I want to install qemu on a Mac OS computer. I need to install this software with homebrew.

You will think I am paranoid but I do not trust third party software, including homebrew, qemu and all the dependencies.

Is there a way for me to install and run qemu on a single basic user account, or does qemu need a root privilege ?

  • Homebrew doesn't need root privileges to get installed (or to installl additional software).
    – nohillside
    Apr 10, 2022 at 7:23
  • I have tried to download and compile qemu sources. But i need to install some depenencies (i do not trust any dependancy and i do not trust homebrew) So how can i do ? Thanks
    – Bob5421
    Apr 15, 2022 at 20:58
  • Without the dependencies you can‘t compile qemu. Regarding trust, what is the difference between the qemu sources and those of the dependencies?
    – nohillside
    Apr 16, 2022 at 6:06
  • The dependencies are installed on the system whereas qemu is only in my home directory
    – Bob5421
    Apr 19, 2022 at 12:28
  • If you compile the dependencies yourself, you can easily install them in your home directory as well. But basically it doesn't matter either way, the libraries qemu depends on don't have a life on their own. Unless an application uses them they pose no additional risk.
    – nohillside
    Apr 19, 2022 at 13:08

2 Answers 2


Note that in some circumstances, you do actually need root privileges in order to run ´qemu`.

Most qemu users on macOS are using the -accel hvf option. If you compile qemu yourself, you will need to codesign it and have the right entitlement on it - otherwise it will require root privileges to manage virtual network interfaces.


You shouldn't need to give it root privileges to do anything, unless you are trying to save files in a directory not owned by your account.

If you are concerned about giving brew root privileges, you can build qemu from source.


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