GPU passthrough with libvirt qemu kvm (2023)

GPU passthrough is a technology that allows the Linux kernel to directly present an internal PCI GPU to a virtual machine.

The device acts as if it were directly driven by the VM, and the VM detects the PCI device as if it were physically connected. GPU passthrough is also often known as IOMMU, although this is a bit of a misnomer, since the IOMMU is the hardware technology that provides this feature but also provides other features such as some protection from DMA attacks or ability to address 64-bit memory spaces with 32-bit addresses.

As you can imagine, the most common application for GPU passthrough at least gaming, since GPU passthrough allows a VM direct access to the graphics card with the end result of being able to play games with nearly the same performance as if you were running the game directly on the computer.

QEMU (Quick EMUlator) is a generic, open source hardware emulator and virtualization suite.

Note
This article typically uses KVM as the accelerator of choice due to its GPL licensing and availability. Without KVM nearly all commands described here will still work (unless KVM specific).

Contents

  • 1 Installation
    • 1.1 BIOS and UEFI firmware
  • 2 Hardware
  • 3 EFI configuration
  • 4 IOMMU
    • 4.1 IOMMU kernel configuration
      • 4.1.1 GRUB bootloader
    • 4.2 IOMMU groups
    • 4.3 Other devices in my IOMMU group
    • 4.4 ACS override patch
  • 5 VFIO
  • 6 Libvirt
    • 6.1 Windows
      • 6.1.1 Fixed Vega 56/64 reset bug
      • 6.1.2 Fixed Navi reset bug
      • 6.1.3 Sound
      • 6.1.4 Input Devices
  • 7 QEMU
    • 7.1 Minimal
    • 7.2 Linux Guest
    • 7.3 Using Multiple Monitors
  • 8 See also
  • 9 External resources

Installation

BIOS and UEFI firmware

In order to utilize KVM either VT-x or AMD-V must be supported by the processor. VT-x or AMD-V are Intel and AMD's respective technologies for permitting multiple operating systems to concurrently execute operations on the processors.

To inspect hardware for visualization support issue the following command:

user $grep --color -E "vmx|svm" /proc/cpuinfo

For a period manufacturers were shipping with virtualization turned off by default in the system BIOS

Hardware

  • A CPU that supports Intel VT-d or AMD-Vi. Check List of compatible Intel CPUs (Intel VT-x and Intel VT-d).
  • A motherboard that supports the aforementioned technologies. To find this out, check in your motherboard's BIOS configuration for an option to enable IOMMU or something similar. Chances are that your motherboard will support it if it's from 2013 or newer, but make sure to check since this is a niche technology and some manufacturers may save costs by axing it from their motherboards or delivering a defective implementation (such as Gigabyte's 2015-2016 series) simply because NORPs never use it.
  • At least two GPUs: one for your physical OS, another for your VM. (You can in theory run your computer headless through SSH or a serial console, but it might not work and you risk locking yourself away from your computer if you do so).
  • Optional but recommended: Additional monitor, keyboard and mouse.

EFI configuration

Go into BIOS (EFI) settings and turn on VT-d and IOMMU support.

Note
VT-d and Virtualization configuration params are same

Note
Some EFI doesn't have IOMMU configuration settings

IOMMU

IOMMU – or input–output memory management unit – is a memory management unit (MMU) that connects a direct-memory-access–capable (DMA-capable) I/O bus to the main memory. The IOMMU maps a device-visible virtual address ( I/O virtual address or IOVA) to a physical memory address. In other words, it translates the IOVA into a real physical address.

In an ideal world, every device has its own IOVA address space and no two devices share the same IOVA. But in practice this is often not the case. Moreover, the PCI-Express (PCIe) specifications allow PCIe devices to communicate with each other directly, called peer-to-peer transactions, thereby escaping the IOMMU.

That is where PCI Access Control Services (ACS) are called to the rescue. ACS is able to tell whether or not these peer-to-peer transactions are possible between any two or more devices, and can disable them. ACS features are implemented within the CPU and the chipset.

Unfortunately the implementation of ACS varies greatly between different CPU or chip-set models.

IOMMU kernel configuration

To enable IOMMU support in kernel:

KERNEL

Device Drivers ---> [*] IOMMU Hardware Support ---> Generic IOMMU Pagetable Support ---- [*] AMD IOMMU support <*> AMD IOMMU Version 2 driver [*] Support for Intel IOMMU using DMA Remapping Devices [*] Support for Shared Virtual Memory with Intel IOMMU [*] Enable Intel DMA Remapping Devices by default [*] Support for Interrupt Remapping

If you have CONFIG_TRIM_UNUSED_KSYMS (Trim unused exported kernel symbols) enabled, you will need to whitelist some symbols. Otherwise, you may get error messages of the form Failed to add group <n> to KVM VFIO device: Invalid argument. See the gentoo forum thread kernel 4.7.0 breaks pci passthrough [SOLVED] and the kvm mailing list thread KVM/VFIO passthrough not working when TRIM_UNUSED_KSYMS is enabled (list of symbols to whitelist in the second post).

