To run an image in a virtual machine you'll need a virtual disk image which contains a partition map and a bootloader. Fortunately OE provides support for generating one such type of virtual disk image: the vmdk.
Configure OE to Generate a VMDK
In order to get OE to generate a vmdk artifact simply edit your conf/local.conf to add vmdk to IMAGE_FSTYPES. Unfortunately, due to the way in which variables are handled in bitbake, it isn't possible to use the _append operator, only the += operator can be used:
IMAGE_FSTYPES += vmdkNow when you perform a successful OE build, a vmdk will appear in your deploy/images folder.
Running a VMDK in a Virtual Machine
In order to run a vmdk in a virtual machine such as VirtualBox simply run through VirtualBox's "add a new machine" wizard. When it asks you about the disk, tell it you already have a disk, and select the vmdk generated by your OE build.
Unfortunately by default the VirtualBox wizard will add your disk under the SATA controller:
You'll need to switch it to be connected to the IDE controller:
- currently OE is only able to generate vmdk's for x86 machines since the current procedure requires syslinux (which only runs on x86 machines)
- it is also possible to use runqemu to run a vmdk
- my MACHINE setting for this example is "qemux86", and I'm building distroless