VirtIO Native Context Being Worked On For AMD Drivers To Enhance VM Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 11 March 2023 at 02:34 PM EST. 11 Comments
As part of an AMD effort to enhance the performance of the AMD Linux graphics drivers when running in a virtualized environment, a set of initial patches are pending for Mesa that implement native context support for VirtIO.

This pending work allows for the native hardware drivers -- namely RadeonSI Gallium3D and the RADV Vulkan driver -- to be used within a QEMU+KVM-based virtual machine with VirtIO.

Currently those with AMD Radeon graphics and running QEMU+KVM have to resort to using the Virgl/Venus Mesa graphics stack while this native context support for VirtIO allows for the proper hardware drivers to be used within the VMs both for OpenGL and Vulkan.

Ultimately this native context support for VirtIO should yield better performance and easier maintenance/support. Besides Mesa patches, there are also some patches needed against Virglrenderer, QEMU, and the Linux kernel to make this all work. More background information on this area in VirtGPU DRM Native Contexts Show Potential For Good VM Gaming Performance.

Those interested in these patches posted by AMD Linux engineer Pierre-Eric Pelloux-Prayer can see this Mesa merge request for more details on this work to improve the AMD Radeon Linux graphics/gaming experience within VMs.
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