Bochs Interview Questions and Answers

Does Bochs support Hardware Virtualization?

Bochs does not support Hardware virtualization as it is quite a primitive emulation technology based on Intel X86 and hardware virtualization or VT-x was developed by Intel much after the release of Bochs project .

What all architecture does Bochs support ?

The architecture supported by Bochs is Intel x86 or IA-32 mainly. It can emulate a 386, 486, Pentium/PentiumII/PentiumIII/Pentium4 or x86-64 CPU including optional MMX, SSEx and 3DNow.

Does Bochs work in Windows SafeMode ?

Yes, it’s true that Bochs can work really well in Windows SafeMode as well as in normal mode. But a hypervisor from Microsoft Corp. named Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 is inefficient to run in Windows SafeMode. This adds on to advantages of using an emulator such as Bochs.

What Community maintains the development of Bochs?

Bochs is an open source software project that is currently developed and maintained under open-source linux community called Mandriva. The users in Mandriva contributes actively on all the software including Bochs.

Give a brief history on Bochs.

In around year 2000, Bochs was released as commercial product with US$25 as price. Although after huge popularity in 2008 the software was bought by Mandrakesoft. This product is now opensource and is currently under lead-developer Kevin Lawton.

Which operating systems are supported by Bochs ?

The operating system supported by Bochs are Microsoft Windows, BSDs, Linux, Xenix and Rhapsody (Prequel to Mac OSX) as a guest OS. Bochs can run on many host operating systems, like Windows, Windows Mobile, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS , PlayStation 2.

Give a set of emulated hardwares supported by Bochs.

The emulated hardware supported by Bochs are

- Cirrus Logic, VIDEO CARD
- Sound Blaster 16, SOUND CARD
- NE2000 Ethernet, NETWORK CARD
- Intel 440FX PCI. Host-to-PCI bridge (PMC/DBX), PCI-to-ISA bridge, PCI IDE controller (PIIX3) , CHIPSET
- Enhanced BIOS
- USB & SMP

What is connection between Bochs and PS2?

The Bochs emulator was ported for PS2 by PSX-scene, KarasQ. This porting actually made it possible to emulate PS2 games run on Windows PC. The PS2 emulator is famous with name of PCSX2. PCSX2 uses same libraries as Bochs virtual libraries for emulation. This development became possible because Bochs is an open-source software.

Does Bochs support CLI? Give example ?

Yes, Bochs supports Command Line Interface (CLI) as well Graphical User Interface (GUI).
Some of the startup commands that Bochs supports are as follows :-

1. -q quick start (skip configuration file)
2. -r path specify path for restoring state
3. -n don’t try to load configuration file
4. -f specify configuration file
5. -log specify logfile name
6. -help give help information

Bochs is free under which license, give details.

Bochs is an open-source software and is distributed under GPL (General Public License), Lesser. This license gives the freedom to redistribute, modify and resell by giving appropriate credits to the developers and contributors.

Give information on debugger based on Bochs.

There are two major debuggers or tracers that are suitable to use with Bochs environment namely Peter-Bochs and BFE. Peter Bochs is written in java which is a GUI debugger can be used for OS development. BFE is (Bochs Front End) also a GUI debugger that is based on GTK and provides a front end for debugging.

Bochs had history of being compatible on Handheld device.

Bochs emulator was majorly developed for Intel X86 architecture on Windows OS compatibility. The Windows OS for mobile devices is known as Windows CE. This Windows CE OS supports a version of Bochs emulator that use to come with Palm Tops & Hand-helds.

Which C++ Library is used by Bochs on Linux Box ?

Bochs is based on C++ programming language and thus uses some standard libraries and special libraries for C++. On linux box, the virtualization library used is Libvirt. This libvirt library is the best opensource library source for virtualization implementation. The library is in continuous development and thus is the best choice for upto date virtualization programming implementation.

What is the new and advance substitute to Bochs Emulator?

The new advance and multi-feature substitute to Bochs Emulator is an open-source substitute called Qemu. It is quite configurable and supports wide variety of architectures and hardware emulation , even embedded devices & boards. Some of the architectures that it can emulate are X86 or X64, MIPS , SPARC, ARM etc. Bochs is now almost everywhere substituted with Qemu. Qemu is used mainly on the Linux Box, and thus come along some very good set of tools and utilities to provide maximum usage out of it.

Why is Bochs an emulator and not simulator?

Bochs is an emulator because it emulates i.e it tries to replicate hardware capabilities for the software, whereas a simulator will modify software and does not concern for the hardware because it only needs to run that software as it should on a compatible hardware. Even if the simulated hardware does not support any other software that it should run on the original hardware. Virtualization solutions or hypervisors are based on emulators whereas high graphics games that try to replicate fighter jet flying is a simulator.
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