I was wondering whether it was possible to virtualize Raspberry Pi OS Lite Bullseye 64-bit arm64 on an M1 Macbook pro. I've downloaded the '.img' file from the official source and tried to load it initially with UTM but to no avail. I then tried using QEMU with this custom kernel repository to try and emulate the software but following the instructions:

qemu-system-arm \
  -M versatilepb \
  -cpu arm1176 \
  -m 256 \
  -hda ~/Downloads/2023-05-03-raspios-bullseye-arm64-lite.img \
  -netdev user,id=net0,hostfwd=tcp::5022-:22 \
  -dtb ~/Downloads/versatile-pb-bullseye-5.10.63.dtb \
  -kernel ~/Downloads/kernel-qemu-5.10.63-bullseye \
  -append 'root=/dev/sda2 panic=1' \

the following error occurs

WARNING: Image format was not specified for '/Users/****/Downloads/2023-05-03-raspios-bullseye-arm64-lite.img' and probing guessed raw.
         Automatically detecting the format is dangerous for raw images, write operations on block 0 will be restricted.
         Specify the 'raw' format explicitly to remove the restrictions.
qemu-system-arm: warning: netdev net0 has no peer
vpb_sic_write: Bad register offset 0x2c

I also realised that the kernel required of 6.1 wasn't supported by the repo with the latest version written being 5.10.63.

Is there any way to virtualize or emulate Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit arm64 on an M1 system?


1 Answer 1


It's not possible to virtualize the IMG file intended for the Raspberry Pi on other devices. This file is designed to only work on the Raspberry Pi and attempting to install it on a regular computer won't work. The best alternative would be to install the Img file created for computers linked here. I hope this answer helps.

  • The OP is referring to QEMU, which is a program that can emulate different kinds of hardware and run operating systems in that context. It can run a normal RpiOS image on an x86(-64) system, although I think it runs better using a different kernel, the userland certainly remains the same. So it is certainly possible, how easy it is I can't say.
    – goldilocks
    Oct 3, 2023 at 13:38
  • Yep, I think it should be possible, doing some more research since this question I've come across some more resources which I'll incorporate in the edit.
    – Daemonique
    Oct 4, 2023 at 14:34

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