VirtIO Video Driver Coming Together For The Mainline Linux Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 26 March 2020 at 03:24 AM EDT. 13 Comments
VirtIO-Video is a VirtIO-based video driver for a virtual V4L2 streaming device with input/output buffers for sharing of video devices with guests. VirtIO Video has existed for a while now but it looks like it could be getting close to upstreaming in the Linux kernel.

This 2018 presentation (PDF) by OpenSynergy outlines VirtIO-Video for handling video streaming devices like video cameras, stream capturing, and other functionality within the context of virtualized guests. VirtIO-Video still supports hardware video acceleration of the host system and this virtual driver is basically about handling of input/output buffers of video streams.

Back in 2018 the VirtIO-Video driver was an early work-in-progress but sent out last month were the latest VirtIO Video V4L2 driver patches for possible mainlining in Linux 5.7 or later.

Google appears interested in VirtIO-Video in the context of their Chromebook application support. One of the Google developers on Wednesday sent out a patch supporting VirtIO objects within the virtio-video driver. This allows using exported VirtIO objects as video buffers that were allocated by other VirtIO devices such as the VirtIO-GPU implementation.

So it's looking like in 2020 that VirtIO-Video could finally be coming together for the mainline Linux kernel.
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Michael Larabel

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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