1. Has anyone runned Armbian in QEMU?
  2. What is the command to run it?
  3. From where to get kernel and which version?
  4. Which version of Armbian to use?

2 Answers 2


Apparently, no, it's not supported. See the response to a similar question in armbian forums:

That image is a normal X86 virtual image with, I assume, the same package base. I don't see much point in dealing with that ... but If you need that, install a base X86 Debian / Ubuntu system and https://github.com/igorpecovnik/lib/blob/second/deboostrap.sh#L138-L143 ... and you are close to Armbian. Special things are anyway very much hardware related, which aren't emulated.

  • @user29510 actually it is possible
    – tswaehn
    Jun 2, 2021 at 9:50

use qemu-system-arm on debian-buster and a specified cpu armv7 like H3 NanoPi NEO Core-LTS (same like orangepi)

before starting:

  • download armbian image for H3
  • unpack device tree (dtb) into folder dtb
  • unpack ramdisk (uInitrd-5.10.12-sunxi) + kernel (vmlinuz-5.10.12-sunxi)

then run:

qemu-system-arm -m 1G,slots=3,maxmem=4G \
                            -machine type=orangepi-pc -cpu cortex-a7 -dtb dtb/sun8i-h3-nanopi-neo.dtb \
                            -smp 4 \
                            -kernel vmlinuz-5.10.12-sunxi -initrd uInitrd-5.10.12-sunxi -append "earlyprintk #loglevel=8 earlycon=uart8250,mmio32,0x1c28000,115200n8 console=ttyS0 root=/dev/mmcblk0p1" \
                            -no-reboot -nographic -serial stdio -monitor none \
                            -hda Armbian_21.02.1_Nanopineo_buster_current_5.10.12.img \
                            -nic user,model=allwinner-sun8i-emac,hostfwd=tcp::50022-:22

boots up like charm :)

you can access the VM ssh port with ssh -p 50022 localhost

enter image description here

  • Works like a charm. If you have an sd-card raw image of armbian, you just need to replace -hda Armbian_21.02.1_Nanopineo_buster_current_5.10.12.img with -drive format=raw,file=sdcard.raw Nov 15, 2022 at 11:03

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