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Can I use qemu to boot my Win10 partition?

asked 2015-10-12 13:44:22 -0500

jcall gravatar image


I have a dual boot configuration of Fedora 22 + Windows 10. It works great, and I use GRUB2 to boot into Win10 when necessary. I prefer this setup because I occasionally boot directly into the Windows partition. I'd like to know if it is possible to use some combination of qemu / libvirt / virt-manager to boot the Windows partition from Fedora. I've previously done this using VMware Workstation (not necessarily Fedora 22 + Windows 10, but same concept...)

I understand that I will have to prepare the Windows partition by installing virtio drivers, etc...

I'm also concerned about UEFI (I have set my Lenovo to boot via UEFI only). I've been casually looking to to satisfy any UEFI requirements.

I'm not afraid of using raw qemu commands or doing some surgery on libvirt XML...

Thanks in advance, John

P.S. Here's my working dual-boot layout...

# lsblk
sda               8:0    0 238.5G  0 disk 
├─sda1            8:1    0   200M  0 part /boot/efi
├─sda2            8:2    0   500M  0 part /boot
├─sda3            8:3    0   160G  0 part 
│ ├─fedora-swap 253:0    0   5.8G  0 lvm  [SWAP]
│ └─fedora-root 253:1    0 154.2G  0 lvm  /
├─sda4            8:4    0    16M  0 part 
└─sda5            8:5    0  77.8G  0 part
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You can with a lot of work, it is better to use a virtual disk. See and note the warning.

bodhi.zazen gravatar imagebodhi.zazen ( 2015-10-12 14:09:48 -0500 )edit

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answered 2015-10-12 20:13:07 -0500

aeperezt gravatar image

Yes you can, it is on this answer, this guy tested and works.

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"works" and "works well" are 2 different things. IMO it works best if you use LVM partitions. If you boot a physical partition you tend to invalidate the partition table on the hard disk and this causes problems. Physical partitions have few, if any, advantages over a virtual disk.

bodhi.zazen gravatar imagebodhi.zazen ( 2015-10-13 14:44:11 -0500 )edit

bodhi.zazen, thanks for your comments, but I think you misunderstood my question. I want to be able to use my Windows installation both as a VM, as well as booting directly into that partition (classic dual-boot). I don't see how I could use LVM and still be able to boot directly into Windows.

aeperezt, thank you for the link to the previous question. I hadn't seen that in my research. I'll copy the link here, and hopefully update the procedure with UEFI and Win10 specifics.

jcall gravatar imagejcall ( 2015-10-13 22:50:01 -0500 )edit

The trouble is that if you try to boot the same Windows installation on two totally different hardware environments (bare metal vs. Qemu), Windows will go totally berserk and might also invalidate your license registration.

A GNU/Linux installation, however, might survive this kind of torture much better but not without some problems.

jmt gravatar imagejmt ( 2015-10-14 14:06:50 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2015-10-12 13:44:22 -0500

Seen: 8,442 times

Last updated: Oct 12 '15