VirtGPU DRM Native Contexts Show Potential For Good VM Gaming Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 11 October 2022 at 04:30 AM EDT. 22 Comments
At last week's XDC 2022 conference, Google engineer Rob Clark presented on VirtGPU DRM Native Contexts and the potential there for much better performance - especially for gaming - within virtual machines than using API-level virtualization like with Virgl.

With VirtGPU DRM native contexts, there can be near-native GPU performance within virtual machines using virglrenderer with DRM native contexts. The near-native performance can be "within a few percent or less" while also enjoying lower CPU overhead. This native context support though does involve some small changes to Mesa and the Virglrenderer.

This is already being worked on and used in the scope of Google's Chrome OS. There is also room for further improvement and optimization for those interested in the prospects of gaming within VMs on Linux.

Learn more about this DRM native context support with Virglrenderer via Rob's slides and the XDC 2022 presentation embedded below.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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