Removed features

What follows is a record of recently removed, formerly deprecated features that serves as a record for users who have encountered trouble after a recent upgrade.

System emulator command line arguments

-hdachs (removed in 2.12)

The geometry defined by -hdachs c,h,s,t should now be specified via -device ide-hd,drive=dr,cyls=c,heads=h,secs=s,bios-chs-trans=t (together with -drive if=none,id=dr,...).

-net channel (removed in 2.12)

This option has been replaced by -net user,guestfwd=....

-net dump (removed in 2.12)

-net dump[,vlan=n][,file=filename][,len=maxlen] has been replaced by -object filter-dump,id=id,netdev=dev[,file=filename][,maxlen=maxlen]. Note that the new syntax works with netdev IDs instead of the old “vlan” hubs.

-no-kvm-pit (removed in 2.12)

This was just a dummy option that has been ignored, since the in-kernel PIT cannot be disabled separately from the irqchip anymore. A similar effect (which also disables the KVM IOAPIC) can be obtained with -M kernel_irqchip=split.

-tdf (removed in 2.12)

There is no replacement, the -tdf option has just been ignored since the behaviour that could be changed by this option in qemu-kvm is now the default when using the KVM PIT. It still can be requested explicitly using -global kvm-pit.lost_tick_policy=delay.

-drive secs=s, -drive heads=h & -drive cyls=c (removed in 3.0)

The drive geometry should now be specified via -device ...,drive=dr,cyls=c,heads=h,secs=s (together with -drive if=none,id=dr,...).

-drive serial=, -drive trans= & -drive addr= (removed in 3.0)

Use -device ...,drive=dr,serial=r,bios-chs-trans=t,addr=a instead (together with -drive if=none,id=dr,...).

-net ...,vlan=x (removed in 3.0)

The term “vlan” was very confusing for most users in this context (it’s about specifying a hub ID, not about IEEE 802.1Q or something similar), so this has been removed. To connect one NIC frontend with a network backend, either use -nic ... (e.g. for on-board NICs) or use -netdev ...,id=n together with -device ...,netdev=n (for full control over pluggable NICs). To connect multiple NICs or network backends via a hub device (which is what vlan did), use -nic hubport,hubid=x,... or -netdev hubport,id=n,hubid=x,... (with -device ...,netdev=n) instead.

-no-kvm-irqchip (removed in 3.0)

Use -machine kernel_irqchip=off instead.

-no-kvm-pit-reinjection (removed in 3.0)

Use -global kvm-pit.lost_tick_policy=discard instead.

-balloon (removed in 3.1)

The -balloon virtio option has been replaced by -device virtio-balloon. The -balloon none option was a no-op and has no replacement.

-bootp (removed in 3.1)

The -bootp /some/file argument is replaced by either -netdev user,id=x,bootp=/some/file (for pluggable NICs, accompanied with -device ...,netdev=x), or -nic user,bootp=/some/file (for on-board NICs). The new syntax allows different settings to be provided per NIC.

-redir (removed in 3.1)

The -redir [tcp|udp]:hostport:[guestaddr]:guestport option is replaced by either -netdev user,id=x,hostfwd=[tcp|udp]:[hostaddr]:hostport-[guestaddr]:guestport (for pluggable NICs, accompanied with -device ...,netdev=x) or by the option -nic user,hostfwd=[tcp|udp]:[hostaddr]:hostport-[guestaddr]:guestport (for on-board NICs). The new syntax allows different settings to be provided per NIC.

-smb (removed in 3.1)

The -smb /some/dir argument is replaced by either -netdev user,id=x,smb=/some/dir (for pluggable NICs, accompanied with -device ...,netdev=x), or -nic user,smb=/some/dir (for on-board NICs). The new syntax allows different settings to be provided per NIC.

-tftp (removed in 3.1)

The -tftp /some/dir argument is replaced by either -netdev user,id=x,tftp=/some/dir (for pluggable NICs, accompanied with -device ...,netdev=x), or -nic user,tftp=/some/dir (for embedded NICs). The new syntax allows different settings to be provided per NIC.

-localtime (removed in 3.1)

Replaced by -rtc base=localtime.

-nodefconfig (removed in 3.1)

Use -no-user-config instead.

-rtc-td-hack (removed in 3.1)

Use -rtc driftfix=slew instead.

-startdate (removed in 3.1)

Replaced by -rtc base=date.

-vnc ...,tls=..., -vnc ...,x509=... & -vnc ...,x509verify=... (removed in 3.1)

The “tls-creds” option should be used instead to point to a “tls-creds-x509” object created using “-object”.

