3D OpenGL Acceleration For Windows Guests On QEMU Using VirGL/VirtIO

Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 27 August 2017 at 05:39 PM EDT. 15 Comments
While there has been VirGL as one of the options for allowing 3D/OpenGL acceleration of Linux guests within QEMU/KVM virtual machines to allow the calls to be directed to the host system's OpenGL driver, that support hasn't been available when Windows is running as QEMU/KVM guest. That is changing though thanks in large part to this year's Google Summer of Code.

Nathan Gauër is the student developer wrapping up his work on GSoC 2017 for allowing a VirGL Windows guest driver to allow for OpenGL acceleration to Windows guests. He does have a working kernel driver for the Windows guest to communicate with the VirtIO GPU and an ICD OpenGL driver as the user-space driver part of the equation. This effort is just about getting OpenGL working on Windows and doesn't magically allow Direct3D or the like, for those that may think this would be a new approach for Windows gaming on Linux.

A screenshot provided by Nathan of the OpenGL driver working on Windows.

If you are interested in this experimental work for getting OpenGL to Windows guests under QEMU, see this blog post with additional details via GitHub.
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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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