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Qemu-start README

qemu-start is a small program that helps you start qemu in a safe and useful way. It has the following features:

  • Start qemu as a non-privileged user
  • Run qemu as a non-root user
  • Propagates xauth information
  • Only selected users can start qemu
  • Existing tap network devices can be bound

It presumes all qemu instances will run under the same user-id (qemu). A group emulator is created; only members of this group are allowed to start qemu. Qemu is started with one ethernet interface, which is bound through a tap device. Xauthority data is automatically transferred if the DISPLAY variable is set.

Using this package

Add any users that may start qemu to the emulator group. Create a tap-device, like described in the manual page or in some other way. Now you are ready to call qemu-start.

If you have a DISPLAY variable set, the xauth key will be imported into the .Xauthority file of the qemu user. That means it will be able to display qemu on your X display.

Non-Debian systems

This package is somewhat Debian-centric. It might still be useful if you use some other distribution, though. You will have to create a group emulator, and a user qemu yourself. The qemu user does not need a  password, and /bin/false is a good shell. Afterwards, compile the package by calling make and install it by calling make install.

General_article | by Dr. Radut