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 qemu boot iso 


sudo apt install qemu-utils  qemu-efi  qemu-system-x86

qemu-img create debian.img 2G
qemu-img create -f qcow2 debian.qcow 2G
qemu-system-x86_64 -hda debian.img -cdrom debian-testing-amd64-netinst.iso -boot d -m 512 
kvm -cdrom ~/mnt/aps/iso/Windows7SuperNanoLite64.iso -hda win7.img -m 1G -boot d 
  • By default only 128 MiB of memory is assigned to the machine. The amount of memory can be 
      adjusted with the -m switch, for example -m 512M or -m 2G.
  • -boot menu=on, -boot order=x 
  • When running QEMU in headless mode, it starts a local VNC server on port 5900 per default.
     if you need to replace floppies or CDs as part of the installation process, you can use the
     QEMU machine monitor (press Ctrl+Alt+2 in the virtual machine's window) to remove and attach
     storage devices to a virtual machine. Type info block to see the block devices, and use the     
    change command to swap out a device. Press Ctrl+Alt+1 to go back to the virtual machine.
  • qemu-system-x86_64 -machine help 
    qemu-system-x86_64 -machine q35,help 
    qemu-system-x86_64 -device help
    qemu-system-x86_64 -device qxl,help
    qemu-system-x86_64 -audiodev help 
qemu-system-x86_64 -hda debian.img -m 512

qemu-system-x86_64 -cdrom EaseUS.Partition.Master.17.0.WinPE.iso  -m 1G



 mount -o loop,offset=32256 /path/to/image.img /mnt/mountpoint

Image format

Argument to qemu-img

QCOW2 (KVM, Xen)






VDI (VirtualBox)


VHD (Hyper-V)


VMDK (VMware)


raw image >  qcow2 image 
fileqemu-img convert -f raw -O qcow2 image.img image.qcow2 
vmdk image file >  raw image file 
qemu-img convert -f vmdk -O raw image.vmdk image.img
qemu-img convert -f vmdk -O qcow2 image.vmdk image.qcow2
VBoxManage clonehd ~/VirtualBox\ VMs/image.vdi image.img --format raw
qemu-img info  win7.img 
image: win7.img
file format: raw
virtual size: 10 GiB (10737418240 bytes)
disk size: 891 MiB
run qemu with kvm 
 qemu-system-x86_64  -accel kvm 
kvm win7.img -m 1G
 qemu-system-x86_64 -machine accel=kvm:tcg 
emulated virtual fat 
qemu-system-x86_64 linux.img -hdb fat:/my_directory
 qemu-system-x86_64 linux.img -fda fat:floppy:/my_directory
 qemu-system-x86_64 linux.img -fda fat:floppy:rw:/my_directory
modprobe vfio-pci

specify disk 

 -drive file=my.img,index=0,media=disk,format=raw
-drive format=raw,media=cdrom,readonly=on,file=debian-8.2.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso
-hda,hdb,hdc,hdd file 
Use file as hard disk 0, 1, 2 or 3 image
you cannot use -hdc and -cdrom at the same time  
 -blockdev driver=file,node-name=disk_file,filename=disk.img
-blockdev driver=raw,node-name=disk,file=disk_file 
 -blockdev driver=raw,node-name=disk,file.driver=file,file.filename=disk.img
-blockdev driver=qcow2,node-name=hda,file=my_file,overlap-check=none,cache-size=16777216
-blockdev driver=qcow2,node-name=disk,file.driver=http,file.filename=
Instead of -cdrom you can use:
 qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=file,index=2,media=cdrom
 Instead of -hda, -hdb, -hdc, -hdd, you can use:

qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=file,index=0,media=disk
qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=file,index=1,media=disk
qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=file,index=2,media=disk
qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=file,index=3,media=disk 
 Instead of -fda, -fdb, you can use:

qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=file,index=0,if=floppy
qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=file,index=1,if=floppy
 By default, interface is "ide" and index is automatically incremented
qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=a -drive file=b"

direct linux boot / kernel testing

qemu-system-x86_64 -kernel bzImage -hda rootdisk.img -append "root=/dev/sda" 
qemu-system-x86_64 -kernel vmlinuz-6.1.41-gentoo    -initrd initrd.img-6.1.0-11-amd64  -m 1G -hda kernel-hd -append  "root=/dev/sda verbose" 

