Direct Linux Boot

This section explains how to launch a Linux kernel inside QEMU without having to make a full bootable image. It is very useful for fast Linux kernel testing.

The syntax is:

qemu-system-x86_64 -kernel bzImage -hda rootdisk.img -append "root=/dev/hda"

Use -kernel to provide the Linux kernel image and -append to give the kernel command line arguments. The -initrd option can be used to provide an INITRD image.

If you do not need graphical output, you can disable it and redirect the virtual serial port and the QEMU monitor to the console with the -nographic option. The typical command line is:

qemu-system-x86_64 -kernel bzImage -hda rootdisk.img                  -append "root=/dev/hda console=ttyS0" -nographic

Use Ctrl-a c to switch between the serial console and the monitor (see Keys in the graphical frontends).