#emulation #qemu #emulator


QEMU binary and utility installer

8 releases

0.1.7 Mar 16, 2023
0.1.6 Nov 5, 2022

#2 in Emulators

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645 downloads per month
Used in 66 crates

MIT license

1.5K SLoC


This crate provides an installer for QEMU binaries. You can use it to install QEMU system and user mode emulators and use them in your code.

Table of Contents


To install this crate, you need all the dependencies required to build QEMU for your system. There are some packages that are always required. The updated list can be found here. As of QEMU 7.3, you can install the required packages with the distro-specific commands below. If you encounter any other problems building, try checking the build instructions for your platform. If you are unable to fix your issue, please file an issue here!

Install Required Dependencies on Ubuntu

$ sudo apt-get install git libglib2.0-dev libfdt-dev \
    libpixman-1-dev zlib1g-dev ninja-build

Install Required Dependencies on Fedora

$ sudo dnf install git glib2-devel libfdt-devel \
    pixman-devel zlib-devel bzip2 ninja-build python3


See the feature flags section for information on enabling targets, but once you have an installation, you can use the binary!

Rust-executable wrapper for user emulator

There are crates available for binary distributions of each qemu program, and they all essentially implement this pattern. This executable will run qemu-aarch64 as a wrapper and pass through command line args and stdio to the executable. Much more complicated things are possible now that we have a binary available straight in Rust though, so the sky is the limit!


name = "qemu-aarch64"
version = "0.1.0"
edition = "2021"
description = "QEMU binary installer for qemu-aarch64"
license = "MIT"

# See more keys and their definitions at https://doc.rust-lang.org/cargo/reference/manifest.html
memfd-exec = "0.1.4"
qemu = { version = "0.1.3", features = ["qemu-aarch64"] }
use memfd_exec::{MemFdExecutable, Stdio};
use qemu::qemu_aarch64;

use std::env::args;

fn main() {
    let qemu = qemu_aarch64();
    let mut args: Vec<String> = args().collect();
    MemFdExecutable::new("qemu-aarch64", qemu)
        .expect("Failed to start qemu process")
        .expect("Qemu process failed");

Feature Flags

The feature flags of this crate provide an interface to the configure options for QEMU. By default, all flags are set just as QEMU's configure script sets them with the exception of targets (see Important Note). Some examples of how to configure this crate as a dependency:

Just install qemu-x86_64 usermode emulator with default options

This will make the qemu-x86_64 binary available.

qemu = { version = "0.1.4", features = ["qemu-x86_64"] }

Install an optimized qemu-x86_64 usermode emulator

This will also make the qemu-x86_64 binary available, but will strip and optimize it with lto.

qemu = { version = "0.1.4", features = ["qemu-x86_64", "optimized"]

Install qemu-system-arm emulator with customized options

We now selectively opt in to features. These options implicitly set "disable-default-features", and enabling any of them requires you to opt in to all features you need. Use this only if you really need it! These are all enabled by default if they are available anyway! See the qemu documentation about configure options for more details.

qemu = {
    version = "0.1.4",
    default-features = false,
    features = [
        # Specify just one target we want
        # Specify compile options
        # These are default-on options that we have disabled and are now
        # selectively enabling

Important Note

Due to bugs in rustc this crate does nothing with the default feature flags. This will be changed once 103812 is merged, but for now this crate will cause a rustc crash if installed with all targets enabled.


If you notice the binary distributions contain out of date dependencies on, for example, memfd-exec, please run cargo make update-binary-deps to update dependencies for all of them and PR the resulting diff. Contributions are welcome for any reason!

No runtime deps

~30K SLoC