Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Booting Windows from within Linux using QEMU

They say "Inside every good there is a bit of evil"

I did just that.. I installed evil inside the good.. Okay, don't worry.. I was not touched upon by angel and visited by God. I was talking about installing and booting Windows from inside Linux.

I used a VMM (Virtual Machine Monitor) called Qemu for this. Qemu came installed in my Dapper Drake.

I had some problems figurging out using the options. The options tell Qemu what to do and what hardware resources are available.

So here I what I did.

First, I create a virtual harddisk image using the utility qemu-img. Below is the command that I used. The below command creates a 4 GB virtual harddisk.

qemu-img create ./hda 4G

Second, I boot from Windows CD by specifying the cdrom device and also specify the virtual harddisk created by me in the earlier step. Once I execute the below command, I boot from the Windows CD and then go on to install Windows on the 4GB virtual harddisk.

qemu -hda ./hda -cdrom /dev/cdrom -boot d

I found that the performance of Windows running as a guest OS is not that bad. It is close to real.

Qemu, emulates a default set of hardware. For example, it emulates a RealTek NIC (Network Interface Card) to Windows. Windows installs the driver for the RealTek NIC. The last screenshot shows hardware configuration of the virtual machine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I truly believe that we have reached the point where technology has become one with our lives, and I can say with 99% certainty that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further advances, the possibility of copying our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could experience in my lifetime.

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