VirtIO-GPU Gets Patches For 3D Rendering

Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 10 September 2015 at 10:43 AM EDT. 10 Comments
Landing in the Linux 4.2 kernel was the new VirtIO GPU driver to be used with the open-source Linux virtualization stack as the first step towards having open-source GPU hardware acceleration in guest VMs. While that initial code drop didn't hook up any 3D rendering support, there's now patches for doing just that.

David Airlie's Virgil project is finally coming to fruition for providing open-source 3D/GPU acceleration to guests within Red Hat's open-source virtualization world. The VirtIO DRM GPU driver will come into play along with new Mesa/Gallium3D code and there's also needed updates to QEMU.

Published on Wednesday by Red Hat's Gerd Hoffmann is the landing of the VirtIO-GPU DRM changes for supporting 3D rendering. There's also been the posted needed QEMU patches. The newly-posted DRM patches add basic PRIME support, mark VirtGPU as a render GPU, and make the other needed changes to get things going on the kernel side. In total it's around 1,500 lines of new code.

The new DRM patches can be found on dri-devel while the QEMU patches are on their list. The OpenGL rendering support option is exposed in QEMU to the SDL2 and GTK user-interfaces.

Let's hope the kernel-side work will be in good shape for landing in Linux 4.4 so open-source Linux virtualization can finally moving towards the world of having 3D GPU guest support to compete with the offerings from VirtualBox and VMware.
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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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