There is a QEMU image with Debian GNU/Hurd pre-installed available as


  • Install qemu-kvm via your distros packages.
  • Download the debian image $ wget
  • Unpack it. $ tar -xz < debian-hurd.img.tar.gz
  • Run it $ kvm -m 1G -drive cache=writeback,file=$(echo debian-hurd-*.img) -net user,hostfwd=tcp: # Optionally use --curses to keep your keyboard layout. If need be modprobe kvm_amd, kvm intel and kvm to get kvm support (which is much, much faster).
  • Login as root (the root password is empty)
  • set up a root password with passwd

Please also read the README file:

If you have troubles extracting the image, you can use the gz version, the zip version, or even the plain version (5GiB!)

See the discussion about writeback caching.

For more detailed instructions, please see the QEMU page.