Use -kernel to provide the Linux kernel image and -append to give the kernel command line arguments. The -initrd option can be used to provide an INITRD image.

qemu-system-x86_64 -kernel bzImage -hda rootdisk.img-append "root=/dev/hda console=ttyS0" -nographic 
 Use Ctrl-a c to switch between the serial console and the monitor 
create   rootfs 
dd if=/dev/zero of=kernel-hd bs=1M count=100
mkfs.ext4 kernel-hd
sudo mount kernel-hd /mnt
archlinux rootfs 
sudo pacstrap /mnt base  ##you can just go with coreutils 
for alpine linux root
tar xf    apk-tools-static-2.14.0-r2.apk
tar: Ignoring unknown extended header keyword 'APK-TOOLS.checksum.SHA1'

./sbin/apk.static -X -U --allow-untrusted -p /mnt --initdb add alpine-base   

## mouse controls 


Toggle full screen


Enlarge the screen


Shrink the screen


Restore the screen’s un-scaled dimensions


Switch to virtual console ‘n’. Standard console mappings are:


Target system display




Serial port


Toggle mouse and keyboard grab.


In the virtual consoles, you can use Ctrl-Up, Ctrl-Down, Ctrl-PageUp and Ctrl-PageDown to move in the back log.


Alt-Shift (instead of Ctrl-Alt) and if you use -ctrl-grab then the modifier is the right Ctrl key (instead of Ctrl-Alt):

qemu-img resize --shrink  win7.img 4G
 kvm -soundhw all
-soundhw ac97 
convert raw img to qcow2  
qemu-img convert -p -f raw -O qcow2  win7.img win7.qcow2 

To use additional images in QEMU, specify them on the command line with options -hda, -hdb, -hdc, -hdd.

NB: QEMU doesn't support both -hdc and -cdrom at the same time, as they both represent the first device on the second IDE channel.


Copying an image to a physical device

 qemu-img convert -O raw diskimage.qcow2 diskimage.raw
dd if=diskimage.raw of=/dev/sdX
qemu-img convert -O raw diskimage.qcow2 /dev/sdX
virtio windows drivers 
or Win 7 use version 0.1.173-4.
Some singular drivers from newer virtio builds may be used on Win 7 but 
you will have to install them manually via device manager.


The default user-mode networking allows the guest to access the host OS at the IP address 
qemu-system-i386 -m 256 -hda disk.img -netdev user,id=network0 -device e1000,netdev=network0,mac=52:54:00:12:34:56 &
tap networking 
-device virtio-net,netdev=network0 -netdev tap,id=network0,ifname=tap0,script=no,downscript=no
-device virtio-net,netdev=network0 -netdev tap,id=network0,ifname=tap0,script=no,downscript=no,vhost=on
host only networking 
# ip addr add dev br0
# ip link set br0 up
# dnsmasq --interface=br0 --bind-interfaces --dhcp-range=,
qemu-system-x86_64 -audiodev help 
create backend  
-audiodev pa,id=snd0
intel hd audio 
qemu-system-x86_64 -device help | grep hda
 -device ich9-intel-hda
-device hda-output,audiodev=snd0 
ac 97 
-device AC97,audiodev=snd0

qemu-system-x86_64 -h | grep vga
-vga [std|cirrus|vmware|qxl|xenfb|tcx|cg3|virtio|none]


With -vga std you can get a resolution of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels without requiring guest 
drivers. This is default


The cirrus graphical adapter was the default before 2.2. It should not be used on modern systems.


 Although it is a bit buggy, it performs better than std and cirrus. I


 QXL is a paravirtual graphics driver with 2D support. To use it, pass the -vga qxl option and
 install drivers in the guest. You may want to use #SPICE for improved graphical performance 
 when using QXL.