-mem-path fallback to RAM (removed in 5.0)

If guest RAM allocation from file pointed by mem-path failed, QEMU was falling back to allocating from RAM, which might have resulted in unpredictable behavior since the backing file specified by the user as ignored. Currently, users are responsible for making sure the backing storage specified with -mem-path can actually provide the guest RAM configured with -m and QEMU fails to start up if RAM allocation is unsuccessful.

-net ...,name=... (removed in 5.1)

The name parameter of the -net option was a synonym for the id parameter, which should now be used instead.

-numa node,mem=... (removed in 5.1)

The parameter mem of -numa node was used to assign a part of guest RAM to a NUMA node. But when using it, it’s impossible to manage a specified RAM chunk on the host side (like bind it to a host node, setting bind policy, …), so the guest ends up with the fake NUMA configuration with suboptiomal performance. However since 2014 there is an alternative way to assign RAM to a NUMA node using parameter memdev, which does the same as mem and adds means to actually manage node RAM on the host side. Use parameter memdev with memory-backend-ram backend as replacement for parameter mem to achieve the same fake NUMA effect or a properly configured memory-backend-file backend to actually benefit from NUMA configuration. New machine versions (since 5.1) will not accept the option but it will still work with old machine types. User can check the QAPI schema to see if the legacy option is supported by looking at MachineInfo::numa-mem-supported property.

-numa node (without memory specified) (removed in 5.2)

Splitting RAM by default between NUMA nodes had the same issues as mem parameter with the difference that the role of the user plays QEMU using implicit generic or board specific splitting rule. Use memdev with memory-backend-ram backend or mem (if it’s supported by used machine type) to define mapping explicitly instead. Users of existing VMs, wishing to preserve the same RAM distribution, should configure it explicitly using -numa node,memdev options. Current RAM distribution can be retrieved using HMP command info numa and if separate memory devices (pc|nv-dimm) are present use info memory-device and subtract device memory from output of info numa.

-smp (invalid topologies) (removed in 5.2)

CPU topology properties should describe whole machine topology including possible CPUs.

However, historically it was possible to start QEMU with an incorrect topology where n <= sockets * cores * threads < maxcpus, which could lead to an incorrect topology enumeration by the guest. Support for invalid topologies is removed, the user must ensure topologies described with -smp include all possible cpus, i.e. sockets * cores * threads = maxcpus.

-machine enforce-config-section=on|off (removed in 5.2)

The enforce-config-section property was replaced by the -global migration.send-configuration={on|off} option.

-no-kvm (removed in 5.2)

The -no-kvm argument was a synonym for setting -machine accel=tcg.

-realtime (removed in 6.0)

The -realtime mlock=on|off argument has been replaced by the -overcommit mem-lock=on|off argument.

-show-cursor option (removed in 6.0)

Use -display sdl,show-cursor=on, -display gtk,show-cursor=on or -display default,show-cursor=on instead.

-tb-size option (removed in 6.0)

QEMU 5.0 introduced an alternative syntax to specify the size of the translation block cache, -accel tcg,tb-size=.

-usbdevice audio (removed in 6.0)

This option lacked the possibility to specify an audio backend device. Use -device usb-audio now instead (and specify a corresponding USB host controller or -usb if necessary).

-vnc acl (removed in 6.0)

The acl option to the -vnc argument has been replaced by the tls-authz and sasl-authz options.

-mon ...,control=readline,pretty=on|off (removed in 6.0)

The pretty=on|off switch has no effect for HMP monitors and its use is rejected.

-drive file=json:{...{'driver':'file'}} (removed in 6.0)

The ‘file’ driver for drives is no longer appropriate for character or host devices and will only accept regular files (S_IFREG). The correct driver for these file types is ‘host_cdrom’ or ‘host_device’ as appropriate.

Floppy controllers’ drive properties (removed in 6.0)

Use -device floppy,... instead. When configuring onboard floppy controllers

-global isa-fdc.driveA=...
-global sysbus-fdc.driveA=...
-global SUNW,


-device floppy,unit=0,drive=...


-global isa-fdc.driveB=...
-global sysbus-fdc.driveB=...


-device floppy,unit=1,drive=...

When plugging in a floppy controller

-device isa-fdc,...,driveA=...


-device isa-fdc,...
-device floppy,unit=0,drive=...


-device isa-fdc,...,driveB=...


-device isa-fdc,...
-device floppy,unit=1,drive=...

-drive with bogus interface type (removed in 6.0)

Drives with interface types other than if=none are for onboard devices. Drives the board doesn’t pick up can no longer be used with -device. Use if=none instead.

-usbdevice ccid (removed in 6.0)

This option was undocumented and not used in the field. Use -device usb-ccid instead.

