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QEMU support status regarding hppa/parisc

Starting with QEMU version 2.12 (April 2018), qemu fully supports 32-bit hppa user emulation (hppa-linux-user) and 32-bit hppa system emulation (qemu-system-hppa). All necessary changes have been merged into the upstream qemu git tree.

PA-RISC machines need a firmware ("PDC" = Processor Dependend Code). Qemu includes a precompiled PDC firmware for hppa (pc-bios/hppa-firmware.img), which is based on a fork of SeaBIOS .

The emulated machine is a HP B160L desktop machine, with one or more 32-bit PA7100LC CPUs.

The QEMU emulation is able to run Linux and HP-UX. HP-UX support still needs improvement which is being worked on.

QEMU on parisc has been made available by:

  • Richard Henderson: QEMU CPU emulation (32-bit only), QEMU hardware divers
  • Helge Deller: QEMU hardware drivers, SeaBIOS PDC firmware
  • Sven Schnelle: Lots of fixes all over QEMU and SeaBIOS (SCSI, CPU emulation fixes, SeaBIOS PDC firmware)

Ready-to-run QEMU image for parisc

Download Debian hard disc image:

wget http://backup.parisc-linux.org/qemu/debian-10-hdd-img.tar.bz2

Unzip image:

tar xvfj debian-10-hdd-img.tar.bz2

Run qemu:

./hppa-softmmu/qemu-system-hppa -drive file=debian-10-hdd.img -nographic -serial mon:stdio -accel tcg,thread=multi -smp cpus=4 

Log in as root, root password is "rootme"

How to build QEMU from source

Check out the qemu git tree

Run configure, e.g.

  • (for system emulation) ./configure --target-list=hppa-softmmu --enable-numa
  • (for user emulation) ./configure --target-list=hppa-linux-user --disable-stack-protector --prefix=/home/qemu-hppa/chroot-unstable --interp-prefix=/home/qemu-hppa/chroot-unstable --static

Run "make"

How to run QEMU with Debian-10 installer image

  • Create a virtual hard disc once:
qemu-img create -f qcow2 hdd.img 50G
./hppa-softmmu/qemu-system-hppa -drive file=hdd.img -drive file=debian-10.0-hppa-NETINST-1.iso,media=cdrom -boot order=d -nographic -serial mon:stdio 
  • Choose typical installation options, the defaults are OK.
  • Either skip the step "Configure the Package manager", or configure the mirror as with hostname "ftp.ports.debian.org", and directory "/debian-ports"
  • Shut down virtual machine after installation
  • Start emulator with installed operating system any time:
./hppa-softmmu/qemu-system-hppa -drive file=hdd.img -nographic -serial mon:stdio -accel tcg,thread=multi -smp cpus=2 
  • Edit the sources.list (/etc/apt/sources.list) file:
deb http://ftp.ports.debian.org/debian-ports unstable main
deb [arch=all] http://ftp.debian.org/debian unstable main 
deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian unstable main

Some QEMU notes

Prefer the e1000 driver over the rtl8129 card. The latter gives irq issues with Dino emulation.

Possible qemu options:

  • -accel tcg,thread=multi - always use this to enable parallel tcg (otherwise all guest CPUs run on one host CPU)
  • -smp cpus=4 - define number of CPUs in the guest (maximum CPUs: 32)
  • -boot menu=on - Firmware: enable interactive mode (boot prompt)
  • -boot order=c - Firmware: Boot from hard disc
  • -boot order=d - Firmware: Boot from CD/DVD
  • -serial mon:stdio use serial console
  • -nographic - no graphics device
  • -device VGA - provide PCI VGA graphic card

Additional possible QEMU work

  • Emulate tulip network card in Qemu
  • Artist graphics emulation in Qemu
  • More correct emulation of B160L in Qemu, e.g. seriell ports, PS/2 keyboard & mouse, graphics card
  • STI text emulation in SeaBIOS with VGA
  • Elroy PCI emulation, then emulate e.g. a C3000?
  • PA2.0/64bit (low prio)

- ...

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