A while ago, I wrote about building a rack for a Raspberry Pi cluster. Now, if you have a rack, at some point you’re gonna want to put some Pis on it. Copying stock disk images onto these Pis and then configuring them by hand is a massive pain, but with virtualization you can emulate and even automate that whole process, generating custom image files from the comfort of your desktop. Here’s a quick crash course in virtualizing the Pi using QEMU.
All the guides I could find on this were at least a couple years old and were missing various important parts of the process. None of them quite worked out-of-the-box. It’s hard to blame them, though, since a hardware platform like the Pi is of course a moving target. For what it’s worth, this guide should be complete and up-to-date as of October 2016.
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