VirtIO-GPU/Graphics Support Is Improving In QEMU But Slowly

Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 22 May 2021 at 06:07 AM EDT. 4 Comments
There continues a lot of work going into Virgl for 3D guest acceleration with the open-source Linux virtualization stack as well as most recently Vulkan driver activity. However, much of that work driven by Google these days is focused on Chrome OS with "Crosvm" rather than the venerable QEMU.

Linux developer Gerd Hoffmann provided an update on the state of VirtIO-GPU and QEMU graphics for 2021, his first update on the matter since November 2019.

He started off the post by acknowledging, "Progress is rather slow in qemu due to shifted priorities. That doesn't mean virglrenderer development is completely stalled though. crosvm (aka Chrome OS Virtual Machine Monitor) has virtio-gpu support too and is pushing forward virglrenderer development these days. There is good progress in virglrenderer library (although I don't follow that closely any more these days), crosvm and linux kernel driver."

The VirtIO and Virgl components continue advancing nicely with various improvements needed for Vulkan and other capabilities. QEMU has been seeing some progress including with the recent QEMU 6.0 where there are some VirtIO handling improvements as well as work on modularizing the QEMU graphics code.

On the Linux kernel driver side, Hoffmann noted recent TTM memory management improvements and other VirtIO DRM activity.

See Gerd's blog post for the brief status update if interested in 3D acceleration for Linux virtual machines.
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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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