I have played around with the QEMU emulator, as it can emulate OS's that VirtualBox cannot, especially older systems that cannot run on x86 or x64. With QEMU being quite slow because it has to translate to different CPU architectures, is it ever used commercially or in business applications?

EDIT: Does anyone know of any hardware or software that uses QEMU as a core element in the application?

closed as off-topic by pipe, user12, JAL, mnem, Kuba Tyszko Jun 8 '16 at 7:02

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about retrocomputing, within the scope defined in the help center." – pipe, Community, JAL, mnem, Kuba Tyszko
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    How is this a retro question? QEMU is not meant to emulate old systems, it's designed to emulate new systems. I use it daily in my servers, with the linux kvm system. You're not even asking about using it in a "retro computing" setting. – pipe Jun 8 '16 at 0:50
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    Its very common to use QEMU with old systems where virtualization (such as virtualbox) are insufficient. Virtualbox can only virtualize native x86 and amd64 applications wheras QEMU can do that plus other architectures. With that said, if you want to run an older system, you either need the obsolete hardware, or a tool such as QEMU. There is a reason people use QEMU to emulate PowerPC applicatiins because virtualbox/vmware cannot! – Retro Gamer Jun 8 '16 at 1:31
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    @pipe Just because QEMU is meant for newer systems does not mean that it isn't a valuable resource for older systems. I am assuming that architectures other than x86 and x64 (not all of them mind you) might be considered obsolete because they are no longer "the norm" anymore. But I do appreciate your comment, so thank you for contributing! – Retro Gamer Jun 8 '16 at 1:41
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    The use of, or general questions about, QEMU alone is probably off-topic. Q&A that discuss emulation of retro systems that use QEMU probably are on-topic. Which means this question is probably off-topic. – user12 Jun 8 '16 at 1:49
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    @RetroGamer no worries. The only way to test these rules is to exercise them. SE sites are often about arguing how many angels can dance on the head of an Altair-8800 switch. This is even more important during beta. – user12 Jun 8 '16 at 1:54

QEMU is used in malware/virus research extensively as it also can emulate the hardware. By emulating the hardware into full detail it is almost impossible for malware to detect that it is running in a virtual and controlled environment. This is because a lot of malware turns off when it detects when it is running in a virtual environment as it indicates a server where no user would ever logon and would give away its existence or an environment where its behaviour is going to be recorded and studied.


According to this linaro page the Android emulator was based on QEMU, and although its not too specific on performance, it is talking about running a full modern stack in emulation - specifically around the early adoption of a new architecture.

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