Build QEMU with SPICE video support for an OS X VM

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In this tutorial / guide I hope to show one how to build QEMU with SPICE support, so one can use the qxl video driver when running a OS X under a QEMU Virtual Machine.

My current setup is the following, MBPr running archlinux with the most recent packages. (I run pacman -Syu probably once a week). However when I installed QEMU from AUR there wasn't support for SPICE at the time, so I decided to build QEMU from git source to include support for SPICE.

I chose to install the following packages in /opt/local to keep this separate from the archlinux packages.

mkdir /opt/local
mkdir /opt/src
cd /opt/src
git clone git://
'''Note:''' QEMU is almost updated daily, so after cloning the repo to your local box, running git pull will get one updated to the latest greatest version of QEMU.
cd /opt/src
git clone git://
git clone git://
tar xvzf celt-
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$INST_ROOT/lib/pkgconfig:$INST_ROOT/share/pkgconfig
cd $SRC_ROOT/spice-protocol
./ --prefix=$INST_ROOT
'''Note:''' if it complains about missing m4 directory do a
mkdir m4
./ --prefix=$INST_ROOT
make install
cd $SRC_ROOT/celt-
./configure --prefix=$INST_ROOT
make install
'''Note:''' only if you don't have a recent enough version of pixman (spice configure will complain if you need it)
cd $SRC_ROOT/pixman
./ --prefix=$INST_ROOT
make install
cd $SRC_ROOT/spice
./ --prefix=$INST_ROOT
make install
cd $SRC_ROOT/qemu
./configure --prefix=$INST_ROOT --target-list=x86_64-softmmu --enable-spice

Next, follow the steps outlined in this guide =>

Remember to add -vga qxl to the QEMU command line argument to use the SPICE video driver.

The qemu command I'm using to get OS X to boot looks like the following,

qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm -m 4096 -cpu core2duo -machine q35 \
-usb -device usb-kbd -device usb-mouse \
-device isa-applesmc,osk="ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc" \
-kernel VM/chameleon_svn2400_boot -smbios type=2 -device ide-drive,bus=ide.2,drive=MacHDD \ 
-drive id=MacHDD,if=none,file=VM/osx-mavericks.img \
-netdev user,id=hub0port0 -device e1000-82545em,netdev=hub0port0,id=mac_vnet0 \
-vga qxl

After following these steps one should be able to boot OS X (10.9.5) using QEMU on a Linux based computer using the SPICE qxl video driver.

See Also

External Links