New VirtualBox Beta Has PCI Pass-Through Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 8 July 2011 at 04:36 PM EDT. 20 Comments
Just a week after Oracle released VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 1, the second beta for this forthcoming feature release of the former Sun virtualization stack is now available. The VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 2 release has various bug-fixes since the first beta, but for Linux hosts it also introduces PCI pass-through support.

It's mostly bug-fixes for the second VirtualBox 4.1 beta, namely regression fixes to the VMM and storage area. The source-code has also been fixed to support USB 2.0 support when creating non-official builds. Perhaps most interesting though is the experimental support for PCI pass-through, which is a feature for only Linux hosts right now.

PCI pass-through allows for improved performance of PCI devices on modern Intel VT-d and AMD IOMMU platforms. In fact, at least in theory, PCI pass-through in the virtualization world is designed to deliver near-native performance, particularly for networking. This IBM DeveloperWorks article describes PCI pass-through for virtualization in greater detail. KVM and Xen have already supported PCI pass-through on Linux.

See more details about VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 2 in the VirtualBox Forums.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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