VMware's Virtual GPU Driver Is Still Advancing
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 9 November 2012 at 08:29 AM EST. 2 Comments
While there's usually always something to talk about with each new kernel release for the Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau DRM/KMS drivers, that isn't always the case for VMware's "vmwgfx" virtual GPU driver. This driver for exposing 3D acceleration to guest virtual machines on VMware's virtualization products does work quite well already, but the open-source developers have been recently working on a few improvements.

Thomas Hellstrom of VMware has published eight new patches today for their vmwgfx DRM driver that he hopes to see merged for the Linux 3.8 kernel. The patches, which are currently floating on dri-devel, contain various improvements.

Changes include rewritten resource management in preparation for an upcoming hardware version change, easing the implementation of multi-threaded command submission, and pushing out into the public domain a previously internal VMware header file for computing surface memory requirements in the same way as their virtual GPU device.

I'm using VMware Fusion on a daily basis in a production capacity on my main notebook and it works extremely well compared to VirtualBox and its 3D guest driver. Meanwhile, QEMU/KVM/SPICE still lack any proper support for exposing 3D capabilities to guest VMs to then pass the commands onto the host for execution by the host's driver and graphics card.
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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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