KERNEL

(Video) GPU Pass-through On Linux/Virt-Manager

[*] Enable loadable module support ---> [*] Trim unused exported kernel symbols (/path/to/whitelist) Whitelist of symbols to keep in ksymtab

FILE /path/to/whitelist

vfio_group_get_external_uservfio_external_group_match_filevfio_group_put_external_uservfio_group_set_kvmvfio_external_check_extensionvfio_external_user_iommu_idmdev_get_iommu_devicemdev_bus_type

Re-build the kernel.

GRUB bootloader

When using GRUB as the secondary bootloader, IOMMU will need to be enabled by modifying kernel's commandline parameters. Edit the /etc/default/grub file and add the following values to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX variable:

FILE /etc/default/grub

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="... iommu=pt intel_iommu=on pcie_acs_override=downstream,multifunction ..."

Note
If the system hangs after rebooting, check the BIOS and IOMMU settings.

Apply changes:

root #grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Verify IOMMU has been enabled and is operational:

user $dmesg | grep 'IOMMU enabled'

[ 0.000000] DMAR: IOMMU enabled

Note
For CPU on XEN architecture, run:

user $lspci -vv | grep -i 'Access Control Services'

IOMMU groups

Passing through PCI or VGA devices requires you to pass through all devices within an IOMMU group. The exception to this rule are PCI root devices that reside in the same IOMMU group with the device(s) we want to pass through. These root devices cannot be passed through as they often perform important tasks for the host. A number of (Intel) CPUs, usually consumer-grade CPUs with integrated graphics (IGD), share a root device in the same IOMMU group as the first PCIe 16x slot.

user $for d in /sys/kernel/iommu_groups/*/devices/*; do n=${d#*/iommu_groups/*}; n=${n%%/*}; printf 'IOMMU Group %s ' "$n"; lspci -nns "${d##*/}"; done;

...IOMMU Group 13 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation GP104 [GeForce GTX 1080] [10de:1b80] (rev a1)IOMMU Group 15 02:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Ellesmere [Radeon Pro WX 7100] [1002:67c4]IOMMU Group 16 02:00.1 Audio device [0403]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Ellesmere [Radeon RX 580] [1002:aaf0]...

Nvidia in IOMMU Group 13 and AMD Video Card in IOMMU group 15 and 16. Everything looks fine. But if you have buggy IOMMU support and all devices within one IOMMU group, hardware can't guarantee good device isolation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to fix that. The only workaround - use ACS override patch witch ignore IOMMU hardware check. See ACS override patch.

Other devices in my IOMMU group

ACS override patch

root #git clone https://github.com/feniksa/gentoo_ACS_override_patch.git /etc/portage/patches

Next re-emerge the kernel

root #emerge gentoo-sources

(Video) Ubuntu and KVM: Easy GPU passthrough guide

 * Applying 4400_alpha-sysctl-uac.patch (-p1) ... [ ok ] * Applying 4567_distro-Gentoo-Kconfig.patch (-p1) ... [ ok ]>>> Source unpacked in /var/tmp/portage/sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-4.14.52/work>>> Preparing source in /var/tmp/portage/sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-4.14.52/work/linux-4.14.52-gentoo ... * Applying override_for_missing_acs_capabilities.patch ... [ ok ] * User patches applied.

VFIO

Kernel drivers:

KERNEL

Device Drivers ---> <M> VFIO Non-Privileged userpsace driver framework ---> [*] VFIO No-IOMMU support ---- <M> VFIO support for PCI devices [*] VFIO PCI support for VGA devices < > Mediated device driver framework

Search for VGA card IDs. Run:

root #lspci -nn

...04:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Vega 10 XL/XT [Radeon RX Vega 56/64] [1002:687f] (rev c1)04:00.1 Audio device [0403]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Device [1002:aaf8]..


Add VGA PCI IDs to VFIO

FILE /etc/modprobe.d/vfio.conf

options vfio-pci ids=1002:687f,1002:aaf8

Libvirt

Windows

Create Windows 10 as usual via libvirt manager. Edit virtual image, click Add Hardware, select AMD Ati Vega 64 and AMD Ati device. Click Apply.

Now start the Windows 10 guest OS.

