I am frequently testing bootable USB devices with different operating systems. Now I have to boot the whole computer just to test one USB device. How can I test the devices without booting? QEMU works sometimes, but not with UEFI GPT devices. Command sudo qemu-system-x86_64 /dev/sde1 just hangs with "Booting from Hard Disk ...".


You could try VirtualBox. VirtualBox supports UEFI (you will have to enable it in the settings.) VirtualBox also supports USB passtrough, so there may be a good chance you will be able to boot from the USB drive.

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  • I tried this but it did not work, no uefi support I guess askubuntu.com/questions/693719/… – Ohto Nordberg Dec 7 '16 at 18:29
  • VirtualBox does support EFI, I know because I have used it to boot Arch Linux with systemd-boot and an efistub kernel. You just have to enable EFI in Settings -> System -> Enable EFI (Special OSes only). (I don't know why it says that.) The real problem seems to be that VirtualBox does not allow booting from a USB drive. You could try trick mentioned last on the page you linked to, i.e. copy the contents of the USB drive to a disk file. That's not exaclty the same thing as booting from a real USB drive, though. – Johan Myréen Dec 7 '16 at 20:02
  • Yes, VirtualBox supports EFI, but Plop Boot Manager doesn't. – Ohto Nordberg Dec 7 '16 at 21:33
sudo apt-get install ovmf qemu-efi qemu
qemu-system-x86_64 --bios /usr/share/qemu/OVMF.fd -m 4096 -enable-kvm -cdrom debian-9.2.1-amd64-DVD-1.iso -display sdl -vga virtio

You can specify also an HD (virtual or physical)

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I also had the same problem to boot a Linux USB that I created from an iso. Turns out that I had to install manually the MBR code at the beginning of the device, with a procedure such as the one described on the Syslinux Wiki: How to Create a Bootable USB - Step 3

Somehow the tools I used didn't do it automatically.

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