Skip to main content

Booting from QEMU


A quick way to try out without any modifications to your existing environment is to leverage QEMU. You can start up a virtual machine to evaluate what is and how it works. You will need the qemu-system package for your appropriate operating system and a window manager installed. In the example below we are using Ubuntu 20.04.

Install dependencies

# install the qemu-system package
sudo apt-get install -y qemu-system ovmf

# download the latest combined Legacy and EFI iso

If you want to write to a disk, you can set one at this point, or optionally you can boot without a disk if you want to test drive

Create a disk (optional)

qemu-img create -f raw vmdisk 8G

# add the following to end of the qemu-system lines below if you want to add a disk to write to:
# -drive file=vmdisk,format=raw

Booting with Legacy PCBIOS

qemu-system-x86_64 -cdrom -m 4G

Booting with a UEFI BIOS

qemu-system-x86_64 -bios /usr/share/ovmf/OVMF.fd -cdrom -m 4G

At least 4GB of memory is recommended for some of the images that are loaded into RAM. If you experience problems during initrd load, the machine usually just needs more RAM.