On Linux guests, the qxl and bochs_drm kernel modules must be loaded in order to gain a decent performance.


Default VGA memory size for QXL devices is 16M which is sufficient to drive resolutions approximately up to QHD (2560x1440). To enable higher resolutions, increase vga_memmb


 virtio-vga / virtio-gpu is a paravirtual 3D graphics driver based on virgl. Currently a work
 in progress, supporting only very recent (>= 4.4) Linux guests with mesa (>=11.2) compiled
 with the option gallium-drivers=virgl.

To enable 3D acceleration on the guest system select this vga with -device virtio-vga-gl and enable the opengl context in the display device with -display sdl,gl=on or -display gtk,gl=on for the sdl and gtk display output respectively. Successful configuration can be confirmed looking at the kernel log in the guest:

# dmesg | grep drm [drm] pci: virtio-vga detected [drm] virgl 3d acceleration enabled 



This is like a PC that has no VGA card at all. You would not even be able to access it with the -vnc option. Also, this is different from the -nographic option which lets QEMU emulate a VGA card, but disables the SDL display.  


The SPICE project aims to provide a complete open source solution for remote access to virtual machines in a seamless way.



qemu-system-x86_64 \
-enable-kvm \
-m 8G \
-machine q35,accel=kvm \
-smp cores=2,threads=4 \
-cpu host \
-smbios type=2 \
-vga qxl \
-drive driver=raw,file=${VMLOC}/win10.img,if=virtio \
-cdrom ${WINIMG} \
-drive file=${VIRTIMG},index=3,media=cdrom \
-rtc base=localtime,clock=host \
-usb -device usb-kbd -device usb-tablet \
-device e1000-82545em,netdev=net0,mac=12:34:56:78:90 \
-netdev user,id=net0
-nographic \
-vnc :0 \
-k en-us 

Enabling IOMMU (Intel VT-d/AMD-Vi) support


qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm -machine q35 -device intel-iommu -cpu host ..
While adding the kernel parameter intel_iommu=on is still needed for 
remapping IO (e.g. PCI passthrough with vfio-pci), -device intel-iommu should not be set 
if PCI passthrough is required.

Booting in UEFI mode

The default firmware used by QEMU is SeaBIOS 
sudo apt install ovmf
ls /usr/share/ovmf/
.rw-r--r-- 2.1M root  6 Mar 02:21  OVMF.fd 
ls /usr/share/OVMF/ 
archlinux ovmf location 

-drive if=pflash,format=raw,file=/copy/of/OVMF.fd
 -drive if=pflash,format=raw,readonly=on,file=/usr/share/ovmf/x64/OVMF_CODE.fd \
-drive if=pflash,format=raw,file=/copy/of/OVMF_VARS.fd


If secure boot is wanted, replace /usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_CODE.fd with  


direct disk access
VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename /path/to/file.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/hda 
dd if=/dev/zero of=/path/to/mbr count=2048
losetup --show -f /path/to/mbr
echo "0 2048 linear /dev/loop0 0
2048 `blockdev --getsz /dev/hdaN` linear /dev/hdaN 0" | dmsetup create qemu  
dd if=/dev/hda count=1 of=/path/to/mbr
# loop=`losetup --show -f /path/to/mbr`
# start=`blockdev --report /dev/hdaN | tail -1 | awk '{print $5}'`
# size=`blockdev --getsz /dev/hdaN`
# disksize=`blockdev --getsz /dev/hda`
# echo "0 1 linear $loop 0
1 $((start-1)) zero
$start $size linear /dev/hdaN 0
$((start+size)) $((disksize-start-size)) zero" | dmsetup create qemu

Mouse integration

To prevent the mouse from being grabbed when clicking on the guest operating system's window  
qemu-system-x86_64 -hda disk_image -m 512 -usb -device usb-tablet
if not working -vga qxl 
For Windows 8 (or later) guests it is better to disable "Turn on fast 
startup (recommended)" from the Power Options of the Control Panel as 
explained in the following forum page, as it causes the guest to hang during every other boot.


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