1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

VirtualBox 4.0 OpenGL Acceleration Leaves Room For Improvement

Michael Larabel

Published on 3 March 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 2 - 10 Comments

VirtualBox, the Sun/Oracle virtualization platform, has supported OpenGL acceleration and Direct3D acceleration within virtual machines for more than two years. When the host system has hardware GPU acceleration, OpenGL/Direct3D calls can be passed from the guest to the host when the VirtualBox guest driver is installed. There has been the Linux 3D support since VirtualBox 2.2 and was initially limited to OpenGL 1.4 support and in the summer of 2009 it turned to OpenGL 2.0. We had not delivered any early benchmarks as the initial support was too buggy, but even with the recently released VirtualBox 4.0, while the support is usable and stable for the most part, it is still far from being very efficient and will crash under some OpenGL software.

While Oracle's VirtualBox 3D acceleration may not perfect, at least it is there. KVM/QEMU still lacks OpenGL acceleration support for guests. Within the Xen camp, there is/was a virtual, open-source Gallium3D driver for guests, but it did not receive too much attention outside of HP's laboratories where it was developed. VMware's virtualization solutions support a Gallium3D driver too. VMware bought out Tungsten Graphics, which was the company behind Mesa and Gallium3D and with that, they have all of the most experienced open-source Linux graphics driver developers. VMware's graphics acceleration is very good. Unfortunately, VMware's user agreement bars us from carrying out any benchmarks officially (though that's not to say the community can't benchmark VMware's products on their own and upload them to OpenBenchmarking.org), so we are left with sharing results for just Oracle VM VirtualBox.

Support for 3D acceleration in guests needs to be enabled from the VirtualBox management software and then the "VirtualBox Guest Additions" installed onto the guest operating system. Under Linux, this installs the "Chromium" (not to be confused with the Google open-source web-browser) graphics driver for passing the OpenGL calls to the host operating system. The VirtualBox developers have previously rejected using the Gallium3D architecture. Using Gallium3D would also make it feasible to also open up other forms of acceleration to guests such as for OpenCL, OpenVG, OpenGL ES, and Xorg EXA/XvMC. VirtualBox does provide 2D acceleration support when using their driver. The VirtualBox Direct3D driver is also limited to Direct3D 8/9 while there is a Gallium3D Direct3D 10/11 state tracker in existence.

<< Previous Page
1
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Rosewill RS-MI-01: An Ultra Low-Cost Mini-ITX Chassis
  2. D-Link DCS-2330L HD Wireless Network Camera
  3. Gigabyte AM1M-S2H
  4. AMD's New Athlon/Semprons Give Old Phenom CPUs A Big Run For The Money
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Catalyst 14.4 Brings Few Linux Performance Improvements
  2. The Performance Of Fedora 20 Updated
  3. Clang Fights GCC On AMD's Athlon AM1 APU With Jaguar Cores
  4. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS vs. Oracle Linux vs. CentOS vs. openSUSE
Latest Linux News
  1. Valve Is Bringing VOGL To Windows & Working On Regression Tests
  2. Canonical Is Taking Over Linux 3.13 Kernel Maintenance
  3. Google Web Designer Is Now Natively Available On Linux
  4. Ubuntu 14.10 Is Codenamed The Utopic Unicorn
  5. Audacious 3.5 Lightweight Audio Player Released
  6. Steam Updated For Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, SteamOS
  7. DNF 0.5 Yum Replacement Now Supports Groups
  8. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 Is Looking Fantastic
  9. Intel Is Launching An Interesting Bay Trail NUC Next Week
  10. Another X.Org EVoC Proposed For OpenGL 4+ Tests
  11. The Best Features Coming With Qt 5.3
  12. Red Hat's RHEL7 RC ISO Is Now Publicly Available
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. The Most Amazing OpenGL Tech Demo In 64kb
  2. Announcing radeontop, a tool for viewing the GPU usage
  3. HTPC-upgrade advice: AMD Richland A8-7600 or Kaveri A10-6700T ???
  4. New card. Open source drivers only.
  5. The GNOME Foundation Is Running Short On Money
  6. Linux Kernel Developers Fed Up With Ridiculous Bugs In Systemd
  7. Script for Fan Speed Control
  8. Torvalds Is Unconvinced By LTO'ing A Linux Kernel