AMD cards have 2 devices on PCIe bus -> one video output and another is HDMI output. Windows drivers works only if KVM will bypass to Windows both AMD devices.

Fixed Vega 56/64 reset bug

AMD Vega 56/64 is unable to initialize itself after Guest host shutdown/reboot, because drivers left card in "garbage" state. As workaround of this bug, VFIO should load AMD card ROM at guest startup. To do that:

  1. Install clear Windows 10 somewhere (not in libvirt. A BARE METAL Windows 10 installation.)
  2. Install all latest Windows 10 updates.
  3. Install AMD vga drivers.
  4. Reboot.
  5. Go again to the bare metal Windows 10 installation.
  6. Install GPU-Z.
  7. In GPU-Z in main tab, near BIOS version will be small button "Save ROM". Click it and save the ROM somewhere. This ROM will be needed for Gentoo and libvirt. For example, for a Vega64 the ROM can be saved as Vega64.rom
  8. Reboot into Gentoo.
  9. Copy to /etc/firmware the ROM file (for this example it is Vega64.rom)
  10. Go to /etc/libvirt/qemu
  11. Edit the xml file with description of the Windows 10 guest.
  12. Find section with AMD Video Card device (not AMD HDMI. You can always re-check with lspci)

In my case:

FILE /etc/libvirt/qemu/win10.xml

... <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'> <source> <address domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/> </source> <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x08' function='0x0'/> </hostdev> ...

14. Add path to vga rom

 <rom bar='on' file='/etc/firmware/Vega64.rom'/>

So, it should be:

FILE /etc/libvirt/qemu/win10.xml

... <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'> <source> <address domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/> </source> <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x08' function='0x0'/> <rom bar='on' file='/etc/firmware/Vega64.rom'/> </hostdev>...

Fixed Navi reset bug

AMD Navi 10 series GPUs require a vendor specific reset procedure. According to AMD a PSP mode 2 reset should be enough however at this time the details of how to perform this are not available.

Instead kernel can signal the SMU to enter and exit BACO which has the same desired effect.

To apply workaround (for kernel 4.19.72. For newer kernel replace number 4.19.72 with newer kernel):

  1. Download patchset https://github.com/feniksa/gentoo_ACS_override_patch/blob/master/sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-4.19.72/navi_reset.patch
  2. Put patchset into: /etc/portage/patches/sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-4.19.72
  3. Re-emerge gentoo-sources package:

    root #emerge gentoo-sources

    (Video) KVM-QEMU GPU Passthrough

  4. Re-compile the kernel

Applied patchset contain custom logic for reset GPU.

Sound

root #mkdir /home/qemu

root #cp /home/<user>/.config/pulse /home/qemu

root #chown qemu:qemu -R /home/qemu

Change the home directory for the qemu user:

root #usermod -d /home/qemu qemu

Input Devices

One of the easiest ways of dealing with mouse and keyboard issues when using passthrough is through evdev proxy. This allows the ability to switch the mouse and keyboard between the guest and host with special key combinations. First, identify the mouse and keyboard in /dev/input. The easiest way to do this is through the symlink found in /dev/input/by-id/.

user $ls -l /dev/input/by-id/*-event-{k,m}*

This a list of symlinks to event devices limited to mouse and keyboard entries. In order to access these nodes, either add the user Qemu runs as in the input group or, if using libvirt, edit /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf looking for

FILE /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf

cgroup_device_acl = [ ...]

Add the symlinks and then restart libvirtd. Next, edit the XML libvirt uses for the domain. Do this by either through virsh or using virt-manager. With virt-manager, select the XML tab in the Overview option at the top of the device tree. With virsh, enter interactive:

user $virsh --connect qemu:///system

Welcome to virsh, the virtualization interactive terminal.Type: 'help' for help with commands 'quit' to quit

Within the XML tree under the <devices> node, add the following lines

CODE

 <input type="evdev"> <source dev="/dev/input/by-id/$YOURMOUSE-event-mouse"/> </input> <input type="evdev"> <source dev="/dev/input/by-id/$YOURKEYBOARD-event-kbd" grab="all" repeat="on"/> </input>

By default, the key combination to change input between host and guest is both Ctrl keys. If multiple GPUs have been passed through to multiple VMs, use the grabToggle argument to change the combination to a fixed set of key combinations that can be found in the Libvirt documentation.

(Video) QEMU/KVM with Libvirt - GPU Passthrough with Nvidia 960 - Fallout 4

QEMU

In case you want to use QEMU directly, here are some configurations to get you started. In general, as a typical QEMU call will usually require many command-line flags, it is typically advised to place the QEMU call in a bash script and to run it that way. Don't forget to make the script file executable!

