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

VMware's Virtual GPU Driver Is Running Fast

Michael Larabel

Published on 10 February 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 6 - 20 Comments

For the past few years VMware has been improving the graphics acceleration support that is available via their virtualization platform. VMware -- through their 2008 acquisition of Tungsten Graphics -- has effectively re-written their graphics driver for their virtual "SVGA II" GPU to take advantage of the Gallium3D driver architecture, a new acceleration architecture, and many other improvements. This work has finally come together and is now working rather nicely.

VMware originally introduced its virtual Gallium3D driver in November of 2009. Since then this "vmwgfx" Gallium3D driver has not been enabled-by-default within Mesa nor has the libdrm API for vmwgfx been enabled by default. Around the same time VMware also went for mainline inclusion of its DRM graphics driver, which hit the mainline Linux kernel within the staging area. Going on three years this VMware virtual graphics driver code has been publicly available and within mainline code-bases, but not easily available to most desktop users.

Even before their first-cut implementation left the staging area and set to be enabled by default, they planned to make some major changes in 2011. They were successful, those changes are done, and this work is now ready for primetime. As part of this vmwgfx upbringing they also introduced the new XA state tracker as a new X.Org (2D) acceleration over the Gallium3D architecture by the former Tungsten Graphics developers.

To put it simply, all of the VMware driver pieces have finally landed. With the Linux 3.2 kernel or later, Mesa 8.0 or later, and xf86-video-vmware 11.9+ (12.0 will be its official release) all of the pieces are in place and not in an "experimental" capacity. One of the first distributions to be shipping all of the pieces of this puzzle is Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which will officially debut in April. A few days ago the updated Mesa stack landed in the Ubuntu 12.04 development repository, which included the updated VMware DDX driver, the VMware Gallium3D driver enabled atop Mesa 8.0, and the XA state tracker built by default. Having all of that ready to provide a nice "out of the box" experience I ran some tests.

In this article are benchmarks of the VMware graphics driver stack compared to running the OpenGL benchmarks on bare metal. There are also some comparisons of VMware's virtual GPU to that of Oracle's VM VirtualBox graphics implementation.

<< Previous Page
1
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Scythe Mugen MAX
  2. Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E On Linux
  3. Intel 80GB 530 Series M.2 SSD On Linux
  4. With A New Motherboard, The Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Lights Up
Latest Linux Articles
  1. MSAA RadeonSI Gallium3D Performance Preview
  2. Intel Core i7 5960X CPU Core Scaling Under Linux
  3. AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Performance For 4K Linux Gaming
  4. 9-Way File-System Comparison With A SSD On The Linux 3.17 Kernel
Latest Linux News
  1. Rust Developers Planning For The Rust 1.0 Language
  2. RPM 4.12 Brings New Switches, New Rpm2Archive Utility
  3. Qt 5.3.2 & Qt Creator 3.2.1 Released
  4. Nouveau For Linux 3.18 Gains DP Audio, More Re-Clocking
  5. SUSE Gets Bought Out Again
  6. Enlightenment E19 Officially Released With Its Own Wayland Compositor
  7. OpenMediaVault 1.0 Released As New Linux NAS Alternative
  8. VESA Releases DisplayPort 1.3, Pushes 32.4 Gbits/sec
  9. Opera 25 Beta Has Bookmarks & Linux Support
  10. LLVM Clang Now Builds Even More Debian Packages
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. support for first generation UVD blocks (RV6xx, RS780, RS880 and RV790)
  2. Nvidia joins the ranks of Apple and Microsoft
  3. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  4. New Group Calls For Boycotting Systemd
  5. Hd 6850
  6. nv and xorg.conf under Debian PPC
  7. X.Org Is Looking For Some Female Help
  8. FSF Issues Their Rebuttal To Apple's New iPhone, Watch & Apple Pay