Vulkan Virgl Has Kicked Off For Supporting This Graphics/Compute API Within VMs

Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 27 May 2018 at 10:54 AM EDT. 4 Comments
Of the hundreds of projects for this year's Google Summer of Code, there are many interesting GSoC 2018 projects but one of those that I am most excited for is Vulkan-Virgl for getting this modern API supported with hardware acceleration by guest virtual machines.

As implied by the name, this effort is based upon the Virgl project started by David Airlie and originally tasked with getting OpenGL acceleration to guest VMs using a fully open-source Linux driver stack. Virgl has been in good shape for a while now with OpenGL, while this summer the hope is to get the Vulkan API support going for opening up VMs to using this high-performance graphics and compute API.

The summer is still young so there isn't too much to show yet, but the code has begun to flow. There is now the vulkan-virgl code repository, the fake Vulkan ICD code, and the currently branched virglrenderer code along with compute test code, etc.

At this stage obviously it's just the start, but will be exciting to watch it advance this summer and hopefully extend beyond just a summer project into something that makes it into mainline Virgl for supporting both OpenGL and Vulkan.
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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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