Minimal

This minimal configuration will simply boot into the bios - there aren't any drives connected so there is nothing else for QEMU to do. However, this allows us to verify that the GPU passthrough is actually working.

FILE MinimalPassthrough.sh

#!/bin/bashvirsh nodedev-detach pci_0000_09_00_0virsh nodedev-detach pci_0000_09_00_1qemu-system-x86_64 \ -nodefaults \ -enable-kvm \ -cpu host,kvm=off \ -m 8G \ -name "BlankVM" \ -smp cores=4 \ -device pcie-root-port,id=pcie.1,bus=pcie.0,addr=1c.0,slot=1,chassis=1,multifunction=on -device vfio-pci,host=09:00.0,bus=pcie.1,addr=00.0,x-vga=on,multifunction=on,romfile=GP107_patched.rom \ -device vfio-pci,host=09:00.1,bus=pcie.1,addr=00.1 \ -monitor stdio \ -nographic \ -vga none \ $@virsh nodedev-reattach pci_0000_09_00_0virsh nodedev-reattach pci_0000_09_00_1

Here's an explanation of each line:

  1. -nodefaults stops qemu from creating some default devices. Specifically, it creates a VGA device by default, which interferes with our attempt to pass through the video card (if you have a multi-video card host this may not be an issue for you)
  2. -enable-kvm enables acceleration
  3. -cpu host, kvm=off \ this makes the virtual machine match the CPU architecture of the host. Not really sure what `kvm=off` does...
  4. -m 8G give the guest 8 gigabytes of RAM
  5. -name "BlankVM" I guess it just gives the virtual machine a name
  6. -smp cores=4 how many cores the guest should have. I'm matching the host.
  7. -device pcie-root-port,id=pcie.1... a dedicate root port other than pcie.0 is required by amd gpu for windows driver
  8. -device vfio-pci,host=09:00.0... add a device using vfio-pci kernel module, from the host's address "09:00.0"
  9. ...addr=.. video must on .0 and audio on .1 while both video and audio must be on the same pci-root-port other than pcie.0
  10. ...x-vga=on this is an option for the vfio-pci module (I think)
  11. ...multifunction=on since our card is doing both audio and video, it needs multifunction (I think...)
  12. ...romfile=GP107_patched.rom due to known issues on NVIDIA cards, it may be necessary to use a modified vbios. This is how you make qemu use that modified vbios.
  13. -device vfio-pci,host=09:00.1 just like above - this is the audio device that is in the same IOMMU group as the video device.
  14. -monitor stdio this will drop you into a qemu "command line" (they call it a monitor) once you launch the VM, allowing you to do things.
  15. -vga none this is probably redundant since we did "nodefaults"

As noted above, there are certain known issues with NVIDIA drivers. I used this tool to patch my vbios, after first downloading my vbios in windows 10 using this gpuz tool.

Linux Guest

Here is a slightly more complicated qemu call, that actually loads a Gentoo VM.

FILE GentooPassthrough.sh

#!/bin/bashexec qemu-system-x86_64 \ -nodefaults \ -enable-kvm \ -cpu host,kvm=off,hv_vendor_id=1234567890ab \ -m 8G \ -name "Gentoo VM" \ -smp cores=4 \ -boot order=d \ -drive file=Gentoo_VM.img,if=virtio \ -monitor stdio \ -serial none \ -net nic \ -net user,hostfwd=tcp::50000-:22,hostfwd=tcp::50001-:5900,hostname=gentoo_qemu \ -nographic \ -vga none \ -device vfio-pci,host=09:00.0,x-vga=on,multifunction=on,romfile=GP107_patched.rom \ -device vfio-pci,host=09:00.1 \ -usb \ -device usb-host,vendorid=0x1532,productid=0x0101,id=mouse \ -device usb-host,vendorid=0x04f2,productid=0x0833,id=keyboard \ $@

Here is an explanation of the new configuration options:

  1. ...hv_vendor_id=... despite the patched vbios, the NVIDIA driver still recognized that it is being run in a virtual machine and refuses to load. This "spoofs" the vendor id (somewhere) and tricks the driver
  2. -boot order=d boot the hard drive first
  3. -drive file=Gentoo_VM.img,if=virtio this is a drive that is emulated in the VM. The "Gentoo_VM.img" file is a qcow QEMU-style virtual drive file.
  4. -serial none actually, I can't remember why I put this in there....
  5. -net nic create a Ethernet in the guest vm
  6. -net user,hostfwd... forwards the ports from host 50000 and 50001 to the guest ports 22 and 5900. Now, from the host, you can ssh into the guest using `ssh -p 50000 myuser@127.0.0.1`, and if you have a vnc server running in the guest on port 5900, you can access it using port 50001 in the host
  7. -nographic this may not be needed if you have a dedicated graphics card for the guest
  8. -usb emulate a USB device on the guest
  9. -device usb-host,... these two lines forward the keyboard and mouse from the host to the guest. The vendorid and productid can be found using lsusb in the host.

Please note that without the `hv_vendor_id` portion, you can boot in and use the console in the guest with the forwarded graphics card. But whenever you launch X, which initialized the proprietary NVIDIA driver, it will fail.


Here is a little variation of the above qemu script for Gentoo host and Gentoo guest. It uses separate CPUs for the guest. Works on a notebook with Ryzen CPU, where the 2nd NVIDIA GPU is passed through to the guest. The guest runs the NVIDIA driver. Installation is performed according to the Gentoo installation guide using UEFI and a GPT partition table. It uses no custom ROMs.

FILE gentooPassthrough.sh

#!/bin/bashname=genpasspid="${$}"cpus="8-15"ncpus=8cgrouprootfs="/sys/fs/cgroup"cgroupfs="${cgrouprootfs}/${name}"echo "PID: ${pid}"# using separate CPUs for VM# cgroup usage see https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/latest/admin-guide/cgroup-v2.html# 'lscpu -e' to see which cpus to useecho "+cpuset" > ${cgrouprootfs}/cgroup.subtree_controlmkdir -p ${cgroupfs}echo ${cpus} > ${cgroupfs}/cpuset.cpusecho "root" > ${cgroupfs}/cpuset.cpus.partitionecho "${pid}" > ${cgroupfs}/cgroup.procs# setting performance governor for QEMU CPUsfor i in `seq 8 15` ; do echo performance >/sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu${i}/cpufreq/scaling_governordoneqemu-system-x86_64 \ -M q35 \ -monitor stdio \ -bios /usr/share/edk2-ovmf/OVMF_CODE.fd \ -accel kvm,kernel-irqchip=on \ -cpu host,kvm=off \ -smp ${ncpus} \ -m 4G \ -name "${name}" \ -device vfio-pci,host=01:00.0,multifunction=on \ -device vfio-pci,host=01:00.1 \ -nographic \ -vga none \ -serial none \ -parallel none \ -hda hda.qcow2 \ -usb \ -device usb-host,vendorid=0x046D,productid=0xC52B \ $@ # removing cgroup cpusetecho "${pid}" > ${cgrouprootfs}/cgroup.procsrmdir ${cgroupfs}# setting schedutil governor for qemu cpusfor i in `seq 8 15` ; do echo schedutil >/sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu${i}/cpufreq/scaling_governordone

The kernel of the Gentoo host has been build with genkernel --virtio all. The NVIDIA GPU has been bound to vfio-pci with /etc/modprobe.d/local.conf on the host:

FILE /etc/modprobe.d/local.conf

alias pci:v000010DEd00001F95sv0000103Csd000087B2bc03sc00i00 vfio-pcialias pci:v000010DEd000010FAsv0000103Csd000087B2bc04sc03i00 vfio-pcioptions vfio-pci ids=10de:1f95,10de:10fa

This way the internal graphic of the Ryzen processor shows the host on the laptop display, Gentoo guest is displayed on the monitor connected to the HDMI of the NVIDIA graphic. To get sound in the VM, i have to replug the HDMI cable after the VM has booted. Maybe this issue is related to the HDMI cable or the external monitor.

Using Multiple Monitors

My setup is this:

980ti -> Gentoo Host
1650 -> Kali VM
3090 -> Windows 10 VM

I have six displays and often want to rotate between guests. If you are lucky enough to have monitors that auto switch to the active link then this will work. For example, to turn of my main display for Linux and switch to Windows I use:

xrandr --output $DISPLAY --off

I personally use i3, so I hotkey that to $mod4+shift+k. Once finished with Windows however I use Windows presentation settings to make the change back.

<windows-key> + p, set secondary monitor

Which again I hotkey. I do the same for the Kali VMS, just being mindful I use different key patterns to switch between Win and *nix guests.

See also

  • QEMU — a generic, open source hardware emulator and virtualization suite.

External resources

FAQs

Does QEMU support GPU passthrough? ›

The Open Virtual Machine Firmware (OVMF) is a project to enable UEFI support for virtual machines. Starting with Linux 3.9 and recent versions of QEMU, it is now possible to passthrough a graphics card, offering the virtual machine native graphics performance which is useful for graphic-intensive tasks.

