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Bundling qemu inside an application

From: Stuart Langridge
Subject: Bundling qemu inside an application
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2019 23:18:45 +0000

Hey, qemu people!

I'm working on a cross-platform application for managing websites and exporting to static HTML, and in prototype I have it built so that the application is distributed with a very small Linux installation in a qcow file, and then uses the platform-specific version of qemu to spin up that Linux VM. This works fine on Linux, Mac, and Windows, but currently I'm calling out to a separately-installed version of qemu on each platform. What I would like to do is distribute a private version of qemu inside/alongside my application (the end users are not technically adept, and will be unaware that qemu is being used). Since this is quite a fiddly task, I thought it would be good to ask here for advice on doing this thing. Obviously what would be most ideal is a static build of qemu, and I've seen references to such a thing existing some years ago, but it seems to be heavily deprecated and not a focus of current development. Failing that, distributing qemu binaries alongside the application binaries as well as a little hackery with LD_LIBRARY_PATH (and other-platform equivalents) may be possible instead. Do you have advice on what the best way to go about this might be?

Stuart Langridge

New Year's Day --
everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.
   -- Kobayashi Issa

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