Google's VirtIO-GPU "Venus" Vulkan Driver Merged Into Mesa 21.1
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 8 April 2021 at 06:38 PM EDT. 14 Comments
MESA --
It was just a few days ago was the talking of the VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver looking to be upstreamed into Mesa and now this Google "Venus" project has indeed landed.

The VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver is named "Venus" and is living within the Mesa 21.1-devel source tree now for allowing Vulkan acceleration support within guest virtual machines with the native host system's Vulkan driver doing the actual leg work.

While this VirtIO-GPU Vulkan work is promising for the future, at the moment there are some hurdles to using it. The driver is still considered experimental -- to the extent the command serialization format isn't even finalized -- and it relies on yet-to-be-finished VirtIO kernel driver code. Rounding things out are QEMU patches still needed too.

So like the Virgl OpenGL support that has come together nicely in recent years, this "Venus" Vulkan work too but still will take more time before all the necessary components are upstreamed and found nicely out-of-the-box for end-users -- likely towards the end of this year if not next year, depending upon how the rest of the pending work pans out and how that aligns to forthcoming release cycles of Mesa, the Linux kernel, and QEMU.

The performance of Venus is decent and can even run some Linux games -- including Steam Play / Proton titles -- but we'll likely see more of a performance focus and other features once the rest of Venus is orbiting.

Google published the code last year and after a nine month long merge request, this Vulkan driver is now merged ahead of the Mesa 21.1 feature freeze this month.
Related News
About The Author
Author picture

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

Popular News This Week