RISC-V firmware not booted by default (removed in 5.1)

QEMU 5.1 changes the default behaviour from -bios none to -bios default for the RISC-V virt machine and sifive_u machine.

-no-quit (removed in 7.0)

The -no-quit was a synonym for -display ...,window-close=off which should be used instead.

--enable-fips (removed in 7.1)

This option restricted usage of certain cryptographic algorithms when the host is operating in FIPS mode.

If FIPS compliance is required, QEMU should be built with the libgcrypt or gnutls library enabled as a cryptography provider.

Neither the nettle library, or the built-in cryptography provider are supported on FIPS enabled hosts.

-writeconfig (removed in 7.1)

The -writeconfig option was not able to serialize the entire contents of the QEMU command line. It is thus considered a failed experiment and removed without a replacement.

loaded property of secret and secret_keyring objects (removed in 7.1)

The loaded=on option in the command line or QMP object-add either had no effect (if loaded was the last option) or caused options to be effectively ignored as if they were not given. The property is therefore useless and should simply be removed.

opened property of rng-* objects (removed in 7.1)

The opened=on option in the command line or QMP object-add either had no effect (if opened was the last option) or caused errors. The property is therefore useless and should simply be removed.

-display sdl,window_close=... (removed in 7.1)

Use -display sdl,window-close=... instead (i.e. with a minus instead of an underscore between “window” and “close”).

-alt-grab and -display sdl,alt_grab=on (removed in 7.1)

Use -display sdl,grab-mod=lshift-lctrl-lalt instead.

-ctrl-grab and -display sdl,ctrl_grab=on (removed in 7.1)

Use -display sdl,grab-mod=rctrl instead.

-sdl (removed in 7.1)

Use -display sdl instead.

-curses (removed in 7.1)

Use -display curses instead.

Creating sound card devices using -soundhw (removed in 7.1)

Sound card devices should be created using -device or -audio. The exception is pcspk which can be activated using -machine pcspk-audiodev=<name>.

-watchdog (since 7.2)

Use -device instead.

Hexadecimal sizes with scaling multipliers (since 8.0)

Input parameters that take a size value should only use a size suffix (such as ‘k’ or ‘M’) when the base is written in decimal, and not when the value is hexadecimal. That is, ‘0x20M’ should be written either as ‘32M’ or as ‘0x2000000’.

-chardev backend aliases tty and parport (removed in 8.0)

tty and parport used to be aliases for serial and parallel respectively. The actual backend names should be used instead.

-drive if=none for the sifive_u OTP device (removed in 8.0)

Use -drive if=pflash to configure the OTP device of the sifive_u RISC-V machine instead.

-spice password=string (removed in 8.0)

This option was insecure because the SPICE password remained visible in the process listing. This was replaced by the new password-secret option which lets the password be securely provided on the command line using a secret object instance.

QEMU_AUDIO_ environment variables and -audio-help (removed in 8.2)

The -audiodev and -audio command line options are now the only way to specify audio backend settings.

Using -audiodev to define the default audio backend (removed in 8.2)

If no audiodev property is specified, previous versions would use the first -audiodev command line option as a fallback. Starting with version 8.2, audio backends created with -audiodev will only be used by clients (sound cards, machines with embedded sound hardware, VNC) that refer to it in an audiodev= property.

In order to configure a default audio backend, use the -audio command line option without specifying a model; while previous versions of QEMU required a model, starting with version 8.2 QEMU does not require a model and will not create any sound card in this case.

Note that the default audio backend must be configured on the command line if the -nodefaults options is used.

QEMU Machine Protocol (QMP) commands

block-dirty-bitmap-add “autoload” parameter (removed in 4.2)

The “autoload” parameter has been ignored since 2.12.0. All bitmaps are automatically loaded from qcow2 images.

cpu-add (removed in 5.2)

Use device_add for hotplugging vCPUs instead of cpu-add. See documentation of query-hotpluggable-cpus for additional details.

change (removed in 6.0)

Use blockdev-change-medium or change-vnc-password or display-update instead.

query-events (removed in 6.0)

The query-events command has been superseded by the more powerful and accurate query-qmp-schema command.

migrate_set_cache_size and query-migrate-cache-size (removed in 6.0)

Use migrate_set_parameter and info migrate_parameters instead.

migrate_set_downtime and migrate_set_speed (removed in 6.0)

Use migrate_set_parameter instead.

query-cpus (removed in 6.0)

The query-cpus command is replaced by the query-cpus-fast command.

query-cpus-fast arch output member (removed in 6.0)

The arch output member of the query-cpus-fast command is replaced by the target output member.

