[Université Paris Diderot, INRIA]

Pierre Letouzey


How to run different systems and architectures on your regular PC.

DISCLAIMER: I've done my best here to provide virtual machines that are not subject to any security risk (trojan, virus, etc). Please check MD5 and GPG signatures of downloaded files before going any further. But any problem CAN arise notheless, don't say I haven't warned you... You're free to trust me or not, and anyway you can always rebuild the virtual machines using the indications given here. Password of accounts in the downloadable virtual machines are obvious, change them if you intend to run these virtual machines outside any decent firewall. Finally, all the sources of the included free softwares can be retreived from their respective web sites (Debian, OpenDarwin, etc).

WARNING: the indications below are Debian-centric, and will probably require a recent Debian (at least sarge, testing is better). It shouldn't be too hard to adapt to other distributions, maybe via some manual compilations.


A few words on why emulate in the first place.

Common network configuration: VDE, DHCPD, NAT

Even if it's not mandatory, it's _really_ convenient to establish a network communication between the host machine and the emulated one. This way, one can run an ssh session on the emulated machine, and in particular get rid of all the keyboard issues. Additionally, scp allows to solve the question on file transferts from/to the virtual machine.


OpenDarwin on pearpc

Initially, I was interested in running linux PPC using qemu, but didn't succeded at first. Then I tried another PPC emulator, pearpc with some more success, and finally managed to have a usable OpenDarwin system. If you're not familiar to the Apple world, Darwin is the open-source foundation of Mac OS-X, and OpenDarwin is the community project around Darwin. Even if I've now managed to build my initial goal (linuxPPC/qemu, see below), here is my notes on OpenDarwin/pearpc, since it's fun from time to time to experiment with an exotic unix, isn't it ?


Debian PPC on qemu


Debian Mipsel on gxemul

Qemu has currently a preliminary support for mips architecture, see for instance this demo. Unfortunately I haven't managed to install a full system yet using Qemu. For that, it seems that a linux/mips kernel specially crafted for qemu would be necessary, and I don't want to discover the beautiful world of cross-compilation yet.

Meanwhile, I've successfully installed a Debian Mipsel (that's little-endian Mips) using another emulator, GXemul.


Win98 on qemu

TODO: more to come.

Free VmWare Player

Recently, the VmWare company has release a stripped-down free (as in free beer) emulator called VMware Player. A few words on how to install it and run vmware images. TODO: more to come.

For connecting your VmWare to VDE virtual network: use the bridge network they propose and connect it to tap0.

In fact, even if this free player is supposed to only run already existing images, it's possible to bypass this limitation... TODO: more to come.

Still not working...

If you have some success with these combinations, please let me know...
  • Pearpc + Debian (or any other linux)
  • Qemu + OpenDarwin
  • Qemu + Debian Mips