VirtualBox DRM/KMS Graphics Driver Being Prepped For Mainline Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 9 June 2017 at 09:05 AM EDT. 23 Comments
The "vboxvideo" kernel driver providing DRM/KMS display support for VirtualBox guest virtual machines has been going through a rework with plans to mainline this driver in the Linux kernel.

For those using VirtualBox VMs in conjunction with vboxvideo as part of the guest driver collection, it looks like the experience could soon be better. Red Hat's Hans de Goede has been cleaning up the vboxvideo driver for eventual submission into the kernel's staging area. Yes, Red Hat's doing the work but the VirtualBox developers at Oracle at least have blessed the work and promised not to break the user-space ABI in a backwards incompatible manner moving forward.

In cleaning up vboxvideo, Hans de Goede has taken the driver from 52,861 lines of code down to 7,275 lines and then almost half of that remaining portion is OS-independent code for VirtualBox.

Being talked about right now is just vboxvideo but it appears there are plans for cleaning up and mainlining the other VirtualBox guest drivers too. More details via this mailing list post. It will be interesting to see if vboxvideo is accepted for staging in Linux 4.13.
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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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