How To Set up a Raspberry Pi emulator in Windows

If you read most Raspberry Pi emulator tutorials, they usually concentrate on running other applications within Raspberry Pi. How about the other way round? How about setting up a Raspberry Pi emulator in Windows? It is possible and it works quite well.

How To Set up a Raspberry Pi emulator in Windows

Why anyone would want to try to get Android or Windows 10 running on the limited hardware of a Raspberry Pi I do not know. I imagine it’s partly because they want the kudos and partly because they can. Personally, I would much rather use a more powerful computer to run a more basic operating system rather than the other way around.

There are two ways to set up a Raspberry Pi emulator in Windows. You can use the ready-made Microsoft Azure platform or set one up yourself with VirtualBox. I’ll show you both.

Raspberry Pi emulation with Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure has a downloadable Raspberry Pi emulator and also a neat client simulator online. These two are easy ways to experiment with Raspberry Pi without buying the hardware. It is also a useful way to simulate your code purely in software before installing it onto hardware.

I won’t pretend to know how to code but I know how to get the Raspberry Pi emulator working.

  1. Visit this page on the Microsoft Azure website.
  2. Download the .zip file onto your own Azure server or use the client simulator to play online.
  3. Type your code into the right pane in the simulator and experiment as you see fit.

This is a very simple way to play with Raspberry Pi. If you don’t have an Azure server lying around, the software client is a neat online emulator that seems to work just fine.

Raspberry Pi emulator in Windows 10

You can emulate Raspberry Pi rather easier in Windows 10 if you have VirtualBox. You download the OS, install it in VirtualBox and run Raspberry Pi within the virtual machine. It works with most architecture types and most versions of Windows 10 so you should be fine. VirtualBox is free too.

You need to make sure you download the correct version of VirtualBox for your computer but the rest is easy. It will ask to install some drivers, which are necessary so agree to the install and you should be up and running in a couple of minutes.

  1. Download and install VirtualBox from here.
  2. Download Raspberry Pi Desktop from the official website here.
  3. Launch VirtualBox.
  4. Change the Type to Linux and Version to Debian 64-bit.
  5. Select Next.
  6. Set 1024MB RAM in the next window.
  7. Set 8-10GB of disk space in the next window and then select Create.

VirtualBox may take a few seconds to create the virtual machine. Once complete, it should appear in the left pane of the main VirtualBox window.

  1. Select Start in the main VirtualBox window to start the VM.
  2. Select the Raspberry Pi Desktop download as the start-up disk when prompted and select Start.
  3. Select Install when prompted.
  4. Set up language and keyboard and use Guided Installation.
  5. Select the drive you want to install and the partitioning scheme. Defaults should do.
  6. Select to install the GRUB bootloader when prompted. Select /dev/sda from the options.
  7. Allow the VM to boot into Raspberry Pi Desktop.

You should now see the Raspberry Pi Desktop. We have almost completed the installation and have just a couple of configuration changes to make.

  1. Open Terminal from the Raspberry Pi Desktop.
  2. Type ‘sudo apt update’ and hit Enter to update Raspberry Pi.
  3. Type ‘sudo apt install virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-x11 linux-headers-$(uname -r)’ and hit Enter to install VirtualBox guest extensions.
  4. Navigate to Devices, Shared Clipboard and set it to Bidrectional.
  5. Type ‘sudo reboot’ and hit Enter to reboot your virtual machine to enable the updates.
  6. Open Terminal once more.
  7. Type ‘sudo adduser pi vboxsf’ and hit Enter to enable file sharing.
  8. Type ‘shutdown -h now’ and hit Enter and wait for Raspberry Pi to shut down.
  9. In the main VirtualBox window, select the Raspberry Pi VM.
  10. Select Settings and Shared Folders.
  11. Select the add icon on the right of the window and add the folders you want to share between Windows and Raspberry Pi.
  12. Select Auto-mount in the selection window.

You now have a fully functional Raspberry Pi Desktop running on Windows. You can now code to your heart’s content. I wouldn’t pretend to know what to do with Raspberry Pi how it is installed but I’m sure you do!

One thought on “How To Set up a Raspberry Pi emulator in Windows”

Mike says:
No 64 bit for Linux, No img extensions

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