Learning gem5 Tutorial at ASPLOS 2018

Thanks to all of those who attended the tutorial! Links to the slides and videos are below.

We will be hosting a Learning gem5 tutorial at ASPLOS 2018 in Williamsburg, VA on March 24th.

gem5 is used by an incredible number of architecture researchers. The gem5 paper has been cited over 2000 times according to Google Scholar. However, gem5 is a unique software infrastructure; as a user, you also have to be a developer. Currently, there are few resources for young computer architects to learn how to productively use gem5.

This tutorial builds off of the Learning gem5 book and will introduce junior architecture students to the inner workings of gem5 so they can be more productive in their future research. The goal of the “tutorial” section of this tutorial is not to introduce attendees to every feature of gem5, but to give them a framework to succeed when using gem5 in their future research.

After spending the morning learning about the basics of how gem5 works, the afternoon will be a series of invited talks from users who have experience using gem5 on “gem5 best practices”. This will cover a variety of topics including the basics of computer architecture research, software development practices, and how to contribute to the gem5 open source project.

This tutorial is perfect for beginning graduate students or other computer architecture researchers to get started using one of the architecture communities most popular too.

This page is under development. It will be updated often leading up to the day of the tutorial. Hope to see you there!

Preparing for the tutorial

To get the most out of this tutorial, you are encouraged to bring a laptop to work along. This will be an interactive tutorial, with many coding examples. Additionally, by bringing a laptop, you will be able to easily participate in the afternoon coding sprint.

While this tutorial is appropriate for you even if you’ve never used gem5 before, you’ll get more out of it if you familiarize yourself with gem5 before coming. Specifically, by downloading gem5 and making sure it builds on your system you will save yourself a lot of time. Reading and completing the first chapter from the the Learning gem5 book before coming to the tutorial is strongly encouraged.


The primary audience is junior computer architecture researchers (e.g., first or second year graduate students) who are planning on using gem5 for future architecture research. We also invite others who want a high-level idea of how gem5 works and its applicability to architecture research.


Morning Schedule: Learning gem5 8:30 – 10:00

Lunch (Provided) 12:00 – 1:30

Advanced Learning gem5 topics 1:30 – 3:30

gem5 Best Practices 4:00 – 5:00

Open forum for questions and feedback 5:00 – 5:30