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Tool to create bootable disk images from a Rust OS kernel.

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Creates a bootable disk image from a Rust OS kernel.


> cargo install bootimage


First you need to add a dependency on the


# in your Cargo.toml

[dependencies] bootloader = "0.9.8"

Note: At least bootloader version

is required since
bootimage 0.7.0
. For earlier bootloader versions, use
bootimage 0.6.6

If you want to use a custom bootloader with a different name, you can use Cargo's rename functionality.


Now you can build the kernel project and create a bootable disk image from it by running:

cargo bootimage --target your_custom_target.json [other_args]

The command will invoke

cargo build
, forwarding all passed options. Then it will build the specified bootloader together with the kernel to create a bootable disk image.


To run your kernel in QEMU, you can set a

bootimage runner
as a custom runner in a
[target.'cfg(target_os = "none")']
runner = "bootimage runner"

Then you can run your kernel through:

cargo xrun --target your_custom_target.json [other_args] -- [qemu args]

All arguments after

are passed to QEMU. If you want to use a custom run command, see the Configuration section below.



has built-in support for running unit and integration tests of your kernel. For this, you need to use the
feature of Rust as described here.


Configuration is done through a through a

table in the
of your kernel. The following options are available:
# The cargo subcommand that will be used for building the kernel.
# For building using the `cargo-xbuild` crate, set this to `xbuild`.
build-command = ["build"]
# The command invoked with the created bootimage (the "{}" will be replaced
# with the path to the bootable disk image)
# Applies to `bootimage run` and `bootimage runner`
run-command = ["qemu-system-x86_64", "-drive", "format=raw,file={}"]

Additional arguments passed to the run command for non-test executables

Applies to bootimage run and bootimage runner

run-args = []

Additional arguments passed to the run command for test executables

Applies to bootimage runner

test-args = []

An exit code that should be considered as success for test executables

test-success-exit-code = {integer}

The timeout for running a test through bootimage test or bootimage runner (in seconds)

test-timeout = 300

Whether the -no-reboot flag should be passed to test executables

test-no-reboot = true


Licensed under either of

  • Apache License, Version 2.0 (LICENSE-APACHE or
  • MIT license (LICENSE-MIT or

at your option.

Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.

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