PRIME Support Comes To VMware's Virtual GPU Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 14 November 2013 at 11:06 AM EST. 2 Comments
VMware's "vmwgfx" virtual GPU graphics driver has received support for PRIME buffer sharing -- the underlying Linux feature that has allowed Optimus-like features.

The vmwgfx PRIME support was done by Thomas Hellstrom at VMware. There isn't some amazing breakthrough with this PRIME implementation in regards to multi-GPU work for guest virtual machines or any new feature like that, but according to Thomas mostly it was done for inter-process sharing of buffers. VMware's DRM driver is now the first virtual device to support importing/exporting DMA-BUF buffers.

More details on this minor milestone for the VMWare virtual GPU driver can be found via the dri-devel list. This patch hasn't been queued up for drm-next going into Linux 3.13.

Overall if you need 3D acceleration within guest virtual machines I continue to recommend using VMware's offerings as your best bet. I use VMware's products daily on my main production system and I have found its 3D support to be much better than VirtualBox or the still-rising Virgil3D.
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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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