In this post I will create an Qemu image and work with it remotely using SSH.
Download and install qemu
On Debian based distros(Ubuntu, Mint etc.) install qemu using the command
sudo apt-get install qemu-system
This will install all qemu-system binaries for all major CPU architectures. If you are having RPM based distros(like Redhat, Fedora etc.), type
sudo yum install qemu
Optionally you can also compile qemu from the latest stable source. Please refer the README for compilation instructions.
Create qemu image
We need to first create a raw qemu image using the command
qemu-img create -f raw IMAGE_NAME.img SIZE
For example, if I want to create an image of 32 Gigs with the name ics-testing.img, the command would be
qemu-img create -f raw ics-testing.img 32G
Once the image is created, we can use it as a raw disk image and install an OS(Distro of your choice). In this case I will install ubuntu 12.04 (AMD64) from an ISO image. The syntax would be
qemu-system-ARCH -vnc none,ipv4 -hda IMAGE_NAME -cdrom /PATH/TO/ISO/FILE -m MEMORY -enable-kvm
For example, if my system arch is `x86-64` and my ISO path is
/home/psachin/iso/ubuntu-12.04-desktop-amd64.iso with memory as 4
Gigs. Also I want to enable kernel based virtualization.
qemu--system-x86_64 \ -vnc none,ipv4 \ -hda ics-testing.img \ -cdrom /home/psachin/iso/ubuntu-12.04-desktop-amd64.iso \ -m 4096 \ -enable-kvm
this will pop up a qemu window. Proceed with the installation and reboot the system.
Boot using qemu image
Once the installation is complete, boot the image by typing,
qemu-system-x86_64 \ -vnc none,ipv4 \ -hda ics-testing.img \ -m 4096 -enable-kvm
Now configure the system, its package manager and user account. Install Openssh-server and enable SSH login. If everything is configured, restart using,
qemu-system-x86_64 \ -vnc none,ipv4 \ -hda ics-testing.img \ -m 4096 \ -enable-kvm \ -redir tcp:2200::22
-redir tcp:2200::22 redirects TCP traffic on the host port
2200 to the guest machine (QEMU) port 22. This allows us to SSH to
the port 2200 on localhost.
-vnc none will disable VNC server.
SSH to qemu
You can ssh into the running qemu system using a command
ssh -p PORT USER@IP-address or HOSTNAME
for example, if I want to connect to port 2200 of
localhostwith username as
ssh -p 2200 qemu-user@localhost
as port 2200 on
localhostis open and is binded with port 22 of qemu system, thus we used
Creating snapshots of an image(Optional)
Now as the image is configured and working, we can also create a snapshots of that image and work on it keeping an original image intact.
qemu-img create -f qcow2 -b ORIGINAL_IMAGE_NAME SNAPSHOT_IMAGE_NAME
As my original image name was ics-testing.img, Let my snapshot image name be snapshot.img. Type
qemu-img create -f qcow2 -b ics-testing.img snapshot.img
-f flag will specify image format. In this case it is
which is most versatile qemu-image format. Please refer man-pages
for more detail.
Booting snapshot image
You can use the snapshot image using
qemu-system-x86_64 \ -vnc none \ -hda snapshot.img \ -m 4096 -enable-kvm \ -redir tcp:2200::22
a. You can also specify number of CPU cores using
-smp flag. For
example, if you want to assign 4 cores of your physical system to
qemu, specify it as
smp stands for
b. Don’t you run qemu over the snapshot image, it will corrupt the snapshot image.