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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='http://libvirt.org/schemas/domain/qemu/1.0'><!--We need the qemu extensions, to be able to set a custom cpu-->
  <name>arm1</name>
  <uuid>dde875c8-d86f-4aa2-abce-b76ee5cc1032</uuid>
  <memory unit='KiB'>262144</memory>
  <currentMemory unit='KiB'>262144</currentMemory>
  <vcpu placement='static'>1</vcpu>
  <resource>
    <partition>/machine</partition>
  </resource>
  <os>
    <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 http://xecdesign.com/qemu-emulating-raspberry-pi-the-easy-way/ -->
    <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'/>
  </os>
  <clock offset='utc'/>
  <on_poweroff>destroy</on_poweroff>
  <on_reboot>restart</on_reboot>
  <on_crash>restart</on_crash>
  <devices>
    <emulator>/usr/bin/qemu-system-arm</emulator>
    <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'/>
    </disk>
    <controller type='usb' index='0'>
      <alias name='usb0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x2'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='0' model='pci-root'>
      <alias name='pci.0'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='scsi' index='0'>
      <alias name='scsi0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x04' function='0x0'/>
    </controller>
    <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'/>
    </interface>
    <serial type='pty'>
      <source path='/dev/pts/16'/>
      <target port='0'/>
      <alias name='serial0'/>
    </serial>
    <console type='pty' tty='/dev/pts/16'>
      <source path='/dev/pts/16'/>
      <target type='serial' port='0'/>
      <alias name='serial0'/>
    </console>
    <sound model='es1370'>
      <alias name='sound0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x0'/>
    </sound>
  </devices>
  <qemu:commandline><!--we need to set a custom cpu-->
    <qemu:arg value='-cpu'/>
    <qemu:arg value='arm1176'/>
  </qemu:commandline>
</domain>

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.

1 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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