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{Guide} Create a Gaming Virtual Machine

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post #251 of 825 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 03:46 PM
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I used to run this a long time ago, the cool part is that you can hook up two video cards and split the other resources in half and turn your PC into a two-player gaming system, separate monitors, keyboards, everything!;p
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post #252 of 825 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by blistovmhz View Post

Aren't those only for PV guests?

Don't think so. Windows isn't available as PV guest, if I remember correctly.

In any case, they really work.

Hardware:
Desktop: i7 3930K, Asus Sabertooth X79, 32GB Kingston 1600MHz RAM, PNY Quatro 2000 graphics adapter for Linux Mint host, Gigabyte GTX 970 graphics adapater for Windows 10 VM, Asus Xonar Essence sound card, Sandisk Extreme 120GB SSD for Linux, Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD for Windows, 4 hard drives for data, Corsair 500R chassis, Noctua CPU cooler, SeaSonic Gold PSU, NEC 2690WUXI2 screen, Linux Mint 18.2 Mate host OS, Windows 10 Pro in KVM VM, Logitech K780 multi-device wireless keyboard, Logitech MX Master multi-device mouse smile.gif

Notebook: Macbook 2010 edition with 8GB RAM
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post #253 of 825 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post

Don't think so. Windows isn't available as PV guest, if I remember correctly.

I believe a lot of server versions can be PV guests. Look into hyper-v. I am not entirely sure about that technology.

It is unfortunate that Redhat has dropped support for Xen, but I am happy to report that there are people building packages and still using it extensively. I am running a minimal CentOS 6.3 install with Xen 4.2.0 right now thanks to: https://www.crc.id.au/xen-on-rhel6-scientific-linux-6-centos-6-howto/

His work has been great and makes things very easy to manage. No need to compile Xen (or a dom0 kernel) or install all of the development tools. Something to note is that the most recent kernel (3.6.3-1) gave me persistent disk I/O errors and I had to compile my own kernel. Chances are that it is just an irregularity in my hardware or storage controller, but be warned. Hopefully I will be able to compile everything into a live image with scripts to aid in configuration.


One advantage to switching to Xen 4.2.0 is the maturity of the xl toolstack. I find it to be far superior to xm. Since there is no need to use my old libvirt hot-swap, the network configuration seems easier because there are not competing bridges. That is to say that network configuration is less complicated (at least for me). I wouldn't be the right person to develop a GUI management interface, but I assure you that using xl would make hot swapping pci devices just a "click" away.

best,
dizzy4

P.S. Sorry I have not checked in as much as I should. I have been busy learning SolidWorks and trying to further my career. On the bright side, I can port my virtual CAD machine to any system running xen thumb.gif


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post #254 of 825 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post

Don't think so. Windows isn't available as PV guest, if I remember correctly.
In any case, they really work.

Well, there ARE drivers for windows, which I've installed and they seem to ... not crash anything, but I haven't seen any change in performance.
My CPU/GPU are both ranking 7.9 on Windows perf bench, but the disk is only getting a 5.9. Guest disc is an LV on a Raid0 so should be able to push 170MBps. Only seeing about 60 I think?

I've set the "xen_platform_pci=1" in my hvm .cfg but no idea how to confirm it's actually enabled?
Does the fact that I'm using disk type "xen" and "netfront" drivers successfully suggest that the PV drivers are working?
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post #255 of 825 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blistovmhz View Post

Well, there ARE drivers for windows, which I've installed and they seem to ... not crash anything, but I haven't seen any change in performance.
My CPU/GPU are both ranking 7.9 on Windows perf bench, but the disk is only getting a 5.9. Guest disc is an LV on a Raid0 so should be able to push 170MBps. Only seeing about 60 I think?
I've set the "xen_platform_pci=1" in my hvm .cfg but no idea how to confirm it's actually enabled?
Does the fact that I'm using disk type "xen" and "netfront" drivers successfully suggest that the PV drivers are working?

Don't trust those ratings too much. I am only getting a 6.8.



I don't usually install any PV drivers, but I believe the xen platform device looks like this (before driver install):



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post #256 of 825 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy4 View Post

Don't trust those ratings too much. I am only getting a 6.8.

