VirGL VirtIO 3D GPU Driver Added To Gallium3D
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 23 October 2015 at 08:54 AM EDT. 17 Comments
MESA --
The open-souce QEMU/KVM stack with VirtIO will finally be able to have guest 3D/OpenGL acceleration that's backed by the GPU/driver of the host system! While VMware and VirtualBox have long had guest 3D support backed by the host's hardware, it's taken a while for the open-source Linux virtualization stack to gain this functionality.

For years has been the Virg(i)l project hacked on by David Airlie at Red Hat for 3D virtual GPU support for QEMU by leveraging Gallium3D and VirtIO. That work is finally being readied for mainline.

Landing with the Linux 4.4 DRM code will be the necessary kernel changes while David Airlie added the Virgl Gallium3D driver to mesa Git master today. David explained in the commit, "The 3D acceleration is designed around gallium and TGSI as the virtualisation layer. The backend renderer translates the virgl interface into OpenGL currently...Currently this driver supports up to GL3.3 and some misc extensions if the host driver exposes it. It is planned to iterate the virgl API to new GL levels as mesa host drivers gain features."

Benchmarks to come once everything is mainlined.

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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 10,000 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.

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