Running in a VM

Install dependencies

Two dependencies are needed: QEMU, which implements the virtual machine itself, and OVMF, which provides UEFI firmware that QEMU can run.

The details of how to install QEMU and OVMF will vary depending on your operating system.


sudo apt-get install qemu ovmf


sudo dnf install qemu-kvm edk2-ovmf

Firmware files

The OVMF package provides two firmware files, one for the executable code and one for variable storage. (The package may provide multiple variations of these files; refer to the package's documentation for details of the files it includes.)

For ease of access we'll copy the OVMF code and vars files to the project directory. The location where OVMF is installed depends on your operating system; for Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora the files are under /usr/share/OVMF.

Copy the files to your project directory:

cp /usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_CODE.fd .
cp /usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_VARS.fd .

System partition

Now create a directory structure containing the executable to imitate a UEFI System Partition:

mkdir -p esp/efi/boot
cp target/x86_64-unknown-uefi/debug/my-uefi-app.efi esp/efi/boot/bootx64.efi

Launch the VM

Now we can launch QEMU, using VVFAT to access the esp directory created above.

qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm \
    -drive if=pflash,format=raw,readonly=on,file=OVMF_CODE.fd \
    -drive if=pflash,format=raw,readonly=on,file=OVMF_VARS.fd \
    -drive format=raw,file=fat:rw:esp

A QEMU window should appear, and after a few seconds you should see the log message:

[ INFO]:  src/ Hello world!