Installing QEMU from Source

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Installing QEMU from Source

December 11, 2015 | Article | 1 Comment

Edit: I had update the article to build from latest package and testing.

You might notice that I had written an article before about building QEMU from source. That one is QEMU KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine).  As per version version 1.3 QEMU-KVM is merged to upstream QEMU project therefore the QEMU-KVM is no longer maintained. It’s been done long time ago, actually.

QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer.

When used as a machine emulator, QEMU can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine. By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performance.

In this article we will discuss about installing QEMU and use following requirement:

  1. Slackware64 14.0, although any version is OK
  2. latest qemu source code

There are two options for us: building the stable release or building the development code.

Obtain the Source Code

Between the stable release source code and development code, which one is suitable for us?If you want to download the latest stable release, you can obtain it from qemu official site here.

At the time of writing this article, the latest stable version is 2.5.0 (per March 20th 2016). You can download it by direct link here.

Once you have done downloading, uncompress it with:

mv qemu-2.5.0.tar.bz2 /usr/src
tar -jxvf qemu-2.5.0.tar.bz2
cd qemu-2.5.0

If you want to download the development code. You can clone the git repository by:

cd /usr/src
git clone git://
cd qemu

For any option we choose, we should have qemu source code now.


At this point we are inside the source directory. Qemu support many features. We can list the feature by

./configure --help

For now, we just want a working Qemu with debug enable and install it to /usr. First, create a directory build. This directory will be used for all building process we do.

mkdir build
cd build

Next we do usual chant:

../configure --enable-debug  --prefix=/usr --enable-modules
make -j4

If you want to know my build, here it is:

../configure --enable-debug --prefix=/usr --enable-modules --enable-libusb \
--enable-usb-redir --enable-spice --enable-smartcard

If you like, you can go to next section for testing. If not, you can install QEMU by

make install

Congratulation, you had installed Qemu.


Testing BIOS

To test if default settings works.

x86_64-softmmu/qemu-system-x86_64 -L pc-bios

Testing KVM

To test if KVM is working

x86_64-softmmu/qemu-system-x86_64 -cpu host --enable-kvm -L pc-bios

To test with Linux image

bunzip2 linux-0.2.img.bz2
x86_64-softmmu/qemu-system-x86_64 -cpu host --enable-kvm -display gtk linux-0.2.img

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1 Comment
  1. Debugging Linux Kernel on QEMU Using GDB - Xathrya.ID

    […] I use latest Qemu, you can read it from here. […]

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