Does KVM support GPU passthrough? ›

GPU passthrough is a technology that allows the Linux kernel to directly present an internal PCI GPU to a virtual machine. The device acts as if it were directly driven by the VM, and the VM detects the PCI device as if it were physically connected.

Does KVM use libvirt? ›

The libvirt KVM/QEMU driver can manage any QEMU emulator from version 4.2. 0 or later. It supports multiple QEMU accelerators: software emulation also known as TCG, hardware-assisted virtualization on Linux with KVM and hardware-assisted virtualization on macOS with Hypervisor.

Should I use KVM or QEMU? ›

KVM is a Linux-based full virtualization solution, so you can definitely use it without QEMU. However, if you are looking for a powerful type-1 hypervisor that provides better performance and stability, using KVM and QEMU together is your best bet.

Is QEMU better than VirtualBox? ›

VirtualBox is faster and has a better UI than QEMU. It's also a good choice only for x86 and x64 architectures.

What is VM GPU passthrough? ›

Pass-through operates at the chip level, not the core level. This means a GPU chip might have many cores on board, but pass-through assigns the entire GPU chip -- and all its cores -- to the associated VM. Pass-through cannot assign different cores to different VMs within the same GPU chip.

What is PCI passthrough? ›

The Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) passthrough feature enables you to access and manage hardware devices from a virtual machine. When PCI passthrough is configured, the PCI devices function as if they were physically attached to the guest operating system.

Can Ubuntu VM access GPU? ›

Virtual Function I/O (or VFIO) allows a virtual machine (VM) direct access to a pci hardware resource, such as a graphics processing unit (GPU).

Does Hyper V support GPU passthrough? ›

Hyper-V only supports Direct Device Assignment (DDA), Microsoft's version of GPU Passthrough, on Windows Server.

What is libvirt in KVM? ›

libvirt is an open-source API, daemon and management tool for managing platform virtualization. It can be used to manage KVM, Xen, VMware ESXi, QEMU and other virtualization technologies. These APIs are widely used in the orchestration layer of hypervisors in the development of a cloud-based solution.

How do KVM and QEMU work together? ›

KVM and QEMU - Type 1 or Type 2 hypervisor

QEMU by itself is a Type-2 hypervisor. It intercepts the instructions meant for Virtual CPU and uses the host operating system to get those instructions executed on the physical CPU. When QEMU uses KVM for hardware acceleration, the combination becomes a Type-1 hypervisor.

Does VirtualBox use libvirt? ›

The libvirt VirtualBox driver can manage any VirtualBox version from version 4.0 onwards ( since libvirt 3.0. 0 ).

Can QEMU run without KVM? ›

Qemu can be fast with KVM. Qemu without KVM is incredibly slow. User Mode Linux has not been ported to arm! It only works with x86 at the moment.

Is KVM faster than VirtualBox? ›

KVM, a type 1 hypervisor, is smaller and faster than VirtualBox, but VirtualBox is more scalable. KVM is better integrated with Linux, and while it will work with other guests, it works best with Linux. In short, if you want to install a binary Linux distribution as a guest, it's better to use KVM.

Why do I need QEMU with KVM? ›

QEMU can make use of KVM when running a target architecture that is the same as the host architecture. For instance, when running qemu-system-x86 on an x86 compatible processor, you can take advantage of the KVM acceleration - giving you benefit for your host and your guest system.

Why KVM is better than VMware? ›

Advantages of KVM over VMware vSphere

KVM is production-ready for enterprise workloads with the features you need to support your physical and virtual infrastructure, at a lower operating cost. Choosing a virtualization option based on KVM has many advantages over other solutions, like VMware vSphere.

Does QEMU have a GUI? ›

Graphical front-ends for QEMU

Unlike other virtualization programs such as VirtualBox and VMware, QEMU does not provide a GUI to manage virtual machines (other than the window that appears when running a virtual machine), nor does it provide a way to create persistent virtual machines with saved settings.

Why is QEMU useful? ›

QEMU is one of the few options available for running software targeted at different CPU architectures. This is because QEMU enables developers to run applications compiled for one architecture on another architecture.

Does a GPU help with virtualization? ›

GPU virtualization refers to technologies that allow the use of a GPU to accelerate graphics or GPGPU applications running on a virtual machine. GPU virtualization is used in various applications such as desktop virtualization, cloud gaming and computational science (e.g. hydrodynamics simulations).

Is GPU needed for virtualization? ›

You really do not need any GPU for a virtual machine. A virtual machine will only use the graphics card if you connect to it, but even then, its not actually using the GPU itself, but only an interface driver. Any GPU will do fine.

