Running an Allwinner A10 SD-card image in QEMU

The bootable operating system images for the Allwinner A10 including my Debian Server image can also be booted in the QEMU emulator as follows:

1. Get a QEMU-compatible kernel and initrd

I suggest using the QEMU emulation of a vexpress-a9 processor, the kernels for it are available here.

2. Install QEMU

E.g. for Debian:

apt-get install qemu qemu-system

3. Run it

Now you can (try to) run it:

sudo -E qemu-system-arm \
  -M vexpress-a9 \
  -kernel vmlinuz-3.2.0-4-vexpress -initrd initrd.img-3.2.0-4-vexpress \
  -append root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 \
  -drive if=sd,cache=unsafe,file=image.img \
  -net nic -net tap

substitute your image filename instead of image.img above.

Other notes

Network will probably not work, but configuring network in QEMU is beyond the scope of this document, read more about it at the QEMU website.

For the best results your image should also contain a set of modules for 3.2.0-4-vexpress, else some features will not work (for example mounting a VFAT filesystem).

For a more modern ARM system

For instructions running a 5.18 kernel with a virtual Orange Pi PC, see:

And a kernel with initrd useful for the above are available here.

a10/qemu.txt · Last modified: 2022-07-17 17:14 UTC by rm