I don't usually install any PV drivers, but I believe the xen platform device looks like this (before driver install):

Thanks. Looks like the device is there, but drivers not attached?

Meh...


Also, I couldn't get around the USB issue. I can attach a specific USB device but not an entire bus because all my USB2.0 ports have the same deviceID. When I plug a USB2.0 device into a USB3.0 port, that port gets shunted to the USB2.0 bus with the same goddamn deviceID. All USB are on the same PCI slot, so no way I can configure one port of my KVM to be dedicated for the guest.

That said however, I did some more reading on Synergy. Synergy has an open bug for DXinput where the relative mouse movement gets scaled all wrong because DX assumes the cursor is in the center of the screen at all time (and locks it there). Synergy however takes precedence and DX never gets a lock. The bug has been open for over a year and according to the info in the bug report, the devs had no intention of fixing this.
Turns out it was already fixed which is why they said.. they ... wouldn't fix it ? They coulda mentioned that in the bug report I guess.

If you go into your Synergy server and configure a hotkey for your guest with the action "lockCursorToScreen=toggle", when you press the designated key in your guest, your DX will work. In my case, my Synergy works as normal. When I move my cursor over to the left edge of the host, the cursor is passed into the Win7 guest. When I wanna play a DX game, I just hit "numlock" to toggle the "lockCursorToScreen" and everything works epic.

So, FYI, Synergy is probably easier than dedicating a device to your guest (unless your guest is intended to be a completely separate workstation).

Also, seriously consider donating to Synergy. I'd love to see it developed further.


Also, as of right now, my Win7 Xen HVM is benching 1600 on Heaven, 7.8/7.9/7.9/5.9 on WIn7 performance bench, playing Portal 2 right now with no issues, running on an Radeon HD 7870.
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post #257 of 825 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy4 View Post

I believe a lot of server versions can be PV guests. Look into hyper-v. I am not entirely sure about that technology.
According to the following Xen wiki, Windows is an unmodified OS and thus it is not available as PV guest. See section on Windows domU and PV drivers here: http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/DomU_Support_for_Xen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy4 View Post

It is unfortunate that Redhat has dropped support for Xen, but I am happy to report that there are people building packages and still using it extensively. I am running a minimal CentOS 6.3 install with Xen 4.2.0 right now thanks to: https://www.crc.id.au/xen-on-rhel6-scientific-linux-6-centos-6-howto/
That's bad news and I hope other distros aren't following. I sometimes get the feeling that Xen gets pushed aside in favor of KVM, which I can't understand really. Well, actually I understand Redhat's move since they bought Qumranet, the developer of KVM, back in 2008. They probably want to push their own technology.
I can't say if KVM is any good/better/worse than Xen, I felt the KVM documentation was/is terrible - too developer focused, not really helping users to accomplish their tasks. As to PCI passthrough, blistovmhz' post above was the first one I saw on using KVM for VGA passthrough. Some time ago a KVM developer actually got VGA passthrough working without need for VT-d, but his code was dumped in favor of SPICE, if I'm not wrong. At first I wanted to use KVM, but with all this I decided to go with Xen. It wasn't easy, but Xen seems to have all the tools and functions in place - and still developing new ones - to sustain / maintain the virtualization framework.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy4 View Post

One advantage to switching to Xen 4.2.0 is the maturity of the xl toolstack. I find it to be far superior to xm. Since there is no need to use my old libvirt hot-swap, the network configuration seems easier because there are not competing bridges. That is to say that network configuration is less complicated (at least for me). I wouldn't be the right person to develop a GUI management interface, but I assure you that using xl would make hot swapping pci devices just a "click" away.
best,
dizzy4
P.S. Sorry I have not checked in as much as I should. I have been busy learning SolidWorks and trying to further my career. On the bright side, I can port my virtual CAD machine to any system running xen thumb.gif
Thanks for sharing your Xen 4.2 experience. I'm waiting patiently for getting it in my Linux Mint repos. I just don't want to break my installation going with packages that aren't yet in the stable repos, though I'm dying to give xl a try.

