The world of virtualization is dominated by VMware, Microsoft, Xen and KVM.
But one of the hardy perennials of the virtualization scene is QEMU – aka the Quick Emulator - an open-source emulator that as the name implies can run a lot of VMs without much fuss.
QEMU’S definitely a niche offering. But the QEMU community punches above its weight with lively blogs and an advent calendar unlike any other.
How unlike, you ask?
Well … the QEMU advent calendar counts down the 24 days from December 1st to Christmas by releasing a different bootable disk image every day.
And marvelously obscure disk images at that: day one for 2019 features “F-Bird”, a five-kilobyte download coded in x86 assembly language. This Flappy Bird clone manages to drive a PC’s speaker, despite its tiny size.
Day two featured a disk image capable of running old Infocom adventure games. Day 3 offered Netboot.xyz, a one-kilobyte x86 OS installer that can get Linux, BSD and other OSes onto your machine.
Past QEMU advent calendars have offered treasures like a Sinlcair ZX Spectrum emulator and FreeGEM, a UI for DOS, and a text version of the game “Moon Buggy” for IBM’s s390 mainframes.