chardev client socket with wait option (removed in 6.0)

Character devices creating sockets in client mode should not specify the ‘wait’ field, which is only applicable to sockets in server mode

query-named-block-nodes result encryption_key_missing (removed in 6.0)

Removed with no replacement.

query-block result inserted.encryption_key_missing (removed in 6.0)

Removed with no replacement.

query-named-block-nodes and query-block result dirty-bitmaps[i].status (removed in 6.0)

The status field of the BlockDirtyInfo structure, returned by these commands is removed. Two new boolean fields, recording and busy effectively replace it.

query-block result field dirty-bitmaps (removed in 6.0)

The dirty-bitmaps field of the BlockInfo structure, returned by the query-block command is itself now removed. The dirty-bitmaps field of the BlockDeviceInfo struct should be used instead, which is the type of the inserted field in query-block replies, as well as the type of array items in query-named-block-nodes.

object-add option props (removed in 6.0)

Specify the properties for the object as top-level arguments instead.

query-sgx return value member section-size (removed in 8.0)

Member section-size in the return value of query-sgx was superseded by sections.

query-sgx-capabilities return value member section-size (removed in 8.0)

Member section-size in the return value of query-sgx-capabilities was superseded by sections.

Human Monitor Protocol (HMP) commands

usb_add and usb_remove (removed in 2.12)

Replaced by device_add and device_del (use device_add help for a list of available devices).

host_net_add and host_net_remove (removed in 2.12)

Replaced by netdev_add and netdev_del.

The hub_id parameter of hostfwd_add / hostfwd_remove (removed in 5.0)

The [hub_id name] parameter tuple of the ‘hostfwd_add’ and ‘hostfwd_remove’ HMP commands has been replaced by netdev_id.

cpu-add (removed in 5.2)

Use device_add for hotplugging vCPUs instead of cpu-add. See documentation of query-hotpluggable-cpus for additional details.

change vnc TARGET (removed in 6.0)

No replacement. The change vnc password and change DEVICE MEDIUM commands are not affected.

acl_show, acl_reset, acl_policy, acl_add, acl_remove (removed in 6.0)

The acl_show, acl_reset, acl_policy, acl_add, and acl_remove commands were removed with no replacement. Authorization for VNC should be performed using the pluggable QAuthZ objects.

migrate-set-cache-size and info migrate-cache-size (removed in 6.0)

Use migrate-set-parameters and info migrate-parameters instead.

migrate_set_downtime and migrate_set_speed (removed in 6.0)

Use migrate-set-parameters instead.

info cpustats (removed in 6.1)

This command didn’t produce any output already. Removed with no replacement.

Guest Emulator ISAs

RISC-V ISA privilege specification version 1.09.1 (removed in 5.1)

The RISC-V ISA privilege specification version 1.09.1 has been removed. QEMU supports both the newer version 1.10.0 and the ratified version 1.11.0, these should be used instead of the 1.09.1 version.

System emulator CPUS

KVM guest support on 32-bit Arm hosts (removed in 5.2)

The Linux kernel has dropped support for allowing 32-bit Arm systems to host KVM guests as of the 5.7 kernel, and was thus removed from QEMU as well. Running 32-bit guests on a 64-bit Arm host remains supported.

RISC-V ISA Specific CPUs (removed in 5.1)

The RISC-V cpus with the ISA version in the CPU name have been removed. The four CPUs are: rv32gcsu-v1.9.1, rv32gcsu-v1.10.0, rv64gcsu-v1.9.1 and rv64gcsu-v1.10.0. Instead the version can be specified via the CPU priv_spec option when using the rv32 or rv64 CPUs.

RISC-V no MMU CPUs (removed in 5.1)

The RISC-V no MMU cpus have been removed. The two CPUs: rv32imacu-nommu and rv64imacu-nommu can no longer be used. Instead the MMU status can be specified via the CPU mmu option when using the rv32 or rv64 CPUs.

compat property of server class POWER CPUs (removed in 6.0)

The max-cpu-compat property of the pseries machine type should be used instead.

moxie CPU (removed in 6.1)

Nobody was using this CPU emulation in QEMU, and there were no test images available to make sure that the code is still working, so it has been removed without replacement.

lm32 CPUs (removed in 6.1)

The only public user of this architecture was the milkymist project, which has been dead for years; there was never an upstream Linux port. Removed without replacement.

unicore32 CPUs (removed in 6.1)

Support for this CPU was removed from the upstream Linux kernel, and there is no available upstream toolchain to build binaries for it. Removed without replacement.

x86 Icelake-Client CPU (removed in 7.1)

There isn’t ever Icelake Client CPU, it is some wrong and imaginary one. Use Icelake-Server instead.

