This tutorial will assume that you have a running QEMU environment and that it works. These are old notes that I am simply capturing here as a reference, so things may have changed regarding links etc. Please exercise some caution with copying and pasting!
First step is to create a disk image to use with our new OS:
qemu-img create -f qcow hda.img 10G
This will hold all the files related to our MIPSel machine.
Now go and grab the kernel image:
wget http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/dists/etch/main/installer-mipsel/current/images/qemu/netboot/vmlinux-2.6.18-6-qemu wget http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/dists/etch/main/installer-mipsel/current/images/qemu/netboot/initrd.gz
Now you should be able to start the installation process with
qemu-system-mipsel -M mips -kernel vmlinux-2.6.18-6-qemu -initrd initrd.gz -hda hda.img -append "root=/dev/ram console=ttyS0" -nographic
Once you have gone through the debian installer, you can boot your new system with
qemu-system-mips -M mips -kernel vmlinux-2.6.18-6-qemu -hda hda.img -append "root=/dev/hda1 console=ttyS0" -nographic