I’ve recently been trying to emulate Raspbian for the Raspberry Pi on my desktop computer so that I can try a few things out when I don’t have my Pi to hand.
Some of the guides on the internet are a bit outdated and since I wanted to use the latest Jessie build some where not relevant.
Below you will find instructions for emulating Raspbian on a desktop PC.
sudo pacman -S qemu
Download the latest Raspbian image from https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/. At the time of writing the latest version was Raspbian Jessie with a kernel version 4.4.
The image file needs to be slightly modified as the /etc/fstab file is referencing /dev/mmcblk0, which is the SD Card device. Inside the emulation environment, the disk will have device id /dev/sda.
Attach the image file on the loop device:
sudo losetup -Pf 2017-01-11-raspbian-jessie-lite.img mkdir partition2 sudo mount /dev/loop0p2 partition2 vi partition2/etc/fstab
Inside vi change references to mmcblk0 to sda.
Now unmount and detach the image from the loop device:
sudo umount partition2 rm -rf partition2 sudo losetup -d /dev/loop0
We can finally run up the system:
qemu-system-arm -kernel kernel-4.4.34.img -cpu arm1176 -m 256 -M versatilepb -serial stdio -append "root=/dev/sda2 rootfstype=ext4 rw" -hda 2017-01-11-raspbian-jessie-lite.img
Hopefully after the system has booted you will see a similar screen to this: