VirtIO-GPU Vulkan Driver Looks To Go Upstream In Mesa
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 5 April 2021 at 01:46 PM EDT. 32 Comments
MESA --
The VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver is looking to be upstreamed in Mesa in allowing Vulkan support for virtualized guests that in turn is handled by the host's Vulkan driver/hardware.

As part of the Virglrenderer project has been Vulkan rendering work and the VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver component within Mesa for running on the guests.

The VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver code has been in the works by Google and developer Chia-I Wu has outlined their plan to get it upstreamed in Mesa.

The performance of the VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver is said to be decent and working for games like Dota 2, some tests with Steam Play / Proton, Basemark's GPU Vulkan benchmark, and others.

But before getting too excited over the prospects of Vulkan support for open-source virtualized Linux guests, this driver is still considered experimental and the command serialization format yet to be finalized. This VirtIO-GPU Vulkan code also depends upon yet-to-be-upstreamed/finalized VirtIO kernel driver code. There are also bits still pending on the QEMU side.

So for now this upstreaming would happen but the VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver would be marked as experimental. There is also a RADV issue if using that driver on the host while much of the testing/development so far has been with Intel graphics and the ANV driver on the host. In any case, nice to see the VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver for Mesa finally taking shape and likely to be upstreamed soon.
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