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VirtualBox Gets Accelerated Direct3D Support

Virtualization

Published on 29 January 2009 08:51 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization
18 Comments

Last month VirtualBox 2.1 was released with several interesting changes and among them was support for OpenGL. With this latest open-source virtualization software from Sun Microsystems, it became possible to run some OpenGL programs within a guest virtual machine while allowing the host system's graphics card to accelerate the drawing. All the modifications that are needed by the guest operating systems is to just install a VirtualBox OpenGL driver. What was missing, however, was support for the Direct3D API, but that is now emerging within the VirtualBox camp.

With a patched version of VirtualBox, it's now possible to have accelerated Direct3D support within the guest virtual machine. This newly-introduced capability isn't limited to running atop a Windows host either. In other words, you can now run Direct3D-powered games within a virtualized Windows installation when on a Linux host operating system with VirtualBox.

This VirtualBox Direct3D support is dependent upon WineD3D for translating the Direct3D calls into OpenGL, which is then executed on the hardware. Converting all of the Direct3D functions to OpenGL, however, comes at the cost of some CPU overhead, but nothing more than what WINE consumes. A screenshot showing the first signs of success for this Direct3D support can be found on the VirtualBox web-site.

The announcement regarding Direct3D support for VirtualBox was made in this VirtualBox bug entry. The (fairly simple) patch that adds in this support can be found in this attachment.

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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