System accelerators

Userspace local APIC with KVM (x86, removed in 8.0)

-M kernel-irqchip=off cannot be used on KVM if the CPU model includes a local APIC. The split setting is supported, as is using -M kernel-irqchip=off when the CPU does not have a local APIC.

HAXM (-accel hax) (removed in 8.2)

The HAXM project has been retired (see Use “whpx” (on Windows) or “hvf” (on macOS) instead.

MIPS “Trap-and-Emulate” KVM support (removed in 8.0)

The MIPS “Trap-and-Emulate” KVM host and guest support was removed from Linux in 2021, and is not supported anymore by QEMU either.

System emulator machines

s390-virtio (removed in 2.6)

Use the s390-ccw-virtio machine instead.

The m68k dummy machine (removed in 2.9)

Use the none machine with the loader device instead.

xlnx-ep108 (removed in 3.0)

The EP108 was an early access development board that is no longer used. Use the xlnx-zcu102 machine instead.

spike_v1.9.1 and spike_v1.10 (removed in 5.1)

The version specific Spike machines have been removed in favour of the generic spike machine. If you need to specify an older version of the RISC-V spec you can use the -cpu rv64gcsu,priv_spec=v1.10.0 command line argument.

mips r4k platform (removed in 5.2)

This machine type was very old and unmaintained. Users should use the malta machine type instead.

mips fulong2e machine alias (removed in 6.0)

This machine has been renamed fuloong2e.

pc-0.10 up to pc-i440fx-1.7 (removed in 4.0 up to 8.2)

These machine types were very old and likely could not be used for live migration from old QEMU versions anymore. Use a newer machine type instead.

Raspberry Pi raspi2 and raspi3 machines (removed in 6.2)

The Raspberry Pi machines come in various models (A, A+, B, B+). To be able to distinguish which model QEMU is implementing, the raspi2 and raspi3 machines have been renamed raspi2b and raspi3b.

Aspeed swift-bmc machine (removed in 7.0)

This machine was removed because it was unused. Alternative AST2500 based OpenPOWER machines are witherspoon-bmc and romulus-bmc.

ppc taihu machine (removed in 7.2)

This machine was removed because it was partially emulated and 405 machines are very similar. Use the ref405ep machine instead.

linux-user mode CPUs

tilegx CPUs (removed in 6.0)

The tilegx guest CPU support has been removed without replacement. It was only implemented in linux-user mode, but support for this CPU was removed from the upstream Linux kernel in 2018, and it has also been dropped from glibc, so there is no new Linux development taking place with this architecture. For running the old binaries, you can use older versions of QEMU.

ppc64abi32 CPUs (removed in 7.0)

The ppc64abi32 architecture has a number of issues which regularly tripped up the CI testing and was suspected to be quite broken. For that reason the maintainers strongly suspected no one actually used it.

TCG introspection features

TCG trace-events (since 6.2)

The ability to add new TCG trace points had bit rotted and as the feature can be replicated with TCG plugins it was removed. If any user is currently using this feature and needs help with converting to using TCG plugins they should contact the qemu-devel mailing list.

System emulator devices

spapr-pci-vfio-host-bridge (removed in 2.12)

The spapr-pci-vfio-host-bridge device type has been replaced by the spapr-pci-host-bridge device type.

ivshmem (removed in 4.0)

Replaced by either the ivshmem-plain or ivshmem-doorbell.

ide-drive (removed in 6.0)

The ‘ide-drive’ device has been removed. Users should use ‘ide-hd’ or ‘ide-cd’ as appropriate to get an IDE hard disk or CD-ROM as needed.

scsi-disk (removed in 6.0)

The ‘scsi-disk’ device has been removed. Users should use ‘scsi-hd’ or ‘scsi-cd’ as appropriate to get a SCSI hard disk or CD-ROM as needed.

sga (removed in 8.0)

The sga device loaded an option ROM for x86 targets which enabled SeaBIOS to send messages to the serial console. SeaBIOS 1.11.0 onwards contains native support for this feature and thus use of the option ROM approach was obsolete. The native SeaBIOS support can be activated by using -machine graphics=off.

Block devices

VXHS backend (removed in 5.1)

The VXHS code did not compile since v2.12.0. It was removed in 5.1.

sheepdog driver (removed in 6.0)

The corresponding upstream server project is no longer maintained. Users are recommended to switch to an alternative distributed block device driver such as RBD.


virtiofsd (removed in 8.0)

There is a newer Rust implementation of virtiofsd at; this has been stable for some time and is now widely used. The command line and feature set is very close to the removed C implementation.