Overview: TimeStorm Tools 3.2.2

The TimeStorm development tools is a set of graphical software that makes it easy for you to customize the Linux kernel, filesystem, and applications you are deploying on your embedded system. They are based on the TimeStorm IDE workbench, and help you develop, debug, and deploy embedded applications. The process is particularly powerful when coupled with the included Linux Verification Suite (LVS), Target Configurator, and Linux Profiling Suite (LPS) plug-ins.

Every LinuxLink Pro seat includes these tools, as well as access to a package repository and platform builder. TimeSys’ development tools run locally on Linux and Windows systems, and are seamlessly integrated with your target embedded hardware through simple, graphical configuration commands.

New with Version 3.2.2

Target Configurator – The internal kernel configuration editor has been updated so that it works with all versions of the Linux kernel up to 2.6.22. In the previous release, it was not working correctly with kernels newer than 2.6.17.

Linux Profiling Suite (LPS)

  • If you are upgrading your version of TimeStorm LPS, you will need to access the LinuxLink Repository and download the latest version of opxml, as described in Section 3.2.4 of
    Getting Started with TimeStorm (PDF) .

  • Improved processor support for profiling – In addition to the processors supported by previous versions, LPS now also supports the following processors:
    • Power5+
    • Xen
    • Intel Core Duo and Core 2
    • MIPS 5K, 20K, 25K, and 34K
    • Cell BE
    • POWER6
    • PPC970MP
    • AMD Family 10
    • PA Semi PA6T
    • ARM11
    • ARM MPCore

  • Better support for local profiling – In some cases, previous versions of LPS did not allow profiling on a local host. With LPS 1.0.2, OProfile can be used to test how an
    application is performing on a local Linux host, making information gathering quicker and easier.

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The TimeStorm IDE for Creating and Editing Code

The TimeStorm code editor can handle simple or complex team projects with multiple users, large files, or large numbers of files. The easy-to-use interface makes it painless to:

  • Create Linux application programs, kernel modifications, or device drivers
  • Import or export existing projects
  • Automatically format code, highlighting matching braces and use color coding to highlight keywords, string literals, and numeric literals
  • Perform block operations
  • Define macros
  • Perform full and incremental searches
  • Bookmark project components or locations

Graphical Support for Managing Multiple Projects

More than 10 integrated project wizards provide project templates, including C, C++, and Java applications, customized kernel projects, device drivers, and different types of Linux filesystems. The navigation pane allows you to switch between multiple projects, while other panes enable you to simultaneously edit components from multiple projects. Project management features enable you to:

  • Start multiple projects and revisit them whenever you wish
  • Share files between projects
  • Create patches to existing projects and easily apply external patches to your projects
  • Identify, compare, and browse changes between project source files using integrated diff capabilities
  • Associate multiple sets of build/compilation settings with single projects that are being compiled for multiple platforms
  • Work on multiple projects simultaneously

Flexible Support for All Linux Distributions

Unlike other embedded development tools, TimeStorm is designed to work with any Linux distribution from any vendor. Whether you are using a Linux distribution from TimeSys, another Linux platform, or are creating your own, TimeStorm can help you to meet your deadlines and quickly and easily customize and deploy Linux on your target hardware. You can fine-tune and optimize any Linux distribution that features:

  • 2.4 or 2.6-based Linux kernels
  • Source code for the kernel and device drivers
  • GNU toolchains that include gdb

Easy Cross-Compilation and Target Management

The IDE easily generates executable code for your target hardware and simplifies target management by providing an intuitive process for communicating with the board and downloading and installing applications. Step-by-step prompts identify all of the parameters required for establishing communication with the board and transferring files for debugging, testing, and deployment. You can do the following:

  • Develop and cross-compile your applications on Linux, Windows, and Solaris desktop systems
  • Associate different toolchains with different projects, and easily switch between toolchains for existing projects
  • Define customized development configurations for debugging and deployment
  • Easily transfer applications and any associated files to your embedded target hardware
  • Customize the location where applications, libraries, and other files will be installed on your target hardware

Remote, Multi-Threaded Debugging

TimeSys’ development tools include a sophisticated debugger that makes debugging applications on embedded hardware as easy as debugging desktop applications. It provides a graphical interface to the GNU debugger (gdb) and to remote GDB debugging processes. TimeSys’ development tools also support local and remote debugging of multi-threaded applications.

TimeStorm makes it easy for you to graphically:

  • Examine and evaluate the contents of registers, variables, memory, and stack
  • Drill down to view complex data structures and evaluate C expressions
  • See variable values by simply moving the mouse
  • Get register views for your architecture
  • View the stack for each thread or process
  • Define conditional breakpoints with a single mouse click

Linux Profiling Suite for Improving Performance

LPS uses OProfile, which is a system-wide profiler for Linux systems. All of your code is profiled, including:

  • Hardware and software interrupt handlers
  • Kernel modules
  • The kernel itself
  • Shared libraries
  • Applications

OProfile collects information:

OProfile transparently collects information about your kernel and all running systems without introducing much overhead. It uses CPU performance counters, which are hardware registers that count particular events such as CPU cycles, to profile your code. Whenever a particular event occurs, the information is recorded. OProfile uses this data to create profiles for binary images.

LPS analyzes the results:

LPS then enables you to view both a statistical analysis and a graphical analysis of the results and to view the annotated source code so that you can pinpoint any performance issues quickly and easily.

Target Configurator for Host-Target Development

Regardless of the Linux distribution that you are using, you will want to add your custom applications to the Linux filesystems that you plan to deploy. Target Configurator delivers complete control over kernel configuration, kernel compilation, and the contents of any filesystems on your target hardware. With Target Configurator, you can:

  • Select from several kernel configurations tailored for performance, debugging, and application development
  • Customize kernel configurations to reduce size or optimize performance
  • Easily search kernel configuration variables, descriptions, and help text to locate related drivers and settings
  • Bookmark recent kernel configuration changes or configuration areas, making it easy to locate and experiment with complex groups of settings
  • Create different types of root filesystems, including initial RAM disks, local or NFS-mounted ext2 or ext3, and JFFS2 filesystems
  • Graphically add packages and custom applications to your target root filesystem

Reduced cost of development:

  • Implement proven paths to successful development
  • Eliminate unnecessary research and development
  • Understand development criteria to avoid mistakes

Design control:

  • Utilize the availability of Linux source code
  • Customize the tools to match your design team’s level of expertise

Performance expectations:

  • Start with a Linux distribution from TimeSys or any general purpose Linux distribution
  • Accelerate development with seamlessly integrated tools
  • Deliver full Linux support to application developers

Linux Verification Suite for Test Automation

To help automate testing your applications or deployed Linux systems, TimeSys offers the LVS testing tool and framework, an aid in writing and automating tests.

  • Avoid the risk of delivering a partially operable package
  • Minimize your time to market by eliminating the cumbersome task of creating test scenarios from scratch
  • Ensure that your product functions as expected – before it goes to market

TimeStorm LVS is also based on the Eclipse framework and completely interoperable with the other TimeSys development tools. The testing tools work with any Linux distribution.