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New VirtualBox Beta Has PCI Pass-Through Support

Virtualization

Published on 08 July 2011 04:36 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization
20 Comments

Just a week after Oracle released VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 1, the second beta for this forthcoming feature release of the former Sun virtualization stack is now available. The VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 2 release has various bug-fixes since the first beta, but for Linux hosts it also introduces PCI pass-through support.

It's mostly bug-fixes for the second VirtualBox 4.1 beta, namely regression fixes to the VMM and storage area. The source-code has also been fixed to support USB 2.0 support when creating non-official builds. Perhaps most interesting though is the experimental support for PCI pass-through, which is a feature for only Linux hosts right now.

PCI pass-through allows for improved performance of PCI devices on modern Intel VT-d and AMD IOMMU platforms. In fact, at least in theory, PCI pass-through in the virtualization world is designed to deliver near-native performance, particularly for networking. This IBM DeveloperWorks article describes PCI pass-through for virtualization in greater detail. KVM and Xen have already supported PCI pass-through on Linux.

See more details about VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 2 in the VirtualBox Forums.

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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