Intel GVT-g GPU Virtualization Moves Closer
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 23 October 2014 at 09:56 AM EDT. 17 Comments
For months we have been talking about Intel XenGT as mediated graphics pass-through support so virtual machines can access Intel Haswell HD Graphics GPUs from the host under Linux and the GPU shared directly with the VMs running on the system. This work is finally closer to being realized to end-users with the code working towards being mainlined.

XenGT is Intel's solution for GPU access from VMs on Linux that work with their DRM driver. XenGT though has been re-branded to Intel GVT-g as explained in my most recent Intel GPU virtualization article. The news today is that the XenGT / GVT-g patches that affect the Intel DRM kernel graphics driver are closer to landing.

Yu Zhang of Intel who has been working on the DRM changes for GVT-g explained in the patch series, "This technology presents a virtual full-fledged GPU to each Virtual Machine (VM). VMs can directly access performance-critical resources, without intervention from the hypervisor in most cases, while privileged operations from VMs are trap-and-emulated at minimal cost...This patch set includes necessary code changes when i915 driver runs inside a VM. Though ideally we can run an unmodified i915 driver in VM, adding such enlightenments can greatly reduce the virtualization complexity in orders of magnitude. Code changes for the host side, which includes the actual Intel GVT-g implementation, were sent out in another patchset."

It's too late for these changes to come for Linux 3.18 but ideally we can hope for this Intel GPU virtualization support to finally appear in the mainline kernel with Linux 3.19~3.20.
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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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