imperasRISCVvirtio (30 August 2022)

Imperas RISC-V Virtio is included as part of the Intel® Pathfinder for RISC-V Professional Edition

The Intel® Pathfinder for RISC-V Professional Edition is a unified IDE providing the ability to run industry leading operating systems and tool chains, more details are available at

The Imperas imperasRISCVvirtio RISC-V reference model and simulator provides a RISC-V Virtual Prototype / Virtual Platform / System Emulator - fast, simple, easy to use, cross software development for embedded systems.

The imperasRISCVvirtio virtual platform is included in the Professional Edition of Intel® Pathfinder for RISC-V and is downloadable from the Intel website: It is an ideal starting point for an embedded software development project of a RISC-V system to run an operating system.

imperasRISCVvirtio allows the development and debug of code for the target RISC-V processor on an x86 host PC with the minimum of setup and effort. It simply requires the cross compilation of your application and running imperasRISCVvirtio with an argument to specify the name of the application object.

RISC-V Virtual Platform Simulator (RISC-V System Emulator)

Author : Imperas Software, Ltd., using OVP Open Standard APIs
Model source licensed under Apache 2.0 open source license
Simulator licensed under Open Virtual Platforms (OVP) Fixed Platform Kits license

About the imperasRISCVvirtio Virtual Platform

The imperasRISCVvirtio fixed platform implements a simulation model of a platform containing a RISC-V processor, peripheral devices and memory. The simulation is capable of running and debugging a standard Linux kernel or other OS or bare metal binaries.

The simulator is developed, licensed and maintained by Imperas Software as part of the RISC-V range of emulators / virtual platforms and it is fully compliant to the OVP open standard APIs.

As a member of the RISC-V International community of software and hardware innovators collaboratively driving RISC-V adoption, Imperas has developed the imperasRISCVvirtio simulator to assist the development and porting of bare metal, RTOS, OS, Hypervisor and application software to RISC-V platforms.


The platform includes a single hart RISC-V RV64GC OVP Fast Processor model with PLIC (interrupt controller), CLINT (core local interrupts and timers), MMIO (memory mapped blocked IO device), NIC (ethernet controller), UART (interactive console), and a large populated memory address space.

The simulator is shipped with a pre-built Berkeley Boot Loader (bbl) executable containing a Linux kernel and user applications stored in a busybear disk image.

It supports booting and running Linux, FreeRTOS as baseline and Zephyr.

Debug of Linux user applications via GDB Eclipse through NIC (remote access through SSH) and debug of the Linux kernel are supported.

Downloading and Installing the virtual platform

Download (instructions at bottom of this page) the zip file and extract it into an installation directory. Then simply execute the imperasRISCVvirtio.exe program found in the bin/<arch> directory. For example, the help messages may be displayed with the following command:
<install_dir>/imperasRISCVvirtio/bin/<arch>/imperasRISCVvirtio.exe --help
<install_dir> is the directory where the zip file was extracted
<arch> is either Windows64 or Linux64, depending on your host machine

Running Linux Kernel with imperasRISCVvirtio

A Linux kernel provided in Berkeley Boot Loader (BBL) format and a disk image containing Busybear and Dropbear can be booted using the script in the Linux directory.

Running Baremetal Applications with imperasRISCVvirtio

A number of example baremetal applications i.e. applications that run directly on the processor, are available under the example directory. This includes Fibonacci, Dhrystones and CoreMark.

Running FreeRTOS with imperasRISCVvirtio

This is currently in development

Running Zephyr with imperasRISCVvirtio

This is currently in development

To download imperasRISCVvirtio select one of the downloads below - you will need to be a registered user of this site, Register here.

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