I am developing a commercial product and using the Raspberry Pi 2 as a test platform.

The final product will use an ARMv7 CPU as well.

As of right now, using the RPi2 via a VNC is killing me.

Super slow framerate and a hassle when it looses connection.

How can I emulate a RPi2 on my Mac instead?

I'm on a MB Air with latest version of Yosemite.

PS: I have seen many broken tutorials online but they are, broken. And most of them are outdated.

3 Answers 3


When I last looked into this, the only means to do this was to use QEMU's arm emulators. For me, it requires much patience to get the hang of the basics. However, unless something new has been released, the main issue is that QEMU only emulates the ARMv7 processor itself, not the rest of the RPi2 (ie. GPIO, etc).

I also just found this post Raspberry Pi Emulation for Windows with QEMU which is fairly recent. We may be able to take some/most/all ideas from that and get a bit further.

I'm still fairly certain that the main issue is the emulation of the RPi2 hardware, or at least those parts unique to the RPi2.

I haven't looked at this for awhile, having simply moved to having a stack of RPi's and SDHC cards at hand. And several Linux variant VM's I build via Packer and Vagrant (ie. Arch, Debian, etc) which have qemu-static-arm to build custom *.img files in. At that level I'm only using QEMU to run the Linux binaries to, say update repos, install packages, etc. (It's functional, but still a bit rough around the edges at the moment.)

  • I share your statements. In my application, all I really need is networking as that's what I'm working on right now. Anything that interfaces with the user in the real world would ofcourse need to be developed on physical hardware. But right now, software is what I'm focusing on.
    – vaid
    Aug 30, 2015 at 13:42

You can try chroot approach using qemu-user-static from a linux vm. Here's the tutorial


There is an emulator that works on OS X, and is available at http://snorfi.us/RaspiEmu.html And https://sourceforge.net/projects/raspberrypiemulator/ (They're developed by me (¬º-°)¬ )

  • hey, that's actually pretty cool. One question: how are usb devices connected?
    – vaid
    Sep 17, 2016 at 4:23

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