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Emulator now runs x86 apps on all Raspberry Pi models

May 29, 2015 — by Eric Brown 38,529 views

Eltechs’s faster ExaGear Desktop software version now supports ARMv6, in addition to ARMv7, letting users run x86 apps on all models of the Raspberry Pi.

Russia-based Eltechs announced its ExaGear Desktop virtual machine last August, enabling Linux/ARMv7 SBCs and mini-PCs to run x86 software. That meant that users of the quad-core, Cortex-A7-based Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, could use it as well, although the software was not yet optimized for it.

Now Eltechs has extended ExaGear to support earlier ARMv6 versions of the Raspberry Pi. The company also optimized the program for the Pi 2. For example, Pi 2 users can now use automatically forwarding startup scripts, according to Eltechs CEO Vadim Gimpelson in an email to LinuxGizmos.


In August, Eltechs said ExaGear Desktop ran 4.5 times faster than the open source QEMU VM. With new performance improvements, the software is 5 to 10 percent faster, or about five times faster than QEMU, claims Gimpelson. In addition, the new version now enables guest applications to use the host’s PulseAudio sound server.

The key to the Pi 2 enhancements was that the software, which was previously optimized for Ubuntu, now fully supports Debian, including the Debian-based Raspbian. The host system can now run Ubuntu 12.04 or higher, Debian 7, or Raspbian. The new release had also added guest images for Ubuntu 12.04, Ubuntu 14.04, and Debian 7.

In addition to supporting the Raspberry Pi, the software runs on Linux-based platforms including Odroid, Cubieboard, CuBox, Utilite, Jetson TK1, Wandboard, and Banana Pi, among others. ExaGear Desktop can also run on an ARM-based Chromebook. As before, running Windows programs is possible by also installing the Wine emulator.

Further information

The new fully Raspberry Pi compatible version of ExaGear Desktop is available now. The software is priced at $24.95 for the Raspberry Pi 2, and $19.95 for the Pi, but both versions are currently on sale for $14.95 and $9.95, respectively. More information may be found the Eltechs website, here.

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5 responses to “Emulator now runs x86 apps on all Raspberry Pi models”

  1. littlenoodles says:

    When ‘running Windows programs is possible by also installing the Wine emulator’, I assume you’re also emulating Wine itself. Is there any move afoot to built a hybrid Wine that launches your X86 code in the emulator, but hijacks various system calls and executes them in native ARM Wine code. That would produce near native performance. Imagine an Android or iOS version of that.

  2. vadik_lyutiy says:

    Wine works pretty good with ExaGear.

    In fact you can now run x86 Win apps very simple. We catch running x86 apps with binfmt, so you can type something like

    $ /wine minesweeper.exe

    to run Minesweeper.

    Regarding Android – take a look on ExaGear Strategies and ExaGear RPG on Google Play.

    • Sykobee says:

      How is the system with more complex Windows apps. I’m sure I can find a minesweeper clone for Linux… :-)

      • vadik_lyutiy says:

        minesweeper is just example :)

        MS Office work pretty good.

        In fact most amount of limitation came from Wine, not from ExaGear.
        So everything which work with Wine should work with ExaGear.

  3. Rednax says:

    why isn’t it possible to just run x86 files WITHOUT that stupid ExaGear

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