Running 32-bit ARM virtual machine on AArch64 hardware

It was a matter of days and finally all pieces are done. Running 32-bit ARM virtual machines on 64-bit AArch64 hardware is possible and quite easy.


  • AArch64 hardware (I used APM Mustang as usual)
  • ARM rootfs (fetched Fedora 22 image with “virt-builder” tool)
  • ARM kernel and initramfs (I used Fedora 24 one)
  • Virt Manager (can be done from shell too)


Start “virt-manager” and add new machine:

Add new machine

Select rootfs, kernel, initramfs (dtb will be provided internally by qemu) and tell kernel where rootfs is:

Storage/boot options

Then set amount of memory and cores. I did 10GB of RAM and 8 cores. Save machine.

Let’s run

Open created machine and press Play button. It should boot:

Booted system

I upgraded F22 to F24 to have latest development system.

Is it fast?

If I would just boot and write about it then there will be questions about performance. I did build of gcc 5.3.1-3 using mock (standard Fedora way). On arm32 Fedora builder it took 19 hours, on AArch64 builder 4.5h only. On my machine AArch64 build took 9.5 hour and in this vm it took 12.5h (slow hdd used). So builder with memory and some fast storage will boost arm32 builds a lot.

Numbers from “openssl speed” shows performance similar to host cpu:

The 'numbers' are in 1000s of bytes per second processed.
type             16 bytes     64 bytes    256 bytes   1024 bytes   8192 bytes
md2               1787.41k     3677.19k     5039.02k     5555.88k     5728.94k
mdc2                 0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00 
md4              24846.05k    81594.07k   226791.59k   418185.22k   554344.45k
md5              18881.79k    60907.46k   163927.55k   281694.58k   357168.47k
hmac(md5)        21345.25k    69033.83k   177675.52k   291996.33k   357250.39k
sha1             20776.17k    65099.46k   167091.03k   275240.62k   338582.71k
rmd160           15867.02k    42659.95k    88652.54k   123879.77k   140571.99k
rc4             167878.11k   186243.61k   191468.46k   192576.51k   193112.75k
des cbc          35418.48k    37327.19k    37803.69k    37954.56k    37991.77k
des ede3         13415.40k    13605.87k    13641.90k    13654.36k    13628.76k
idea cbc         36377.06k    38284.93k    38665.05k    38864.71k    39032.15k
seed cbc         42533.48k    43863.15k    44276.22k    44376.75k    44397.91k
rc2 cbc          29523.86k    30563.20k    30763.09k    30940.50k    30857.44k
rc5-32/12 cbc        0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00 
blowfish cbc     60512.96k    66274.07k    67889.66k    68273.15k    68302.17k
cast cbc         56795.77k    61845.42k    63236.86k    63251.11k    63445.82k
aes-128 cbc      61479.48k    65319.32k    67327.49k    67773.78k    66590.04k
aes-192 cbc      53337.95k    55916.74k    56583.34k    56957.61k    57024.51k
aes-256 cbc      46888.06k    48538.97k    49300.82k    49725.44k    50402.65k
camellia-128 cbc    59413.00k    62610.45k    63400.53k    63593.13k    63660.03k
camellia-192 cbc    47212.40k    49549.89k    50590.21k    50843.99k    50012.16k
camellia-256 cbc    47581.19k    49388.89k    50519.13k    49991.68k    50978.82k
sha256           27232.09k    64660.84k   119572.57k   151862.27k   164874.92k
sha512            9376.71k    37571.93k    54401.88k    74966.36k    84322.99k
whirlpool         3358.92k     6907.67k    11214.42k    13301.08k    14065.66k
aes-128 ige      60127.48k    65397.14k    67277.65k    67428.35k    67584.00k
aes-192 ige      52340.73k    56249.81k    57313.54k    57559.38k    57191.08k
aes-256 ige      46090.63k    48848.96k    49684.82k    49861.32k    49892.01k
ghash           150893.11k   171448.55k   177457.92k   179003.39k   179595.95k
                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
rsa  512 bits 0.000322s 0.000026s   3101.3  39214.9
rsa 1024 bits 0.001446s 0.000073s    691.7  13714.6
rsa 2048 bits 0.008511s 0.000251s    117.5   3987.5
rsa 4096 bits 0.058092s 0.000945s     17.2   1058.4
                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
dsa  512 bits 0.000272s 0.000297s   3680.6   3363.6
dsa 1024 bits 0.000739s 0.000897s   1353.1   1115.2
dsa 2048 bits 0.002762s 0.002903s    362.1    344.5
                              sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
 256 bit ecdsa (nistp256)   0.0005s   0.0019s   1977.8    538.3
 384 bit ecdsa (nistp384)   0.0015s   0.0057s    663.0    174.6
 521 bit ecdsa (nistp521)   0.0035s   0.0136s    286.8     73.4
                              op      op/s
 256 bit ecdh (nistp256)   0.0016s    616.0
 384 bit ecdh (nistp384)   0.0049s    204.8
 521 bit ecdh (nistp521)   0.0115s     87.2

1 thought on “Running 32-bit ARM virtual machine on AArch64 hardware”

Comments are closed.