Supported build platforms

QEMU aims to support building and executing on multiple host OS platforms. This appendix outlines which platforms are the major build targets. These platforms are used as the basis for deciding upon the minimum required versions of 3rd party software QEMU depends on. The supported platforms are the targets for automated testing performed by the project when patches are submitted for review, and tested before and after merge.

If a platform is not listed here, it does not imply that QEMU won’t work. If an unlisted platform has comparable software versions to a listed platform, there is every expectation that it will work. Bug reports are welcome for problems encountered on unlisted platforms unless they are clearly older vintage than what is described here.

Note that when considering software versions shipped in distros as support targets, QEMU considers only the version number, and assumes the features in that distro match the upstream release with the same version. In other words, if a distro backports extra features to the software in their distro, QEMU upstream code will not add explicit support for those backports, unless the feature is auto-detectable in a manner that works for the upstream releases too.

The Repology site is a useful resource to identify currently shipped versions of software in various operating systems, though it does not cover all distros listed below.

Supported host architectures

Those hosts are officially supported, with various accelerators:

CPU Architecture Accelerators
Arm kvm (64 bit only), tcg, xen
MIPS kvm, tcg
PPC kvm, tcg
RISC-V tcg
s390x kvm, tcg
SPARC tcg
x86 hax, hvf (64 bit only), kvm, nvmm, tcg, whpx (64 bit only), xen

Other host architectures are not supported. It is possible to build QEMU on an unsupported host architecture using the configure --enable-tcg-interpreter option to enable the experimental TCI support, but note that this is very slow and is not recommended.

Non-supported architectures may be removed in the future following the deprecation process.

Linux OS, macOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD

The project aims to support the most recent major version at all times. Support for the previous major version will be dropped 2 years after the new major version is released or when the vendor itself drops support, whichever comes first. In this context, third-party efforts to extend the lifetime of a distro are not considered, even when they are endorsed by the vendor (eg. Debian LTS).

For the purposes of identifying supported software versions available on Linux, the project will look at CentOS, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, RHEL, SLES and Ubuntu LTS. Other distros will be assumed to ship similar software versions.

For FreeBSD and OpenBSD, decisions will be made based on the contents of the respective ports repository, while NetBSD will use the pkgsrc repository.

For macOS, HomeBrew will be used, although MacPorts is expected to carry similar versions.

Windows

The project supports building with current versions of the MinGW toolchain, hosted on Linux (Debian/Fedora).

The version of the Windows API that’s currently targeted is Vista / Server 2008.