QEMU (from English "Quick emulator " ) is a free virtual machine that emulates the hardware of a computer and achieved a very good execution speed in instructions for the host processor through the dynamic translation of the instructions for the processor of the host processor.

QEMU emulates systems with the following processor architectures: x86, AMD64, and x86 -64, PowerPC, ARM, Alpha, CRIS, LatticeMico32, m68k ( ColdFire ), MicroBlaze, MIPS, Moxie, SH -4, S/390, Sparc32/64, OpenRISC, Unicore and Xtensa (as of 2013).

QEMU can run on the operating system GNU / Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, OpenSolaris, OS/2/eComStation, DOS, Mac OS X and Haiku. It can save the entire state of a virtual machine so that it can be transferred to another host system, where it can continue to run ( live migration ).

Under Linux, BSD and Mac OS X QEMU also supports the " user space " emulation. This API emulation allows executable programs that have been compiled for different dynamic libraries can be run in userspace. The processors x86, PowerPC, Alpha, ARM, CRIS, MicroBlaze, 32-bit MIPS, S/390, SH -4, Sparc32/64, ColdFire ( m68k ) and Unicore are supported.

Hardware platforms


For virtual x86 machines on x86 machines with kqemu is an additional module that caused by native execution of appropriate parts of the machine code a significant speed boost. Since the development since QEMU is 00:12 focused on KVM, the accelerator kqemu module can be used only to version 0.11 in QEMU.

Further speedup can be achieved on Linux hosts by using the QEMU based on Kernel-based Virtual Machine ( KVM). For this, however, a processor with hardware virtualization technologies from Intel ( Intel VT) or AMD (AMD -V) is required.

HX DOS Extender Using QEMU can also run in FreeDOS and DR -DOS.

Emulates is next to the main processor also:

  • CD-ROM/DVD drive from an ISO image or a real drive
  • Floppy disk drive
  • Graphics card ( Cirrus CLGD 5446 PCI VGA card or standard VGA graphics card with Bochs VESA BIOS Extensions - hardware level, including all Nichtstandardmodi, on an experimental patch with a simplified 3D acceleration via OpenGL)
  • Network interface card ( NE2000 PCI network adapter) and a DHCP server
  • Parallel interface
  • System Speaker
  • Two PCI - ATA interface with support for up to four hard disk images in its own format or in the format of VMware, VirtualPC, Bochs, Knoppix ( cloop ) and dd ( raw )
  • PCI and ISA system ( PCI host bridge and i440FX PIIX3 PCI to ISA bridge )
  • 2 mouse and keyboard
  • Serial interface
  • Sound card ( Sound Blaster 16 PCI ES1370, CIS )
  • USB controller (Intel SB82371, UHCI, see USB # The various host controller )

The PC BIOS is used SeaBIOS from coreboot project that replaces the Bochs BIOS earlier versions. For the Plex86 VGA BIOS from the Bochs project is used.


As a PowerPC BIOS is Open Hack'Ware, an open- firmware - compatible BIOS used.


QEMU emulates the following PowerMac peripherals:

  • UniNorth PCI Bridge
  • PCI VGA compatible graphics card with VESA Bochs Extensions
  • Two PMAC IDE interfaces with hard disk and CD -ROM support
  • NE2000 - PCI Adapter
  • Non Volatile RAM
  • VIA - CUDA with ADB keyboard and mouse


The PowerPC Reference Platform ( PReP ) denotes a standard for PowerPC - based computers and is intended as a reference implementation. PReP has been replaced already by the Common Hardware Reference Platform ( CHRP ).

QEMU emulates the following PReP - in Devices:

  • PCI bridge
  • PCI VGA compatible graphics card with VESA Bochs Extensions
  • Two IDE interfaces with hard disk and CD -ROM support
  • Floppy disk drive
  • NE2000 network adapter
  • Serial interface
  • PReP Non Volatile RAM
  • PC - compatible keyboard and mouse

Sun SPARC = ( Scalable Processor Architecture)

QEMU emulates the following sun4m - in Devices:

  • TCX frame buffer
  • Lance ( Am7990 ) Ethernet
  • Non Volatile RAM M48T08
  • Slave I / O: timers, interrupt controllers, Zilog serial ports

More details

Starting from live CD and boot disk images is possible.

To use QEMU on Windows, no administrator rights are required. On a USB stick QEMU can then use as a portable software. To install a 64 -bit operating system in Mac OS X 's Rosetta from Apple is required.

Many virtualization (KVM, VirtualBox, Xen, FAUmachine, Win4BSD, Win4Solaris, win4lin ) use parts of the source code of QEMU.

Thanks to the open source ' and the configuration options start with the development of tools and utilities for QEMU is unproblematic. Through the QEMU Manager and AQEMU to QEMU can easily operate through a graphical user interface.