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VMware Publishes Set Of 33 Major GPU DRM Patches

Virtualization

Published on 17 January 2014 06:04 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization
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Earlier this week I shared VMware might have a big GPU driver update for the Linux 3.14 kernel and now in time they have successfully delivered. This new "vmwgfx" virtual GPU driver adapts to their new virtual GPU (SVGA2) hardware revision.

SVGA2 Hardware Revision 11 will be a new version of the graphics processor they expose to VMware virtual machines for tapping and allowing guest VMs to have 3D hardware acceleration provided by the host.

The 11th hardware revision to the SVGA2 adapter introduces a concept of "guest backed objects" and resources. Thomas Hellstrom of VMware explained these fundamental VMware SVGA driver changes in a new mailing list post:
The device will in principle get all of its memory from the guest, which has big advantages from the device point of view.

This means that vmwgfx contexts, shaders and surfaces need to be backed by guest memory in the form of buffer objects called MOBs, presumably short for MemoryOBjects, which are bound to the device in a special way.

This patch series introduces guest backed object support. Some new IOCTLs are added to allocate these new guest backed object, and to optionally provide them with a backing MOB.

There is an update to the gallium driver that comes with this update, and it will be pushed in the near timeframe presumably to a separate mesa branch before merged to master.

All but the last patch have been reviewed internally. Please let me know whether there are any concerns before i generate a pull request.
These VMware GPU DRM patches for the Linux 3.14 kernel can be found queued up on the dri-devel list until their landing in the drm-next tree and then in the next few weeks ahead in the mainline Linux Git repository.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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