Can I create a virtual GPU? ›

This instance serves as the foundation for a virtual workstation. Install NVIDIA drivers on the virtual workstation. Install Teradici Cloud Access Software on the virtual workstation. Connect to the virtual workstation using a PCoIP software client or Zero Client, a type of hardware endpoint.

How do I passthrough my GPU? ›

Chapter 1. GPU device passthrough: Assigning a host GPU to a single virtual machine
  1. Enable the I/O Memory Management Unit (IOMMU) on the host machine.
  2. Detach the GPU from the host.
  3. Attach the GPU to the guest.
  4. Install GPU drivers on the guest.
  5. Configure Xorg on the guest.

Does VirtualBox have GPU passthrough? ›

With virtualization enabled, GeForce customers on a Linux host PC can now enable GeForce GPU passthrough on a virtual Windows guest OS.

Does VirtualBox support PCI passthrough? ›

The PCI passthrough module is shipped as an Oracle VM VirtualBox extension package, which must be installed separately. See Installing Oracle VM VirtualBox and Extension Packs. This feature enables a guest to directly use physical PCI devices on the host, even if host does not have drivers for this particular device.

Can wsl2 use GPU? ›

With NVIDIA CUDA support for WSL 2, developers can leverage NVIDIA GPU accelerated computing technology for data science, machine learning and inference on Windows through WSL.

Can I use GPU on virtual machine? ›

For the VM to use the GPU, you need to install the GPU driver on your VM. If you enabled an NVIDIA RTX virtual workstation(formerly known as NVIDIA GRID), install a driver for virtual workstation.

How do I enable Nvidia graphics card in Ubuntu? ›

The procedure to install proprietary Nvidia GPU Drivers on Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 / 18.04 / 18.10 / 20.04 / 22.04 LTS is as follows: Update your system running apt-get command. You can install Nvidia drivers either using GUI or CLI method. Open “Software and Updates” app to install install Nvidia driver using GUI.

Is VirtualBox better than Hyper-V? ›

Guest Operating Systems

You can use it to host Windows, FreeBSD, and Linux guest OSs VMs. In contrast, VirtualBox can run on virtually all the popular OSs, including Windows, Linux, macOS, and Solaris. It also supports more guest OSs than Hyper-V, such as Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, macOS, and Solaris.

Does Hyper-V support GPU acceleration? ›

GPU virtualization technologies enable GPU acceleration in a virtualized environment, typically within virtual machines. If your workload is virtualized with Hyper-V, then you'll need to employ graphics virtualization in order to provide GPU acceleration from the physical GPU to your virtualized apps or services.

Which is better VMware or Hyper-V? ›

VMware supports more operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Unix, and macOS. On the other hand, Hyper-V support is limited to Windows plus a few more, including Linux and FreeBSD. If you require broader support, especially for older operating systems, VMware is a good choice.

What is the purpose of libvirt? ›

libvirt focuses on managing single hosts and provides APIs to enumerate, monitor and use the resources available on the managed node, including CPUs, memory, storage, networking and Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) partitions.

Who uses libvirt? ›

WHO USES LIBVIRT? Libvirt is commonly used by installations which need to support both Xen Project and KVM hypervisors. It is also used by companies like Oracle and SUSE in their OpenStack-based cloud offerings.

How do I know if libvirt is installed? ›

Use the following commands to start and stop libvirtd or check its status: tux > sudo systemctl start libvirtd tux > sudo systemctl status libvirtd libvirtd. service - Virtualization daemon Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/libvirtd.

How do you know if QEMU is using KVM? ›

Other ways to do the diagnostic: if you have access to the QEMU monitor (Ctrl-Alt-2, use Ctrl-Alt-1 to get back to the VM display), enter the "info kvm" command and it should respond with "KVM support: enabled"

How do I know if KVM is running? ›

You can check whether KVM support is enabled in the Linux kernel from Ubuntu using kvm-ok command which is a part of the cpu-checker package. It is not installed by default. But it is available in the official package repository of Ubuntu. First, update the APT package repository cache of your Ubuntu machine.

Is KVM Type 1 or Type 2? ›

KVM converts Linux into a type-1 (bare-metal) hypervisor. All hypervisors need some operating system-level components—such as a memory manager, process scheduler, input/output (I/O) stack, device drivers, security manager, a network stack, and more—to run VMs.

Can you run qemu and VirtualBox? ›

A: VirtualBox makes use of QEMU in two ways: first of all, some of our virtual hardware devices have their origin in the QEMU project. We have found them to be very useful and took them as a starting point.

Can KVM run Windows? ›

KVM is suitable for running Windows 10 for general desktop application use. It does not provide 3D support, but offers a nice, high-performance virtualization solution for day-to-day productivity applications.

