System Viewer


Introduction

The System Viewer is a logic analyzer for embedded software that lets you visualize and troubleshoot complex target activities. It allows you to see, on a timeline, how tasks, OS, and interrupts interact - who has the CPU, what states are the different tasks in, how long from I call taskSuspend() to another tasks is run, are my timing requirements met, etc.

Configuring a VxWorks Image for System Viewer

To use the System Viewer, the VxWorks Image that is running must be configured to support it. To do this, add the System Viewer Components to the image as described in the VxWorks Image article.

Configuring the System Viewer

To start the System Viewer, you must first configure it. This is done by right-clicking a running target in the Target Manager and selecting Target Tools > System Viewer Configuration. In the appearing window, you have the opportunity to configure the System Viewer. Topics of highest importance are described in the next subsections

Event Logging Level

You can select at what level (and for "Additional Instgrumentation", for what events) to log. A more detailed logging level obviously holds more information - the penalty is heavy buffer use and thus shorter logging time for a given buffer size. It can be very instructive, at least once, to try to log all events in a system to see the events that may be logged. The "loggable" events are described by the legend of the System Viewer events

SysViewLegend.JPG

Upload Mode

When set to "Deferred Upload", events will be stored in a dedicated buffer on the target and be uploaded after logging is complete (buffer is full or logging is stopped by user). The log size is set as well - remember, logging all possible events calls for a big log!

In "Continuous Mode" the log is uploaded continuously - buffers are allocated on target, but only to hold temporary data.

There are other upload modes as well, and post-mortem upload may be of particular interest when trying to find errors that cause crashes. However, these have not yet been explored.

The logging toolbar

To apply the logging configuration to the target, start/stop logging, and uploading a log to the System Viewer, use the buttons on the toolbar depicted below:
SysViewLogToolbarJPG.JPG

Using the System Viewer

When the log has been uploaded, the System Viewer is opened. You can now zoom in on events, analyse them in depth, hide or show tasks, filter events, measure timing, etc.