Build options and Environment Variables

Make System

Makefiles are provided for a variety of simulators in cocotb/share/makefiles/simulators. The common Makefile cocotb/share/makefiles/Makefile.sim includes the appropriate simulator Makefile based on the contents of the SIM variable.

Make Targets

Makefiles defines the targets regression and sim, the default target is sim.

Both rules create a results file with the name taken from COCOTB_RESULTS_FILE, defaulting to results.xml. This file is a JUnit-compatible output file suitable for use with e.g. Jenkins. The sim targets unconditionally re-runs the simulator whereas the regression target only re-builds if any dependencies have changed.

In addition, the target clean can be used to remove build and simulation artefacts. The target help lists these available targets and the variables described below.

Make Phases

Typically the makefiles provided with cocotb for various simulators use a separate compile and run target. This allows for a rapid re-running of a simulator if none of the RTL source files have changed and therefore the simulator does not need to recompile the RTL.

Variables

The following sections document makefile variables and environment variables according to their owner/consumer.

Cocotb

TOPLEVEL

Use this to indicate the instance in the hierarchy to use as the DUT. If this isn’t defined then the first root instance is used.

RANDOM_SEED

Seed the Python random module to recreate a previous test stimulus. At the beginning of every test a message is displayed with the seed used for that execution:

INFO     cocotb.gpi                                  __init__.py:89   in _initialise_testbench           Seeding Python random module with 1377424946

To recreate the same stimuli use the following:

make RANDOM_SEED=1377424946

See also: PLUSARGS

COCOTB_ANSI_OUTPUT

Use this to override the default behavior of annotating cocotb output with ANSI color codes if the output is a terminal (isatty()).

COCOTB_ANSI_OUTPUT=1 forces output to be ANSI regardless of the type of stdout or the presence of NO_COLOR.

COCOTB_ANSI_OUTPUT=0 suppresses the ANSI output in the log messages

NO_COLOR

From http://no-color.org,

All command-line software which outputs text with ANSI color added should check for the presence of a NO_COLOR environment variable that, when present (regardless of its value), prevents the addition of ANSI color.

COCOTB_REDUCED_LOG_FMT

If defined, log lines displayed in the terminal will be shorter. It will print only time, message type (INFO, WARNING, ERROR, …) and the log message itself.

COCOTB_ATTACH

In order to give yourself time to attach a debugger to the simulator process before it starts to run, you can set the environment variable COCOTB_ATTACH to a pause time value in seconds. If set, cocotb will print the process ID (PID) to attach to and wait the specified time before actually letting the simulator run.

COCOTB_ENABLE_PROFILING

Enable performance analysis of the Python portion of cocotb. When set, a file test_profile.pstat will be written which contains statistics about the cumulative time spent in the functions.

From this, a callgraph diagram can be generated with gprof2dot and graphviz. See the profile Make target in the endian_swapper example on how to set this up.

COCOTB_LOG_LEVEL

The default logging level to use. This is set to INFO unless overridden. Valid values are DEBUG, INFO, WARNING, ERROR, CRITICAL.

COCOTB_RESOLVE_X

Defines how to resolve bits with a value of X, Z, U or W when being converted to integer. Valid settings are:

VALUE_ERROR

raise a ValueError exception

ZEROS

resolve to 0

ONES

resolve to 1

RANDOM

randomly resolve to a 0 or a 1

Set to VALUE_ERROR by default.

MEMCHECK

HTTP port to use for debugging Python’s memory usage. When set to e.g. 8088, data will be presented at http://localhost:8088.

This needs the cherrypy and dowser Python modules installed.

COCOTB_PY_DIR

Path to the directory containing the cocotb Python package in the cocotb subdirectory; for cocotb-internal use.

COCOTB_SHARE_DIR

Path to the directory containing the cocotb Makefiles and simulator libraries in the subdirectories lib, include, and makefiles; for cocotb-internal use.

Regression Manager

COCOTB_PDB_ON_EXCEPTION

If defined, cocotb will drop into the Python debugger (pdb) if a test fails with an exception.

MODULE

The name of the module(s) to search for test functions. Multiple modules can be specified using a comma-separated list. All tests will be run from each specified module in order of the module’s appearance in this list.

TESTCASE

The name of the test function(s) to run. If this variable is not defined cocotb discovers and executes all functions decorated with the cocotb.test decorator in the supplied MODULE list.

Multiple test functions can be specified using a comma-separated list.

COCOTB_RESULTS_FILE

The file name where xUnit XML tests results are stored. If not provided, the default is results.xml.

New in version 1.3.

