pre-installed available at


  • Install qemu-kvm via your distribution's package manager (it might just be named qemu)
  • Download the image, unpack it, and run it:
$ wget
$ tar -xz < debian-hurd.img.tar.gz
$ kvm -m 1G -drive cache=writeback,file=$(echo debian-hurd-*.img) -no-reboot -net user,hostfwd=tcp: -net nic,model=e1000
  • Log in as root (the root password is empty)
  • Set up a root password with passwd

  • update the system with apt update && apt upgrade

  • Log in as demo (the demo password is empty)

  • Set up a demo password with passwd

  • You can also create another non-root user with adduser <username>

  • and set the non-root user password with passwd <username>
  • and add the non-root user to the sudo group via gpasswd -a <user> sudo

  • logout via logout

Optionally you may 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).

Note that if you do not have a command named kvm, you can try something across the lines of:

$ qemu-system-i386 --enable-kvm -drive cche=writeback,file=$(echo debian-hurd-*.img) -net user,hostfwd=tcp: -net nic,model=e1000

Or, if your machine does not allow for KVM acceleration, omit --enable-kvm from the command.

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.