Hardware:
Desktop: i7 3930K, Asus Sabertooth X79, 32GB Kingston 1600MHz RAM, PNY Quatro 2000 graphics adapter for Linux Mint host, Gigabyte GTX 970 graphics adapater for Windows 10 VM, Asus Xonar Essence sound card, Sandisk Extreme 120GB SSD for Linux, Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD for Windows, 4 hard drives for data, Corsair 500R chassis, Noctua CPU cooler, SeaSonic Gold PSU, NEC 2690WUXI2 screen, Linux Mint 18.2 Mate host OS, Windows 10 Pro in KVM VM, Logitech K780 multi-device wireless keyboard, Logitech MX Master multi-device mouse smile.gif

Notebook: Macbook 2010 edition with 8GB RAM
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post #258 of 825 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blistovmhz View Post

Well, there ARE drivers for windows, which I've installed and they seem to ... not crash anything, but I haven't seen any change in performance.
My CPU/GPU are both ranking 7.9 on Windows perf bench, but the disk is only getting a 5.9. Guest disc is an LV on a Raid0 so should be able to push 170MBps. Only seeing about 60 I think?
I've set the "xen_platform_pci=1" in my hvm .cfg but no idea how to confirm it's actually enabled?
Does the fact that I'm using disk type "xen" and "netfront" drivers successfully suggest that the PV drivers are working?

60MB seems low. EDIT: Just did an unscientific speed test, copying ~4.4GB files from SSD to LVM stripped disks (like RAID0) at around 250MB/s. At another time I measured ~130MB/s transfer speed between Windows 7 domU and a Samba share on dom0 (a single disk, not RAID0). So yes, in your case there is room for improvement.

I don't have "xen_platform_pci=1" in my win7.cfg file! Still, after I installed the GPLPV drivers in Windows, the performance index jumped from 5.8ish to 7.8 (I have an SSD as primary disk). I don't know about "xen" disk type and "netfront" drivers. Here is my Device Manager screen:



Notice the "Xen Block Device Driver" under "Storage controllers" and the "Xen Net Device Driver" under "Network adapters". There is also a "Xen PCI Device Driver" under "System devices", not shown in the picture.

EDIT: I got a similar issue with the "Other devices" "Xen PCI device" - I don't have a driver present and Windows doesn't seem to care about it, except for the yellow triangle in Device Manager. On the other hand, I don't have a working audio under Windows (same as blistovmhz described - I don't use HDMI and my speakers are used by dom0). Currently #sound=all is disabled in the /etc/xen/win7.cfg file, so I don't expect to get any sound under Windows. This is my next (last?) thing to solve.

Hope it helps.

Hardware:
Desktop: i7 3930K, Asus Sabertooth X79, 32GB Kingston 1600MHz RAM, PNY Quatro 2000 graphics adapter for Linux Mint host, Gigabyte GTX 970 graphics adapater for Windows 10 VM, Asus Xonar Essence sound card, Sandisk Extreme 120GB SSD for Linux, Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD for Windows, 4 hard drives for data, Corsair 500R chassis, Noctua CPU cooler, SeaSonic Gold PSU, NEC 2690WUXI2 screen, Linux Mint 18.2 Mate host OS, Windows 10 Pro in KVM VM, Logitech K780 multi-device wireless keyboard, Logitech MX Master multi-device mouse smile.gif

Notebook: Macbook 2010 edition with 8GB RAM
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post #259 of 825 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post

According to the following Xen wiki, Windows is an unmodified OS and thus it is not available as PV guest. See section on Windows domU and PV drivers here: http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/DomU_Support_for_Xen.
That's bad news and I hope other distros aren't following. I sometimes get the feeling that Xen gets pushed aside in favor of KVM, which I can't understand really. Well, actually I understand Redhat's move since they bought Qumranet, the developer of KVM, back in 2008. They probably want to push their own technology.
I can't say if KVM is any good/better/worse than Xen, I felt the KVM documentation was/is terrible - too developer focused, not really helping users to accomplish their tasks. As to PCI passthrough, blistovmhz' post above was the first one I saw on using KVM for VGA passthrough. Some time ago a KVM developer actually got VGA passthrough working without need for VT-d, but his code was dumped in favor of SPICE, if I'm not wrong. At first I wanted to use KVM, but with all this I decided to go with Xen. It wasn't easy, but Xen seems to have all the tools and functions in place - and still developing new ones - to sustain / maintain the virtualization framework.
Thanks for sharing your Xen 4.2 experience. I'm waiting patiently for getting it in my Linux Mint repos. I just don't want to break my installation going with packages that aren't yet in the stable repos, though I'm dying to give xl a try.

