QEMU is an open source emulator for complete PC systems. In addition to emulating a processor, QEMU permits emulation of all necessary subsystems, such as networking and video hardware. It also permits emulation of advanced concepts, such as symmetric multiprocessing systems (up to 255 CPUs) and other processor architectures, such as ARM or PowerPC. This article explores QEMU and its architecture and shows how to emulate a guest operating system on a Linux host.
Saying that virtualization is a hot technology today is an understatement. Today, googling the word virtualization results in around 22 million hits. For example, in a single month, EMC Corporation announced an IPO for VMware, Citrix Systems announced plans to purchase XenSource, and new virtualization start-ups appeared out of nowhere. New niches are continually being found in what turns out to be an astronomically massive market. But with all the talk of initial public offerings and acquisitions in virtualization these days, it’s easy to forget about some of the other virtualization technologies that are out there.
In this article, get acquainted with one of the more interesting virtualization applications not headlining the news today, QEMU. QEMU is an application that you can use in a number of settings. You can use it for guest operating system virtualization or as a full machine emulator running operating systems targeted to the host CPU or other CPU architectures.