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 on a different machine. When used as a virtualizer, QEMU achieves near native performances by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. QEMU supports virtualization when executing under the Xen hypervisor or using the KVM kernel module in Linux. When using KVM, QEMU can virtualize x86, server and embedded PowerPC, and S390 guests.
QEMU has two operating modes:
- Full system emulation. In this mode, QEMU emulates a full system, including one or several processors and various peripherals. It can be used to launch different Operating Systems without rebooting the PC or to debug system code
- User mode emulation. In this mode, QEMU can launch processes compiled for one CPU on another CPU. It can be used to launch the Wine Windows API emulator or to ease cross-compilation and cross-debugging
Qemu Manager 7, is an easy to use management tool for QEMU. It has a wealth of features for creating, managing and running multiple virtual machines.