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Thread: QEMU: Support For Passing GPUs To Virtual Machines

  1. #1
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    Default QEMU: Support For Passing GPUs To Virtual Machines

    Phoronix: QEMU: Support For Passing GPUs To Virtual Machines

    There's ongoing work so that graphics cards can be assigned for use by virtual machines with QEMU...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTI2OTk

  2. #2
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    Wow.... these are such exotic argurments!! I love such things. Pass GPU directly to the VM is surely the final move to use Linux and run a windows vm for gaming!!
    I'm just dreaming, but it really seems someone is actually "working" on it! Thanks

  3. #3
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    To be honest, since Xen is able to do it for some time now and I have heard of nobody really using it, I have little hope this getting usable soon. Or is Xen that much more difficult to use then kvm?

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    Well, first you do need an IOMMU, that means support for vt-d or amd-vi in the CPU and in the mainboard.

    Would it be possible for an ugly hack in the kernel to emulate an IOMMU? I mean it has direct PCI access, doesn't it? How much performance would it cost?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathias View Post
    To be honest, since Xen is able to do it for some time now and I have heard of nobody really using it, I have little hope this getting usable soon. Or is Xen that much more difficult to use then kvm?
    have you looked up how to set up xen? It's not easy. Have you looked up how to do GPU passthrough? That's also a challenge. People don't do it because its such a pain to work on. I've looked into it myself since it would also allow multiplayer gaming on 1 PC but the effort wasn't worth it.

    VMware and Parallels also offers a gpu passthrough solution but you have to pay for them and IIRC they're somewhat limiting.

  6. #6
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    You've been able to do gpu pass through for awhile now on KVM/qemu. Yes, you need iommu support for it to work.
    There's at least one YouTube video of it (the guy plays Lost Planet).
    Search for fedora kvm gpu passthrough

  7. #7
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    This is great because graphics rendering under QEMU is really slow!

    Also if you do Android development it uses QEMU to run the Android virtual machine image, and the graphics is shit slow.

  8. #8
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    Nice to have that, but don't you have a remote session to the VM in qemu? How does it help to have a dedicated GPU then?
    I use e.g. spice to connect to a vm on my system, loopback would be fast enough but still it would downscale any graphic effects.

  9. #9
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    So would this mean that I can then install an nVidia driver in my Windows guest in order to use my nVidia GPU as if it was running natively? If so it would be great to do that especially for games and for any Windows based graphics programs that make extensive use of GPU's

  10. #10
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    Xen with PCI/VGA passthrough isn't that hard to setup you just need proper hardware e.g VT-d (Intel) and IOMMU (AMD) support from your motherboard and CPU.

    In terms of dedicated GPU passing AMD Radeons is quite easy but the same can't be said about Nvidia cards except Quadro series.

    Personally I've passed i7's HD4000 integrated GPU, AMD HD5450 and AMD HD7850 to Windows 8 and Linux guests. Funny enough Linux guests are a bit trickier to setup.

    For example here's how to pass i7's HD4000 to a Windows 8 HVM guest: http://linux-bsd-sharing.blogspot.pt...domu-with.html

    Just browse Xen-user mailing list for more info.

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