Patchwork [PULL,03/24] HACKING: Document vaddr type usage

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Submitter Andreas Färber
Date July 23, 2013, 2:53 a.m.
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Download mbox | patch
Permalink /patch/260923/
State New
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Andreas Färber - July 23, 2013, 2:53 a.m.
From: Peter Maydell <>

Also extend documentation of target_ulong and abi_ulong.

Signed-off-by: Peter Maydell <>
Signed-off-by: Andreas Färber <>
 HACKING | 19 +++++++++++++++++--
 1 file changed, 17 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)


diff --git a/HACKING b/HACKING
index e73ac79..12fbc8a 100644
@@ -40,8 +40,23 @@  speaking, the size of guest memory can always fit into ram_addr_t but
 it would not be correct to store an actual guest physical address in a
-Use target_ulong (or abi_ulong) for CPU virtual addresses, however
-devices should not need to use target_ulong.
+For CPU virtual addresses there are several possible types.
+vaddr is the best type to use to hold a CPU virtual address in
+target-independent code. It is guaranteed to be large enough to hold a
+virtual address for any target, and it does not change size from target
+to target. It is always unsigned.
+target_ulong is a type the size of a virtual address on the CPU; this means
+it may be 32 or 64 bits depending on which target is being built. It should
+therefore be used only in target-specific code, and in some
+performance-critical built-per-target core code such as the TLB code.
+There is also a signed version, target_long.
+abi_ulong is for the *-user targets, and represents a type the size of
+'void *' in that target's ABI. (This may not be the same as the size of a
+full CPU virtual address in the case of target ABIs which use 32 bit pointers
+on 64 bit CPUs, like sparc32plus.) Definitions of structures that must match
+the target's ABI must use this type for anything that on the target is defined
+to be an 'unsigned long' or a pointer type.
+There is also a signed version, abi_long.
 Of course, take all of the above with a grain of salt.  If you're about
 to use some system interface that requires a type like size_t, pid_t or