I am running GNU/Debian using QEMU to run virtual machines. I needed USB support for my Windows virtual machine. This is easily done by adding the parameter ‘-usb’. You also need to specify some additional information.

I came across this great site. They had every information I needed.

First, mount your usb stick in Linux. You need the vendor and productid. This is shown when typing lsusb in the command line. It gave me this line:

Bus 003 Device 002: ID 1307:0165 Transcend Information, Inc.

1307 is the vendorid and 0165 is the productid. My new Qemu startup script now looks like this:

sudo qemu /room/vm/xp.img -std-vga -kernel-kqemu -m 1000 -usb -usbdevice host:1307:0165

Yes – you need root access to let qemu get access to the usb device.