Published: 26.10.2020 | Edited: 22.12.2020 | Tags: qemu,arm

How to emulate Raspios natively in QEMU

  • Download from the official site
  • Install required tools
sudo pacman -S unzip util-linux qemu qemu-arch-extra

Minimal required QEMU version is 5.1

qemu-system-aarch64 --version
# QEMU emulator version 5.1.0

Ethernet is shared with USB controller on Raspberry Pi 3 usb_stack, but the changelog for QEMU 5.1 states:

The Raspberry Pi boards now support the USB controller.

sudo losetup --show -fP 2020-08-20-raspios-buster-armhf-lite.img
# i.e. /dev/loop0
sudo mkdir /mnt/raspios
sudo mount /dev/loop0p1 /mnt/raspios
cp /mnt/raspios/kernel8.img /mnt/raspios/bcm2710-rpi-3-b.dtb .
sudo umount /mnt/raspios
sudo losetup -d /dev/loop0

Run with QEMU

  • Resize the raw image (2, 4, 8, 16 ... GB)
qemu-img resize 2020-08-20-raspios-buster-armhf-lite.img 4GB
  • Run the image
sudo qemu-system-aarch64 \
    -m 1024 \
    -M raspi3 \
    -kernel kernel8.img \
    -dtb bcm2710-rpi-3-b.dtb \
    -sd 2020-08-20-raspios-buster-armhf-lite.img \
    -append "console=ttyAMA0 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rw rootwait rootfstype=ext4" \
    -nographic \
    -device usb-net,netdev=net0 \
    -netdev user,id=net0,hostfwd=tcp::2222-:22

The guest is ARM64 with networking availableqemu_stack

uname -m
# aarch64

# Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0525:a4a2 Netchip Technology, Inc. Linux-USB Ethernet/RNDIS Gadget

ip addr
#2: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000
#    link/ether 40:54:00:12:34:57 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
#    inet brd scope global dynamic noprefixroute eth0

We are running in arm64 mode

  • Enabe the ssh daemon
sudo systemctl enable ssh --now

Interact with the image

Copy the ssh credentials over, password is raspberry

ssh-copy-id -p 2222 pi@localhost
ssh -p 2222 pi@localhost


Further read