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In early 2001, developers of the Jikes Research Virtual Machine (RVM) committed to releasing the software open-source by the end of 2001. At the time, the virtual machine ran on PowerPC processors running AIX.1 In order to increase the utility of the open-source release, we decided to port the software to run on Linux on the Intel 32-bit architecture (IA32), our second platform.

The porting activities focused on two milestones:

Functional port:
establish a working version of the virtual machine on the second architecture as soon as possible, and
Performance port:
achieve acceptable performance by the end of 2001.

This paper describes our experiences in working towards and reaching these milestones. The next section provides background on the Jikes RVM and an overview of the porting effort. Section 3 describes issues involved in getting the virtual machine up and running on a second platform. Section 4 presents the changes and innovations required to achieve good performance on that platform. Finally, section 5 concludes.

Stephen Fink 2002-05-23