring buffer. This is also true for Vitis technology modules that allow you to debug the interaction with the accelerator board on the lowest Linux level.

The dmesg utility is a Linux tool that lets you read the kernel ring buffer. The kernel ring buffer holds kernel information messages in a circular buffer. A circular buffer of fixed size is used to limit the resource requirements by overwriting the oldest entry with the next incoming message.

Tip: In most cases, it is sufficient to work with the less verbose xbutil feature to localize an issue. Refer to Using the xbutil Utility for more information on using this tool for debug.

In the Vitis technology, the xocl module and xclmgmt driver modules write informational messages to the ring buffer. Thus, for an application hang, crash, or any unexpected behavior (like being unable to program the bitstream, etc.), the dmesg tool should be used to check the ring buffer.

The following image shows the layers of the software platform associated with the target platform.

Figure 1. Software Platform Layers

To review messages from the Linux tool, you should first clear the ring buffer:

sudo dmesg -c

This flushes all messages from the ring buffer and makes it easier to spot messages from the xocl and xclmgmt. After that, start your application and run dmesg in another terminal.

sudo dmesg

The dmesg utility prints a record shown in the following example:

Figure 2. dmesg Utility Example

In the example shown above, the AXI Firewall 2 has tripped, which is better examined using the xbutil utility.