Running Raspbian on Qemu with libvirt

I followed this great tutorial to get Raspbian running on Qemu. I have all my other virtual servers managed by libvirt, so I wanted to integrate  the Raspbian Qemu instance into it.

Here is my working libvirt xml for a headless installation:

<domain type='qemu' id='3' xmlns:qemu=''><!--We need the qemu extensions, to be able to set a custom cpu-->
  <memory unit='KiB'>262144</memory>
  <currentMemory unit='KiB'>262144</currentMemory>
  <vcpu placement='static'>1</vcpu>
    <type arch='armv7l' machine='versatilepb'>hvm</type><!--libvirt does not know about armv6l, so use armv7l. The custom cpu setting will choose the correct architecture anyway-->
    <kernel>/var/lib/libvirt/boot/zImage_3.10.26_arm6l</kernel><!--The kernel from -->
    <cmdline>root=/dev/sda2 panic=1 rootfstype=ext4 console=ttyAMA0</cmdline><!--Select the correct root file system from the Raspbian image. Also set the console, so that we can see something-->
    <boot dev='hd'/>
  <clock offset='utc'/>
    <disk type='file' device='disk'>
      <driver name='qemu' type='raw'/>
      <source file='/var/lib/libvirt/images/2014-01-07-wheezy-raspbian.img'/>
      <target dev='hda' bus='scsi'/>
      <alias name='scsi0-0-2'/>
      <address type='drive' controller='0' bus='0' target='0' unit='2'/>
    <controller type='usb' index='0'>
      <alias name='usb0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x2'/>
    <controller type='pci' index='0' model='pci-root'>
      <alias name='pci.0'/>
    <controller type='scsi' index='0'>
      <alias name='scsi0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x04' function='0x0'/>
    <interface type='network'>
      <mac address='52:54:00:50:2f:ce'/>
      <source network='default'/>
      <target dev='vnet0'/>
      <model type='smc91c111'/><!--This is the network card, supported by the raspberry pi-->
      <alias name='net0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x0'/>
    <serial type='pty'>
      <source path='/dev/pts/16'/>
      <target port='0'/>
      <alias name='serial0'/>
    <console type='pty' tty='/dev/pts/16'>
      <source path='/dev/pts/16'/>
      <target type='serial' port='0'/>
      <alias name='serial0'/>
    <sound model='es1370'>
      <alias name='sound0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x0'/>
  <qemu:commandline><!--we need to set a custom cpu-->
    <qemu:arg value='-cpu'/>
    <qemu:arg value='arm1176'/>

I took the kernel from the tutorial mentioned above, and also prepared the image according to the tutorial.

I haven’t tried to get graphics support to work.

This xml works fine for me with Ubuntu 14.04 as host.

One reply on “Running Raspbian on Qemu with libvirt”

Unfortunately, this no longer works. That blog has vanished, and if I try to replicate this with current Raspbian and kernal images, it just panics or gets stuck in an endless reboot cycle.

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