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Get Your Rotor Running
Pages: 1, 2

Building Rotor

Now that you've loaded env.bat,, or env.csh, your environment is set up to compile Rotor. To compile Rotor, run buildall.cmd on Windows, or ./buildall on FreeBSD (the leading ./ tells your shell to run the buildall command that's in your current directory--most installations of Unix will never have . in the $PATH environment variable).

The Windows Build

When buildall starts on Windows, this is what you'll see:

C:\src\sscli> buildall

--- Building the PAL ---

Build successful.

--- Building the binplace tool ---
followed by a whole bunch of other stuff for the next half hour or so. When it is finished, you should see something similar to the following (the exact output may differ):
Compiling - grep\@objdf\rotor_x86\csc.rsp for all platforms
Binplacing - grep\objdf\rotor_x86\ngrep.exe for all platforms
Binplacing - grep\grep\objdf\rotor_x86\ngrep.exe for all platforms

    6 files binplaced

The FreeBSD Build

When buildall starts on FreeBSD, this is what you'll see:

% ./buildall
creating cache ./config.cache
checking whether make sets ${MAKE}... yes
checking for gcc... gcc
checking whether the C compiler (gcc  ) works... yes
checking whether the C compiler (gcc  ) is a cross-compiler... no

and so forth. When it's finished, you should see something similar to (the exact output may differ):

Compiling - grep/@objdf/rotor_x86/csc.rsp for all platforms
Binplacing - grep/objdf/rotor_x86/ngrep.exe for all platforms
Binplacing - grep/grep/objdf/rotor_x86/ngrep.exe for all platforms

    6 files binplaced

Running Tests

Rotor comes with a comprehensive test suite. To run the tests, cd to the sscli/tests directory, and run the command perl

% perl
Rotor Test Driver - Version 1.0
Microsoft Corp. - All Rights Reserved

RRUN: Run Started Tue Mar 19 12:06:50 2002

By default, executes every test. Examine the source code for for other options (look for the comment block titled "Feature Notes").

Rebuilding Rotor

If you decide to change one of the source files after compiling Rotor, you can rebuild Rotor by running build -z in the directory above where you made modifications:

% cd sscli/clr/src/vm/
% touch util.cpp
% cd ..
% build -z
BUILD: Object root set to: ==> objdf
BUILD: Compile and Link for rotor_x86
BUILD: Examining /usr/home/bjepson/src/sscli/clr/src directory tree for
files to compile.

This will take care of most cases where you have modified the source code, but consult the document sscli/docs/buildtools/building_rotor.html for all the gory details.

Dave Stutz is coauthoring O'Reilly's upcoming book on Rotor, Shared Source CLI Essentials. This book will provide a roadmap for anyone trying to navigate or manipulate the Shared Source CLI code, and will include a CD-ROM that contains all the source code and files.

Using Rotor

Now that you've compiled Rotor, you are ready to compile applications and test them out. After the build completes, it puts executables and libraries into the sscli/build/v1.x86fstchk.rotor/ directory and its sdk/bin and int_tools subdirectories. The env.(csh|bat|sh) script puts these in your PATH for you and sets up other important variables, so you'll need to run it each time you log in.

You should poke around in these directories. If you're familiar with the .NET Framework SDK directory layout (%SystemRoot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\VERSION\), you'll see some familiar applications and libraries.

Compiling "Hello, World"

Here's a simple "Hello, World" program you can create using your favorite editor, and save as Hello.cs. I suggest that you create this outside of the Rotor source tree so you don't introduce any cruft.

using System;
class Hello 
  public static void Main() 
    // Create an array of strings.
    string[] greeting = new string[] {"Hello", ", ", "World", "!"};

    // Display each element.
    foreach(string s in greeting) 

    // Display a newline.

Hello.cs prints the familiar "Hello, World" message the hard way (but in a way that's interesting if you run it under a debugger).

To compile this program, run the command csc /debug Hello.cs Here is what you should see on FreeBSD:

% csc /debug Hello.cs
Microsoft (R) Visual C# .NET Compiler version 
for Microsoft (R) .NET Framework version ---
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 2001. All rights reserved.

If you are on Windows, please supply an explicit path to the csc executable, so you can be absolutely sure you're not running the csc that comes with Visual Studio:

C:\> sscli\build\v1.x86fstchk.rotor\csc /debug Hello.cs
Microsoft (R) Visual C# .NET Compiler version
for Microsoft (R) .NET Framework version ---
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 2001. All rights reserved.

FreeBSD Users: If you can't execute a Rotor program even after you've sourced in the env.(csh|sh) script, type hash (under shells from the Bourne family) or rehash (under csh or tcsh). This will rebuild the hashtable used to locate executables. The only time you'll need to do this is when executables are added after you've sourced in the shell script (such as the first time you compile Rotor).

Running and Debugging "Hello, World"

After you compile Hello.cs, you're left with Hello.exe. On Windows, this is a valid .NET executable: if you run Hello.exe from the command-line, it will run under the .NET Framework SDK.

To run Hello.exe under Rotor, use the clix executable:

% clix Hello
Hello, World!

To debug Hello.exe, you can load it up using the cordbg executable. If you are on Windows, please use an explicit path for cordbg to distinguish it from the cordbg that comes with the .NET Framework SDK. Here is a sample session with cordbg:

C:\> sscli\build\v1.x86fstchk.rotor\sdk\bin\cordbg Hello
Microsoft (R) Common Language Runtime 
Test Debugger Shell Version 1.0.3705.0
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1998-2002. 
All rights reserved.

(cordbg) run Hello
Process 1024/0x400 created.
Warning: couldn't load symbols for
[thread 0x0] Thread created.

007:     string[] greeting = new string[] {"Hello", ", ", "World", "!"};
(cordbg) so

010:     foreach(string s in greeting)
(cordbg) so

011:       Console.Write(s);
(cordbg) print s
s=(0x00a805e4) "Hello"
(cordbg) so
010:     foreach(string s in greeting)

Related Articles

An Architectural Tour of Rotor

You Can Hack .NET Without Buying Visual Studio .NET

Uncovering Rotor -- A Shared Source CLI

The run Hello command is automatically added by cordbg when you specify Hello on the command line. The so command executes each line of code without stepping into any function calls (such as Console.Write), and the print command displays a variable. For an in-depth cordbg tutorial, see my article, "You Can Hack .NET Without Buying Visual Studio .NET.".

Where to Go From Here

Rotor is a big piece of code, and there's a lot to look at. It's best if you explore it slowly, and with whatever help you can find. To that end, work is under way to establish a Rotor community site where you can collaborate with other Rotor users. Also, DevelopMentor has created the DOTNET-ROTOR mailing list, which should attract many Rotor enthusiasts. And keep your eyes out for O'Reilly's Shared Source CLI Essentials, which will provide a roadmap to Rotor's many million lines of code. If you combine the book, the mailing list and community site, you will be in good hands!

Brian Jepson is an O'Reilly editor, programmer, and co-author of Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks and Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther. He's also a volunteer system administrator and all-around geek for AS220, a non-profit arts center in Providence, Rhode Island. AS220 gives Rhode Island artists uncensored and unjuried forums for their work. These forums include galleries, performance space, and publications. Brian sees to it that technology, especially free software, supports that mission. You can follow Brian's blog here.

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