Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 17:13

Most Qemu software runs BIOS (Legacy) initialization software. In many cases, a user may want to run Qemu with UEFI instead of BIOS. Additionally, a user may prefer run Qemu in command line or graphically with Aqemu. Instructions below explain how to do it all.

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In case you didn't have the required program, you must install it first.

$ sudo apt-get install ovmf # available for Ubuntu 16.04 to 21.04

To check whether it is installed, the command is:

$ dpkg -L | grep OVMF.fd

The secret is, this package named ovmf is actually the program called TianoCore explained below. That name itself stands for Open Virtual Machine Firmware (click here to learn more).

Command line QEMU

To run an OS's image file in a virtual machine, we do the usual command but with an addition displayed in green color below. That code calls the file named OVMF.fd which is the UEFI firmware for Qemu.

$ qemu-system-x86_64 -bios /usr/share/ovmf/OVMF.fd -cdrom ubuntu-21.04-desktop-amd64.iso

Graphical user interface Aqemu

Likewise, the same command snippet above should be added to Aqemu if we wish graphical experience virtual machine like VirtualBox. To add it, select your virtual machine > visit VM tab > click Advanced > Advanced Options dialog will open > type the command snippet under the Custom QEMU command line arguments > OK > Apply.


As a result, Qemu now will display TianoCore, that is, the UEFI firmware brand for Qemu, while booting. Think of it like American Megatrends will make sense. To the user, this leads to ability to virtualize a computing with UEFI for example testing or making an article about UEFI only operating systems.

Before (BIOS Legacy):

(Notice the BIOS software name SeaBios at the top. )

 After (UEFI):

(Notice the name of UEFI software TianoCore at the center.)

Now it's your time to test out operating systems with UEFI support! Happy computing!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.