Version 2.8.0-13 is a maintenance release; it fixes a bug and updates to the latests build environment.

The xPack QEMU Arm is a standalone cross-platform binary distribution of QEMU, with several extensions for Arm Cortex-M devices.

There are separate binaries for Windows (Intel 32/64-bit), macOS (Intel 64-bit) and GNU/Linux (Intel 32/64-bit, Arm 32/64-bit).


The binary files are available from GitHub releases.


  • Intel GNU/Linux 32/64-bit: any system with GLIBC 2.15 or higher (like Ubuntu 12 or later, Debian 8 or later, RedHat/CentOS 7 later, Fedora 20 or later, etc)
  • Arm GNU/Linux 32/64-bit: any system with GLIBC 2.23 or higher (like Ubuntu 16 or later, Debian 9 or later, RedHat/CentOS 8 or later, Fedora 24 or later, etc)
  • Intel Windows 32/64-bit: Windows 7 with the Universal C Runtime (UCRT), Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Intel macOS 64-bit: 10.13 or later

On GNU/Linux, QEMU requires the X11 libraries to be present. On Debian derived distribution they are already in the system; on RedHat & Arch derived distributions they must be installed explicitly.


The full details of installing the xPack QEMU Arm on various platforms are presented in the separate Install page.

Easy install

The easiest way to install QEMU Arm is with xpm by using the binary xPack, available as @xpack-dev-tools/qemu-arm from the registry.

With the xpm tool available, installing the latest version of the package and adding it as a dependency for a project is quite easy:

cd my-project
xpm init # Only at first use.

xpm install @xpack-dev-tools/qemu-arm@latest

ls -l xpacks/.bin

To install this specific version, use:

xpm install @xpack-dev-tools/qemu-arm@2.8.0-13.1

For xPacks aware tools, like the Eclipse Embedded C/C++ plug-ins, it is also possible to install QEMU Arm globally, in the user home folder.

xpm install --global @xpack-dev-tools/qemu-arm@latest --verbose

Eclipse will automatically identify binaries installed with xpm and provide a convenient method to manage paths.


To remove the links from the current project:

cd my-project

xpm uninstall @xpack-dev-tools/qemu-arm

To completely remove the package from the central xPacks store:

xpm uninstall --global @xpack-dev-tools/qemu-arm


The xPack QEMU Arm currently is based on the official QEMU, with major changes.

The current version is based on:

  • QEMU version 2.8.0, commit 0737f32 from Dec 20th, 2016.


Compared to the master qemu-system-arm, the changes are major, all application class Arm devices were removed and replaced by several Cortex-M devices.

The supported boards are:

xPack 64-bit QEMU v2.8.0 (qemu-system-gnuarmeclipse).

Supported boards:
  BluePill             BluePill STM32F103C8T6
  Maple                LeafLab Arduino-style STM32 microcontroller board (r5)
  NUCLEO-F072RB        ST Nucleo Development Board for STM32 F072 devices
  NUCLEO-F103RB        ST Nucleo Development Board for STM32 F1 series
  NUCLEO-F411RE        ST Nucleo Development Board for STM32 F4 series
  NetduinoGo           Netduino GoBus Development Board with STM32F4
  NetduinoPlus2        Netduino Development Board with STM32F4
  OLIMEXINO-STM32      Olimex Maple (Arduino-like) Development Board
  STM32-E407           Olimex Development Board for STM32F407ZGT6
  STM32-H103           Olimex Header Board for STM32F103RBT6
  STM32-P103           Olimex Prototype Board for STM32F103RBT6
  STM32-P107           Olimex Prototype Board for STM32F107VCT6
  STM32F0-Discovery    ST Discovery kit for STM32F051 line
  STM32F051-Discovery  ST Discovery kit for STM32F051 line
  STM32F4-Discovery    ST Discovery kit for STM32F407/417 lines
  STM32F429I-Discovery ST Discovery kit for STM32F429/439 lines
  generic              Generic Cortex-M board; use -mcu to define the device

Supported MCUs:
  STM32F407VGTx <- new
  STM32F429ZITx <- new>

Warning: support for hardware floating point on Cortex-M4 devices is not available yet.