COVERAGE

Enable to report Python coverage data. For some simulators, this will also report HDL coverage.

This needs the coverage Python module to be installed.

COCOTB_HOOKS

A comma-separated list of modules that should be executed before the first test. You can also use the cocotb.hook decorator to mark a function to be run before test code.

Scheduler

COCOTB_SCHEDULER_DEBUG

Enable additional log output of the coroutine scheduler.

GPI

GPI_EXTRA

A comma-separated list of extra libraries that are dynamically loaded at runtime. A function from each of these libraries will be called as an entry point prior to elaboration, allowing these libraries to register system functions and callbacks. Note that HDL objects cannot be accessed at this time. The function name defaults to {library_name}_entry_point, but a custom name can be specified using a :, which follows an existing simulator convention.

For example:

  • GPI_EXTRA=name will load libname.so with default entry point name_entry_point.

  • GPI_EXTRA=nameA:entryA,nameB:entryB will first load libnameA.so with entry point entryA , then load libnameB.so with entry point entryB.

Changed in version 1.4.0: Support for the custom entry point via : was added. Previously : was used as a separator between libraries instead of ,.

Makefile-based Test Scripts

GUI

Set this to 1 to enable the GUI mode in the simulator (if supported).

SIM

Selects which simulator Makefile to use. Attempts to include a simulator specific makefile from cocotb/share/makefiles/simulators/makefile.$(SIM)

WAVES

Set this to 1 to enable wave traces dump for the Aldec Riviera-PRO and Mentor Graphics Questa simulators. To get wave traces in Icarus Verilog see Waveforms.

VERILOG_SOURCES

A list of the Verilog source files to include. Paths can be absolute or relative; if relative, they are interpreted as relative to the Makefile’s location.

VHDL_SOURCES

A list of the VHDL source files to include. Paths can be absolute or relative; if relative, they are interpreted as relative to the Makefile’s location.

VHDL_SOURCES_<lib>

A list of the VHDL source files to include in the VHDL library lib (currently for the GHDL simulator only).

COMPILE_ARGS

Any arguments or flags to pass to the compile stage of the simulation.

SIM_ARGS

Any arguments or flags to pass to the execution of the compiled simulation.

RUN_ARGS

Any argument to be passed to the “first” invocation of a simulator that runs via a TCL script. One motivating usage is to pass -noautoldlibpath to Questa to prevent it from loading the out-of-date libraries it ships with. Used by Aldec Riviera-PRO and Mentor Graphics Questa simulator.

EXTRA_ARGS

Passed to both the compile and execute phases of simulators with two rules, or passed to the single compile and run command for simulators which don’t have a distinct compilation stage.

PLUSARGS

“Plusargs” are options that are starting with a plus (+) sign. They are passed to the simulator and are also available within cocotb as cocotb.plusargs. In the simulator, they can be read by the Verilog/SystemVerilog system functions $test$plusargs and $value$plusargs.

The special plusargs +ntb_random_seed and +seed, if present, are evaluated to set the random seed value if RANDOM_SEED is not set. If both +ntb_random_seed and +seed are set, +ntb_random_seed is used.

COCOTB_HDL_TIMEUNIT

The default time unit that should be assumed for simulation when not specified by modules in the design. If this isn’t specified then it is assumed to be 1ns. Allowed values are 1, 10, and 100. Allowed units are s, ms, us, ns, ps, fs.

New in version 1.3.

COCOTB_HDL_TIMEPRECISION

The default time precision that should be assumed for simulation when not specified by modules in the design. If this isn’t specified then it is assumed to be 1ps. Allowed values are 1, 10, and 100. Allowed units are s, ms, us, ns, ps, fs.

New in version 1.3.

CUSTOM_COMPILE_DEPS

Use to add additional dependencies to the compilation target; useful for defining additional rules to run pre-compilation or if the compilation phase depends on files other than the RTL sources listed in VERILOG_SOURCES or VHDL_SOURCES.

CUSTOM_SIM_DEPS

Use to add additional dependencies to the simulation target.

SIM_BUILD

Use to define a scratch directory for use by the simulator. The path is relative to the Makefile location. If not provided, the default scratch directory is sim_build.

SCRIPT_FILE

The name of a simulator script that is run as part of the simulation, e.g. for setting up wave traces. You can usually write out such a file from the simulator’s GUI. This is currently supported for the Mentor Questa, Mentor ModelSim and Aldec Riviera simulators.

Library Build Process

You can pass additional options to the library build process (which is usually happening as part of the installation with pip) using the conventional variables for C and C++ compilation and linking: CFLAGS, CPPFLAGS, and LDFLAGS.