I don't know if I am on the right forum but here's my issue :

I have installed a guest Debian Sparc64 with QEMU on a MacOS 10.9.5. I try to get ssh access between host and guest, without success.

I want to find a simple solution. From what I have seen, I launch Sparc64 with following options :

qemu-system-sparc64 -hda debian_sparc64.img -m 2048 -net nic -net user,hostfwd=tcp::2222-:22 -nographic

Then, I try to connect to guest from my MacOS host with :

ssh -p 2222 localhost

Unfortunately, the above command doesn't ask a password, it stays locked.

If someone could see what's wrong, this would be fine to let me know.



When QEMU VM is running,

here are the results, on MacOS host, of :

nmap localhost -p 22

Starting Nmap 6.47 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2017-09-16 22:44 CEST
Nmap scan report for localhost (
Host is up (0.000097s latency).
22/tcp open  ssh

and the results, also on MacOS host, of :

nmap localhost -p 2222

Starting Nmap 6.47 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2017-09-16 22:45 CEST
Nmap scan report for localhost (
Host is up (0.00012s latency).
2222/tcp open  EtherNet/IP-1

I forgot to say that QEMU image used ( debian 9.0 Sparc64 guest) has not by default "SSH server" running on it, as it is showed with this command under root :

# ps aux | grep ssh 
root       299  0.0  0.0   7168  1952 ttyS0    S+   22:51   0:00 grep ssh

I have nethertheless "SSH Client" (I mean the "ssh" command), but I don't know how to connect to MacOS host from the Debian Sparc64 guest.

The problem is that I can't install others packages than ones provided by Debian-Sparc64 QEMU image because I have not the network on this guest ( i.e I can't use apt-get install ).

If anyone could see how to circumvent this issue ?

Surely it would be necessary to install networking (port 80) on guest but with a MacOS host, it seems to be difficult, with bridging and virtual interfaces ...

Any help is welcome


From @Stefan M's advices, after installing Squid, I tried to use guestfwd option by launching this way :

  qemu-system-sparc64 -hda debian_sparc64.img -m 2048 -net user,guestfwd=tcp::3128-:3128 -nographic

and I get the following error :

qemu-system-sparc64: -net user,guestfwd=tcp::3128-:3128: could not open guest forwarding device 'guestfwd.tcp.3128'
qemu-system-sparc64: -net user,guestfwd=tcp::3128-:3128: Device 'user' could not be initialized

Could you tell me what I have to do (results got with MacOS 10.9.5) ?


I have found a tutorial on this link. Following this page, I did :

  1. First Installed TUN/TAP drivers to bridge the NIC from the VM to my OS X host

  2. launched QEMU with :

qemu-system-sparc64 -hda debian_sparc64.img -m 2048 -net nic -net tap,script=no,downscript=no -nographic

  1. Once QEMU has booted, I run into other terminal on Host (MacOS 10.9.5) : ifconfig tap0

Indeed, my local network uses 192.168.1.x IP.

  1. Into /etc/network/interfaces of guest Debian Sparc64, I have set :

auto eth0 iface eth0 inet static address netmask gateway

Unfortunately, I can't get SSH access from MacOS host to Guest or from Guest to MacOS host (by doing for example : "ssh [email protected]" from host), even by launching qemu-system-sparc64 with root.

If someone could see what's wrong.


  • 1
    Is the SSH daemon actually running on the Debian host?
    – Kusalananda
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 19:34
  • @Kusalananda it is a real problem, the image that I use has no SSH server package installed and I have no networking, so impossible to install it with apt-get install . I don't know what to do
    – youpilat13
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 21:06
  • This question helped me get my vm up and working with ssh thanks! What I need to do to get it working was add PermitRootLogin yes to /etc/ssh/sshd_config before I could login. I don't normally allow ssh login with root, but this was a burner vm and I just wanted to get it to work.
    – Kuberchaun
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


Please try first whether the host is reachable at all. This can easily be done using nmap. For your case this should suffice:

nmap localhost -p 22

If it says that the port is open, you should look into the sshd on the guest. If it is filtered, maybe a firewall-issue on your guest (incoming) or your host (outgoing/incoming from local).

On the update:

Simply put, you have two choices:

1) Use bridged networking for example as described in here, that way you can install the sshd.

2) Use guestfwd. As you already established a connection (port forwarding) via qemu in one direction, you can easily do the same the other way around:

  • Install a proxy on your host (squid, tinyproxy, whatever)
  • Point the guest to your proxy: (below untested part of your command):


  • Last, but not least: Use http_proxy for the apt commands or set the variable system-wide.

When you finally have the sshd running, you should be able to connect to the guest system via ssh.

On the second update:

If I understand the documentation correctly, you should give the IP-Adresses along as well. My guess is that you try to forward the port to the same host (possibly from guest to guest).


Forward guest TCP connections to the IP address server on port port to the character device dev

So it should be something along this:


This would send all connects on the port 3128 from the guest to IP to

  • -@Stefan M . Can you take a look on my last results into UPDATE 2 please ?
    – youpilat13
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 16:51
  • -@Stefan M. Thanks for your answer. Nethertheless, I would like to know how choosing correct IP's in your last command "guestfwd=tcp:" : with this range that you suggest, it doesn't work. I tried also with "-net user,guestfwd=tcp:" and "-net user,guestfwd=tcp:" but without success. Have I to install Squid on guest too (here a debian 9 Sparc 64) ??
    – youpilat13
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 16:41

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