Intel Introduces "Hyper DMA-BUF" To Exchange Buffers Between VMs
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 20 December 2017 at 06:16 AM EST. 4 Comments
Published on Tuesday were a set of 60 kernel patches rolling out "hyper_dmabuf" as a means of allowing DMA-BUF buffers to be exchanged between virtual machines.

These initial "RFC" (request for comments) patches allow for the DMA-BUF exchange between multiple VMs on the same system. KVM and Xen are the hypervisor support targets while for these initial patches the code is wired up for Xen.

The DMA-BUF framework is designed to provide a generic means of sharing buffers between multiple devices. DMA-BUF is commonly used in Linux multi-GPU configurations as well as sharing buffers between multiple blocks on the same SoC and buffer sharing between drivers in a standardized manner. But up until now I haven't seen much of a demand or use-case for inter-VM sharing of buffers... The patches don't elaborate on their planned use-case: there is already Xen GVT support for Intel GPU acceleration and passing buffers from the VM to host, but perhaps due to lack of coffee this early morning, failing to think of why they would just be wanting to do DMA-BUF buffer sharing between VMs.

Anyhow, those wishing to learn more about Hyper DMA-BUF can do so via this patch series.
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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 or contacted via

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