windows-arm64 VM using qemu-system

This page describes the process to run a windows-arm64 VM using qemu-system-aarch64.


Windows ISO

Microsoft does not distribute official ISO for windows-arm64.

UUPDump website allows you to build an iso from windows update servers. Pick most recent version of windows 11 (avoid “Cumulative update”). Select “Windows pro”.

Then you can download the iso using a script shell. Some dependencies are needed, and the tool will guide you to report what is missing.

You should obtain a file named like “XXXXX.X_PROFESSIONAL_ARM64_EN-US.ISO”.

In our example, latest version is 22621.1.

Alternatively, you can use a link from this page (massgrave is an open source activator for Windows , and they host isos too):

Virtio drivers

Virtio windows drivers () are needed to make your disk recognized by windows. Pick latest iso from link above.

In our example, latest version is 0.1.229.


Download latest EFI from . This will be used to boot windows image. Download package from “all” link, and extract it using:

ar x qemu-efi-aarch64*.deb tar xvf data.tar.xz mv ./usr/share/qemu-efi-aarch64/QEMU_EFI.fd .

Create disk

qemu-img create win11-arm64.img 100G


You should now have those files available in current folder:


  • virtio-win-0.1.229.iso

  • QEMU_EFI.fd

  • win11-arm64.img


qemu-system-aarch64 \ -M virt,virtualization=true -m 8G -cpu max,pauth-impdef=on -smp 8 \ -bios ./QEMU_EFI.fd\ --accel tcg,thread=multi\ -device ramfb \ -device qemu-xhci -device usb-kbd -device usb-tablet \ -nic user,model=virtio-net-pci \ -device usb-storage,drive=install \ -drive if=none,id=install,format=raw,media=cdrom,file=./22621.1_PROFESSIONAL_ARM64_EN-US.ISO \ -device usb-storage,drive=virtio-drivers \ -drive if=none,id=virtio-drivers,format=raw,media=cdrom,file=./virtio-win-0.1.229.iso \ -drive if=virtio,id=system,format=raw,file=./win11-arm64.img


  • virtualization=true is needed for -M virt, else windows installer won’t boot.

  • --accel tcg,thread=multi is to speed up emulation

  • devices are added for graphics output (ramfb), keyboard/mouse (usb*) and network (-nic)

  • pauth-impdef=on speeds up pointer authentication

Run QEMU on aarch64 hardware

In case you have access to a linux-aarch64 machine:

  • replace --accel tcg with --accel kvm (or --accel hvf on MacOS)

  • remove virtualization=true (won't be available for your cpu/kvm)

  • replace cpu with -cpu=host

Note: It has been successfully booted on a 80-core aarch64 server, running Linux 6.0 and qemu-system 6.2.

Setup Windows

Setup will take between 1 and 2 hours on a high end x64 processor. It requires several manual steps.

Enter setup

Click on QEMU window and press enter when this appears

Installer is now loading…

Click on next, and Install now. Then select, “I don’t have a product key”.

The setup will now complain that your pc can’t run Windows 11.

Yes, this vm CAN run windows 11

It’s possible to force windows 11 installation by using those instructions ( ). We details them here:

  • Open a cmd prompt by using Shift + F10, and type regedit.

  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup.

  • Right click on “Setup” folder, and select New → Key, named LabConfig

  • Right click on LabConfig, and select New → Dword (32-bit) Value. Create those 5 new values:

    • BypassCPUCheck

    • BypassRAMCheck

    • BypassSecureBootCheck

    • BypassStorageCheck

    • BypassTPMCheck

  • Set all their values to 1.

You should have something like this:

Now, close regedit, command prompt, go back to previous page (using top left arrow), and click again on “i don’t have a product key”. Windows is now happy to be installed on your VM

Find your disk

Keep on advancing, select a “Custom install”, and you should now hit this screen:

Select load driver, then browse, drive “virtio-win-…”, and viostor/w11/ARM64. Install driver found and your disk will appear.

Click next, take a coffee, and come back later.

Yes, you can install without any internet connection

After several screen/reboot, the installer will complain that no internet connection can be found.

By following this ( ), we can skip this and continue installation.

In short: Open a command prompt (using Shift + F10), and type OOBE\BYPASSNRO

VM will reboot, and you can now continue installation without a network connection.

Now, continue with “limited setup”, add a user, and you should finally reach Windows Desktop.

Let’s get a network connection

The last bit is to connect the VM to Internet. For this open “Device manager” and update driver for Ethernet controller. Select folder E:\NetKVM.


Setup is now complete, and your machine can access internet.