Assembler/C-Script/Lisp 64 bit OS. MIMD, multi CPU, multi threaded, multi core,
multi user.

WARNING: There seams to be some issues with MacOS Mojave and SDL. There is a
new release of SDL out soon, but looking at the Beta version on Mojave there
still seams to be problems with it. An executable created on High Sierra works
absolutely fine on Mojave, and the executable created on Mojave works fine on
High Sierra, so it’s most strange. So temporally the High Sierra main bootstrap
will be packaged with the snapshot.zip and make on Darwin will produce a file
called main-d. Hopefully SDLs crew will switch to using Apples Metal API soon
and then this problem will go away.

Runs on OSX or Linux for x64, PI64 Linux for Aarch64. Will move to bare metal
eventually but it’s useful for now to run hosted while experimenting. When time
allows I will be doing a VM boot image for UniKernel type appliances and a
WebAssembly target to play around within the browser.

Allows modelling of various network topologies with point to point links. Each
CPU in the network is modelled as a separate host process, point to point links
use shared memory to simulate CPU to CPU, point to point, bi directional
connections. There is no global bus based networking on purpose.

Uses a virtual CPU instruction set to avoid use of x64/ARM native instructions.
Currently it compiles to native code but there is no reason it can’t also go
via a byte code form and runtime translation.

Register juggling for parameter passing is eliminated by having all functions
define their register interface and parameter source and destinations are
mapped automatically using a topological sort. Non DAG mappings are detected
so the user can break them with a temporary if required. Operators are provided
to simplify binding of parameters to dynamic bound functions, relative
addresses, auto defined string pools, references and local stack frame values.
Unused output parameters can be ignored with an _.

There is a powerful object and class system, not just for an assembler, but
quite as capable as a high level language. Static classes or virtual classes
with inline, virtual, final, static and override methods can be defined. The
GUI and Lisp are constructed using this class system.

Has function level dynamic binding and loading. Individual functions are loaded
and bound on demand as tasks are created and distributed. Currently functions
are loaded from the CPU file system on which the task finds itself, but these
will eventually come from the server object that the task was created with and
functions will be transported across the network as required. Functions are
shared between all tasks that share the same server object, so only a single
copy of a function is loaded regardless of how many tasks use that function.

The interface to the system functions is provided as a set of static classes,
easing use and removing the need to remember static function locations, plus
decoupling the source from changes at the system level. Look in the
sys/xxx.inc files to see the interface definitions.

A command terminal with a familiar interface for pipe style command line
applications is provided with args vector, stdin, stdout, stderr etc. Classes
for easy construction of pipe masters and slaves, with arbitrary nesting of
command line pipes. While this isn’t the best way to create parallel
applications it is very useful for the composition of tools and hides all the
message passing behind a familiar streams based API.

A Common Lisp like interpreter is provided. This is available from the command
line, via the command lisp. To build the entire system type (make),
calculates minimum compile workload, or (make-all) to do everything
regardless, at the Lisp command prompt. This Lisp has a C-Script ‘snippets’
capability to allow mixing of C-Script compiled expressions within assignment
and function calling code. An elementary optimise pass exists for these
expressions and more will be done shortly. Both the virtual assembler and
C-Script compiler are written in Lisp, look in the sys/code.inc,
sys/func.inc, sys/x64.inc, sys/arm.inc and sys/vp.inc for how this is
done. Some of the Lisp primitives are constructed via a boot script that each
instance of a Lisp class runs on construction, see class/lisp/boot.inc for
details. The compilation and make environment, along with all the compile and
make commands are created via the Lisp command line tool in cmd/asm.inc,
again this auto runs for each instance of the lisp command run from the
terminal. You can extend this with any number of additional files, just place
them after the lisp command and they will execute after the cmd/asm.inc file
and before processing of stdin.

Don’t get the idea that due to being coded in interpreted Lisp the assembler
and compiler will be slow. A full cleaned system build from source, including
creation of a full recursive pre-bound boot image file, takes on the order of 2
seconds on a 2014 MacBook Pro ! Dev cycle (make) and (remake) under 1
second. It ain’t slow.

You can enable a guard page memory allocator if chasing a buffer overrun bug.
Look in the sys/heap/heap.vp file alloc function and enable the guard page
version and rebuild with (remake). Also enable the printf in the main.c
file in order to be able to calculate the instruction offset from the crash
dumps IP. Then you can load up obj/os/cpu/sys/boot_image into any hex dump
and find exactly which instruction is faulting. Sometimes it’s the only way to
find them!

