Running A Linux System on A Windows Machine

If you want to run a Linux system on Windows platform but you don’t want to deal with partitioning and formatting the harddisk, fortunately you can do so with QEMU.

Here is an official information about QEMU :

QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer.

When used as a machine emulator, QEMU can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC). By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performances.

When used as a virtualizer, QEMU achieves near native performances by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. A host driver called the QEMU accelerator (also known as KQEMU) is needed in this case. The virtualizer mode requires that both the host and guest machine use x86 compatible processors.

Interested ?

If yes, just download the QEMU package for Windows. As of today, the latest version is 0.9.0.

After successfully download the package, just extract it to a drive (C, D, or whatever you like) and it will create a folder automatically.

Next you need a Linux system in ISO format. The above package already included a small Linux system. To test it just run qemu-win.bat in command line. I leave the procedure for this as an exercise for the reader. :D

In this blog, I am going to use Network Security Toolkit ISO image in QEMU. You can use other Linux system if you want.

Here is the step to boot to NST ISO from QEMU :

  • Store the Linux image file in the same folder as QEMU. This is only for ease of use. :D
  • Edit the qemu-win.bat file to the following :

  • Run the qemu-win.bat file by typing :


  • It will then display the following :

We’ve managed to run a Linux system on Windows.

Happy QEMU-ing.


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