Using Qemu to Create a PowerPC Emulator

The title of this entry is wrong but I couldn’t think of a better or more accurate one. This is really a simple post about setting up qemu to launch install Debian (ppc). It turns out to be really simple. It’s just that qemu is so powerful that it is difficult to wade through all of the options.

First create a disk image. You use `qemu-img` to do that. I chose to use the qcow2 filesystem format but there are a few other options. If you leave out the format it will choose one for you (according to the man page). I don’t need much space so I’ll create a 512MB image. The size of the image on disk is 256K after creation.

$ qemu-img create -f qcow2 debian-ppc.qemu 512M

Next download a PPC cdrom image from debian.org.

$ wget http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/5.0.6/powerpc/iso-cd/debian-506-powerpc-netinst.iso

Now launch the qemu using the disk installer image as a cdrom image and tell qemu to boot from the CD drive.

$ qemu-system-ppc -hda debian-ppc.qemu -cdrom debian-506-powerpc-netinst.iso -boot order=d

After you install your Debian system to the emulator you can skip the “-boot order=d”.

And now you have a Debian based PPC emulator.

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