Does VirtualBox run better on Windows or Linux? ›

Fact: Linux is a more stable operating system than Windows. Fact: Linux has memory and program buffing that just does not exist in Windows. Fact: Linux is truly multi tasking, whereas Windows can only do task swapping. Fact: You will get better performance from any VM running on Linux, than you will running on Windows.

How do I passthrough my GPU? ›

Your GPU device supports GPU passthrough mode.
...
To assign a GPU to a virtual machine, follow the steps in these procedures:
  1. Enable the I/O Memory Management Unit (IOMMU) on the host machine.
  2. Detach the GPU from the host.
  3. Attach the GPU to the guest.
  4. Install GPU drivers on the guest.
  5. Configure Xorg on the guest.

Can Ubuntu VM access GPU? ›

Virtual Function I/O (or VFIO) allows a virtual machine (VM) direct access to a pci hardware resource, such as a graphics processing unit (GPU).

What is PCI passthrough? ›

The Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) passthrough feature enables you to access and manage hardware devices from a virtual machine. When PCI passthrough is configured, the PCI devices function as if they were physically attached to the guest operating system.

Does Hyper V support GPU passthrough? ›

Hyper-V only supports Direct Device Assignment (DDA), Microsoft's version of GPU Passthrough, on Windows Server.

Can you run a VM on a GPU? ›

For the VM to use the GPU, you need to install the GPU driver on your VM. If you enabled an NVIDIA RTX virtual workstation(formerly known as NVIDIA GRID), install a driver for virtual workstation.

How do I enable Nvidia passthrough? ›

On the Configure tab, select Hardware > PCI Devices, and click Configure Passthrough. In the Edit PCI Device Availability dialog box, in the ID column, select the check box for the GPU device. Click OK. The GPU is displayed on the Passthrough-enabled devices tab.

Does VirtualBox have GPU passthrough? ›

With virtualization enabled, GeForce customers on a Linux host PC can now enable GeForce GPU passthrough on a virtual Windows guest OS.

Can wsl2 use GPU? ›

With NVIDIA CUDA support for WSL 2, developers can leverage NVIDIA GPU accelerated computing technology for data science, machine learning and inference on Windows through WSL.

Does VirtualBox support PCI passthrough? ›

The PCI passthrough module is shipped as an Oracle VM VirtualBox extension package, which must be installed separately. See Installing Oracle VM VirtualBox and Extension Packs. This feature enables a guest to directly use physical PCI devices on the host, even if host does not have drivers for this particular device.

How do I enable Nvidia graphics card in Ubuntu? ›

The procedure to install proprietary Nvidia GPU Drivers on Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 / 18.04 / 18.10 / 20.04 / 22.04 LTS is as follows: Update your system running apt-get command. You can install Nvidia drivers either using GUI or CLI method. Open “Software and Updates” app to install install Nvidia driver using GUI.

What is Iommu in Linux? ›

The Input-Output Memory Management Unit (IOMMU) is a component in a memory controller that translates device virtual addresses (can be also called I/O addresses or device addresses) to physical addresses. The concept of IOMMU is similar to Memory Management Unit (MMU).

What is VFIO? ›

VFIO. VFIO stands for Virtual Function I/O and is a new user-level driver framework for Linux. It replaces the traditional KVM PCI Pass-Through device assignment. The VFIO driver exposes direct device access to user space in a secure memory (IOMMU) protected environment.

What is SR-IOV passthrough? ›

SR-IOV takes PCI passthrough to the next level. Rather than granting exclusive use of the device to a single virtual machine, the device is shared or 'partitioned'. It can be shared between multiple virtual machines, or even shared between virtual machines and the hypervisor itself.

Is VirtualBox better than Hyper-V? ›

Guest Operating Systems

You can use it to host Windows, FreeBSD, and Linux guest OSs VMs. In contrast, VirtualBox can run on virtually all the popular OSs, including Windows, Linux, macOS, and Solaris. It also supports more guest OSs than Hyper-V, such as Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, macOS, and Solaris.

Does Hyper-V support GPU acceleration? ›

GPU virtualization technologies enable GPU acceleration in a virtualized environment, typically within virtual machines. If your workload is virtualized with Hyper-V, then you'll need to employ graphics virtualization in order to provide GPU acceleration from the physical GPU to your virtualized apps or services.

Which is better VMware or Hyper-V? ›

VMware supports more operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Unix, and macOS. On the other hand, Hyper-V support is limited to Windows plus a few more, including Linux and FreeBSD. If you require broader support, especially for older operating systems, VMware is a good choice.

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