General Info About vmips

What's vmips?

vmips is a virtual machine based around a simulation of the MIPS R3000 RISC CPU. It is an open-source project written in GNU C++, distributed under the GNU General Public License.

What's vmips not?

vmips is not a vector extension to the MIPS instruction set; if you're looking for such a thing, try one of the following interesting links:

What does vmips run on? Does it require special hardware?

vmips, being a virtual machine, does not require any special hardware. It has generally been tested and is believed to work well on Intel-based machines running FreeBSD, Linux, and Mac OS X.

vmips is not useful without a full set of MIPS-targeted cross-compilation tools, however, and so the build process assumes their existence on your host system. The versions of gcc and binutils we recommend are listed in the documentation's Installation section.

What are the goals of the vmips project?

The original goals of the vmips project were to construct a simulator which could be used both as a teaching environment for computer architecture courses and as a development environment for MIPS applications and operating systems.

These days, the principal actors involved in developing vmips have mostly moved on from academia, and the MIPS R3000 has generally been retired from active usage. Even though it is mainly of historical interest, that doesn't mean we can't still have fun with it.

How can I help?

I don't have a lot of time to work on vmips, so development proceeds fairly slowly. But I will accept contributions of code if you send me patches via e-mail. I am building new functionality and fixing bugs as time permits.

Who's responsible for this?

vmips is maintained by Brian R. Gaeke. You should send any questions you have to vmips at