Using the SPIM S20: A MIPS R2000 Simulator

1. What is SPIM ?

SPIM S20 is a simulator that runs programs for the MIPS R2000/R3000 RISC computers. It was developed by James Larus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently the simulator runs, at IIT, on the deltas cluster (running a flavor of the the UNIX operating system called IRIX), and on the CSAM's network of PCs.

You can retrieve and install on your PC the simulator: see section 3.

Please note that there are quite a few differences between the UNIX and the PC (IBM-PC compatibles that is) versions of the simulator. In particular assembly files that work fine on the UNIX version complain on the PC version, mostly related to the .data directive.

The laboratory manual as it stands for this semester has been geared towards UNIX and you may have a hard time doing some of the exercises.

2. Getting started on the UNIX platforms

Accounts on the deltas can be obtained on an individual basis or they may be class accounts as described in the deltas cluster home page. If you are enrolled in cs470, then you will get an account sometime during the second week of school.

For an introduction to UNIX you can go to the CNS' home page.

2.1 On the deltas

To print the documentation (the SPIM manual):

    % lpr -P laser_ps /a/apps/SPIM/Documentation/ 

You will pick up your printout from the same place you would do it if you printed from charlie.

To start the simulator:

    % spim       (this will start the command line oriented simulator)
    % xspim      (this will start the windows oriented simulator).

3. Running SPIM on your PC

You can download through anonymous ftp the necessary files from and then follow the instructions to install the simulator on your PC.

Created August 22, 1996 by: Virgil Bistriceanu -
Last modified: March 23 1997 by Virgil Bistriceanu