Network link routing tables are created on booting a link, and the process is
distributed in nature, each link starts a flood fill that eventually reaches
all the CPU’s and along the way has marked all the routes from one CPU to
another. All shortest routes are found, messages going off CPU are assigned to
a link as the link becomes free and multiple links can and do route messages
over parallel routes simultaneously. Large messages are broken into smaller
fragments on sending and reconstructed at the destination to maximize use of
available routes.

The -run command line option launches tasks on booting that CPU, such as the
test suit or experimental GUI (a work in progress, -run gui/gui). You can
change the network launch script to run more than one GUI session if you want,
try launching the GUI on more than CPU 0, look in funcs.sh at the
boot_cpu_gui function ! 🙂

The -l command line option creates a link, currently up to 1000 CPU’s are
allowed but that is easy to adjust in the sys/link/link.vp file and is due to
the very simple link parameter parsing. The lower numbered CPU always comes
first ! The shared memory link files are created in the tmp folder /tmp, so
for example /tmp/000-001 would be the link file for the link between CPU 000
and 001.

The -cpu command line option just labels the CPU with its ID.

An example network viewed with ps looks like this for a 4×4 mesh network:

./main -cpu 15 -l 011-015 -l 003-015 -l 014-015 -l 012-015
./main -cpu 14 -l 010-014 -l 002-014 -l 013-014 -l 014-015
./main -cpu 13 -l 009-013 -l 001-013 -l 012-013 -l 013-014
./main -cpu 12 -l 008-012 -l 000-012 -l 012-015 -l 012-013
./main -cpu 11 -l 007-011 -l 011-015 -l 010-011 -l 008-011
./main -cpu 10 -l 006-010 -l 010-014 -l 009-010 -l 010-011
./main -cpu 9 -l 005-009 -l 009-013 -l 008-009 -l 009-010
./main -cpu 8 -l 004-008 -l 008-012 -l 008-011 -l 008-009
./main -cpu 7 -l 003-007 -l 007-011 -l 006-007 -l 004-007
./main -cpu 6 -l 002-006 -l 006-010 -l 005-006 -l 006-007
./main -cpu 5 -l 001-005 -l 005-009 -l 004-005 -l 005-006
./main -cpu 4 -l 000-004 -l 004-008 -l 004-007 -l 004-005
./main -cpu 3 -l 003-015 -l 003-007 -l 002-003 -l 000-003
./main -cpu 2 -l 002-014 -l 002-006 -l 001-002 -l 002-003
./main -cpu 1 -l 001-013 -l 001-005 -l 000-001 -l 001-002
./main -cpu 0 -l 000-012 -l 000-004 -l 000-003 -l 000-001 -run gui/gui


Install Dependencies

The experimental GUI requires the SDL2 and SDL2_TTF
libraries to be installed.


Download and copy SDL2.framework and SDL2_ttf.framework over
into your /Library/Frameworks folder.

  • SDL, Runtime Binaries(OSX)
  • SDL_TTF, Runtime Binaries(OSX)


Linux: Tested on Ubuntu 16-10, 17-10 and Debian PI64

sudo apt-get install libsdl2-ttf-dev



make -j



Text user interface based fully connected network. Each CPU has links to every
other CPU. Careful with this as you can end up with a very large number of link
files and shared memory regions. CPU 0 launches a terminal to the host system.


Fully connected network. Each CPU has links to every other CPU. Careful with
this as you can end up with a very large number of link files and shared memory
regions. CPU 0 launches a GUI.


Star connected network. Each CPU has a link to the first CPU. CPU 0 launches a


Ring connected network. Each CPU has links to the next and previous CPU’s. CPU
0 launches a GUI.


Tree connected network. Each CPU has links to its parent CPU and up to two
child CPU’s. CPU 0 launches a GUI.


Mesh connected network. Each CPU has links to 4 adjacent CPU’s. This is similar
to Transputer meshes. CPU 0 launches a GUI.


Cube connected network. Each CPU has links to 6 adjacent CPU’s. This is similar
to TMS320C40 meshes. CPU 0 launches a GUI.

Stop with:


Snapshot with:

make snapshot

This will create a snapshot.zip file of the obj/ directory.

make boot

This will create a snapshot.zip file of the obj/ directory containing only
the directory structure and boot_image files ! Used to create the more
compact snapshot.zip that goes up on Github. This must come after creation of
(make-all-platforms) boot_image set !

Clean with:

make clean

Read More

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.