Bug fixes

  • [#15] - in certain conditions, with some linker script memory configurations, the emulator failed complaining that the flash regions overlap; the problem was fixed on in v2.11 and the two related patches were cherry picked and adapted to this distribution.


  • none

Known problems

  • Ctrl-C does not interrupt the execution if the --nographic option is used.

Shared libraries

On all platforms the packages are standalone, and expect only the standard runtime to be present on the host.

All dependencies that are build as shared libraries are copied locally in the libexec folder (or in the same folder as the executable for Windows).


On GNU/Linux the binaries are adjusted to use a relative path:

$ readelf -d | grep runpath
 0x000000000000001d (RPATH)            Library rpath: [$ORIGIN]

In the GNU search strategy, the DT_RPATH has the highest priority, higher than LD_LIBRARY_PATH, so if this later one is set in the environment, it should not interfere with the xPack binaries.

Please note that previous versions, up to mid-2020, used DT_RUNPATH, which has a priority lower than LD_LIBRARY_PATH, and does not tolerate setting it in the environment.


Similarly, on macOS, the binaries are adjusted with otool to use a relative path.


The original documentation is available in the share/doc folder.


The binaries for all supported platforms (Windows, macOS and Intel & Arm GNU/Linux) were built using the xPack Build Box (XBB), a set of build environments based on slightly older distributions, that should be compatible with most recent systems.

The scripts used to build this distribution are in:

  • distro-info/scripts

For the prerequisites and more details on the build procedure, please see the README-MAINTAINER page.

CI tests

Before publishing, a set of simple tests were performed on an exhaustive set of platforms. The results are available from:


The binaries were testes on Windows 10 Pro 32/64-bit, Intel Ubuntu 18 LTS 64-bit, Intel Xubuntu 18 LTS 32-bit and macOS 10.15.

The tests consist in running a simple blinky application on the graphically emulated STM32F4DISCOVERY board. The binaries were those generated by simple Eclipse projects available in the xPack GNU Arm Embedded GCC project. Use the arm-f4b-fs-debug-qemu debug luncher available in the arm-f4b-fs project.

On platforms where Eclipse is not available, the binaries were tested by manually starting the blinky test on the emulated STM32F4DISCOVERY board.

.../xpack-qemu-arm-2.8.0-13/bin/qemu-system-gnuarmeclipse --version
xPack 64-bit QEMU emulator version 2.8.0-11 (v2.8.0-12-4-gb1ab9f0b32-dirty)
Copyright (c) 2003-2016 Fabrice Bellard and the QEMU Project developers

mkdir -p ~/Downloads
(cd ~/Downloads; curl -L --fail -o f407-disc-blink-tutorial.elf \

.../xpack-qemu-arm-2.8.0-13/bin/qemu-system-gnuarmeclipse \
--board STM32F4-Discovery \
-d unimp,guest_errors \
--nographic \
--image ~/Downloads/f407-disc-blink-tutorial.elf \
--semihosting-config enable=on,target=native \
--semihosting-cmdline test 6

DISPLAY=:1.0 .../xpack-qemu-arm-2.8.0-13/bin/qemu-system-gnuarmeclipse \
--board STM32F4-Discovery \
-d unimp,guest_errors \
--image ~/Downloads/f407-disc-blink-tutorial.elf \
--semihosting-config enable=on,target=native \
--semihosting-cmdline test 6

On Raspberry Pi OS 10 (buster) 64-bit the program was able to run in non graphic mode, but did not start in graphic mode due to a missing driver. To be further investigated.


The SHA-256 hashes for the files are:








Deprecation notices

32-bit support

Support for 32-bit Intel Linux and Intel Windows will most probably be dropped in 2022. Support for 32-bit Arm Linux will be preserved for a while, due to the large user base of 32-bit Raspberry Pi systems.

Linux minimum requirements

Support for RedHat 7 will most probably be dropped in 2022, and the minimum requirement will be raised to GLIBC 2.27, available starting with Ubuntu 18 and RedHat 8.

Download analytics

Credit to Shields IO for the badges and to Somsubhra/github-release-stats for the individual file counters.