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VirtualBox Gets Accelerated Direct3D Support

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  • VirtualBox Gets Accelerated Direct3D Support

    Phoronix: VirtualBox Gets Accelerated Direct3D Support

    Last month VirtualBox 2.1 was released with several interesting changes and among them was support for OpenGL. With this latest open-source virtualization software from Sun Microsystems, it became possible to run some OpenGL programs within a guest virtual machine while allowing the host system's graphics card to accelerate the drawing...

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

  • #2
    Of course the performance is going to be poor, but look at this way: WineD3D can only get better, and it's the only factor in getting your games to run!
    Does a game have a problem with the .net framework, or steam, or copy protection or some other stupid thing? Well since it's running natively in windows, that won't be an issue anymore!

    You're not going to be able to play Crysis without a beast of a machine, but at least I can play Age of Empires 2.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by superppl View Post
      Does a game have a problem with the .net framework, or steam, or copy protection or some other stupid thing? Well since it's running natively in windows, that won't be an issue anymore!
      Exactly, this is a very interesting development.

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      • #4
        YEAH!!! Now you guys think this will actually release?

        *COUGH* Unlike XServer 1.6 *COUGH*

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        • #5
          I'm more interested by the fact that virtualbox decided to pick up wine as their direct3d implementation - hopefully it means wine gets more developers from Sun/Innotek working on d3d.

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          • #6
            Well, Parallels is also using WineD3D, but it doesn't look like they contributed anything back. But this could be different since the Virtual Box devs actually work with the open source community.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by hmmm View Post
              I'm more interested by the fact that virtualbox decided to pick up wine as their direct3d implementation - hopefully it means wine gets more developers from Sun/Innotek working on d3d.
              I think it will mean big things for Wined3d if Sun gets involved with that. I believe thats a area where Wine could use more help, but I guess they could use help in anyway they can get.

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              • #8
                Well, Parallels is also using WineD3D, but it doesn't look like they contributed anything back.
                http://wiki.winehq.org/Parallels

                But this could be different since the Virtual Box devs actually work with the open source community.
                I hope this is the case

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                • #9
                  Parallels returned their code but their code was very hacky, outdated and useless.

                  When I moved WineD3D over to WGL (that's why it runs on Windows) I didn't use any of their code and started from scratch. WineD3D has been running on Windows for 1.5 years or so (without requiring changes) but not much people were interested in it. When virtualbox received opengl support I contacted them and gave them instructions on how to run WineD3D on virtualbox. I'm glad they picked it up.

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                  • #10
                    Excellent!! I've been waiting for this for ages and it's now more important for me than ever because my desktop is now also a server and a router, meaning I can't reboot into Windows without cutting everything off.

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                    • #11
                      Didn't know you could run WineD3D on windows, that quite nice! It makes sense in retrospect, implement WGL in wine and build WineD3D on WGL - a single codepath for all platforms.

                      Now we need VBox to gain GL2.1 support (or at least GLSL) and it will become excellent for cross-platform development and viable for games. I'm looking forward to the time when I'll put the Mesa3D soft-renderer to rest.

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                      • #12
                        Is this likely the final solution fom VirtualBox or are they going to write some kind of low level D3D driver?

                        While I think the former is interesting, and would possibly put more developer power against WineD3D, it would seem like a more solid solution to be able to use native MS D3D dll's (virtualization should try to be as native as possible) on top of some virtual hardware.

                        Could Gallium3d be leveraged here? (I could see it easily being used on Linux, just pass most of the calls out to the external driver, I'm just not sure how efficient it would be to use it to translate out to a Windows/Mac driver)

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                        • #13
                          I would recommend to use Wine for gaming and not to use VirtualBox. Their opengl driver will never perform (the same for a real d3d driver) as well as a native OpenGL driver and for that reason D3D performance will be (a lot) lower than Wine's, so just use Wine.

                          One of the reason for the lack of OpenGL performance has to do with VirtualBox being a virtual machine. They want all opengl commands to pass through their own opengl layer and cache them in order to allow you to resume programs. If they directly passed all data to native opengl they would be able to reach more performance. This is also the reason why adding new opengl extensions is tricky (in case of GLX not all new extensions like glsl have a glx protocol if they are directly using GLX).

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                          • #14
                            IMHO this does nothing but in some rare cases (when anything except wine's direct3d-implementation keep a game from working with wine) remove the need to reboot to play a game. And you still need a windows-license. I don't see what's so exciting here.

                            I'm more interested by the fact that virtualbox decided to pick up wine as their direct3d implementation - hopefully it means wine gets more developers from Sun/Innotek working on d3d.
                            Yep, that'd be a nice thing.

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                            • #15
                              Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't AMD's IOMMU specification (or Intel's equivalent, I forget the name), in theory, greatly boost OpenGL performance, by giving the virtual machine a DMA compatible I/O bus with the graphics card? I mean, I don't know much about it, but from first glance that seems to kind of be the point.

                              Granted, it's one more layer to go through than wine has to deal with, but I imagine it'll be some time before wine has better windows compatibility than windows...

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