As of Xen 4.2, the source does come with Debian packaging tools. I've done a test compile/build/package already. Works fine. Annoying compile though as all the dependency lists are out of date and there are a few unresolvable deps that you have to hack around. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what Pulse libs were needed to build qemu-dm with Pulse support, and there was a dependency conflict between libjpegXYZ and libjpeg-turbo-XYZ. I think I got around it by manually installing one or the other and the build didn't seem to complain.
The end result is you'll have a git clone of Xen, with .deb packages for everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post

60MB seems low. EDIT: Just did an unscientific speed test, copying ~4.4GB files from SSD to LVM stripped disks (like RAID0) at around 250MB/s. At another time I measured ~130MB/s transfer speed between Windows 7 domU and a Samba share on dom0 (a single disk, not RAID0). So yes, in your case there is room for improvement.
I don't have "xen_platform_pci=1" in my win7.cfg file! Still, after I installed the GPLPV drivers in Windows, the performance index jumped from 5.8ish to 7.8 (I have an SSD as primary disk). I don't know about "xen" disk type and "netfront" drivers. Here is my Device Manager screen:

Notice the "Xen Block Device Driver" under "Storage controllers" and the "Xen Net Device Driver" under "Network adapters". There is also a "Xen PCI Device Driver" under "System devices", not shown in the picture.
EDIT: I got a similar issue with the "Other devices" "Xen PCI device" - I don't have a driver present and Windows doesn't seem to care about it, except for the yellow triangle in Device Manager. On the other hand, I don't have a working audio under Windows (same as blistovmhz described - I don't use HDMI and my speakers are used by dom0). Currently #sound=all is disabled in the /etc/xen/win7.cfg file, so I don't expect to get any sound under Windows. This is my next (last?) thing to solve.
Hope it helps.

Again on audio. There are several solutions but none of them pretty. Qemu-dm from git MAY support Pulse but I haven't been able to confirm as I can't resolve the PA libs dependencies.
The easiest option currently is to pass through a secondary audio card.
The next easiest is to use HDMI from your DomU to your display, and use your displays speakers or plug them back into your Dom0's line in (and manually crank up the Line feed).

If you're not terribly concerned with A/V sync, you can always install a dummy sound driver (actually any sound driver will work so long as the DomU starts) and pipe the output over network to your Dom0's Pulse server.

I did the following (won't go into huge detail unless someone requests it, as this is not at all an ideal solution):
  • Download Netcat for windows. http://joncraton.org/media/files/nc111nt.zip
  • Download Linco (LineOnCode) for Windows. http://liveincode.romanrm.ru/download/liveincode/0.94/LiveInCode-0.94.exe
  • Configure your Dom0's Pulse server to accept RAW TCP streams on port 5000 by adding the following line to the end of your /etc/pulse/default.pa
    module-simple-protocol-tcp port=5000
  • Save your default.pa and restart your PA server (manually kill both processes or just reboot).
  • Copy your NetCat binary to the same directory Linco is installed in.
  • Try the following (from DomU)- `linco.exe -B 16 -C 2 -R 44100 | nc.exe IPofTHEdom0MACHINE 5000`
You should now be streaming all audio. If your WIndows sound driver doesn't exist or isn't working (make sure you have the right output selected and verify that you can see some DB levels when playing some sound) install the dummy audio driver from Barix
http://www.barix.com/downloads/file/Virtual_Audio_Card_VACard_2b1_ZIP/9481/221 - This is the dummy driver I was using before switching to HDMI.
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post #260 of 825 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blistovmhz View Post

Again on audio. There are several solutions but none of them pretty. Qemu-dm from git MAY support Pulse but I haven't been able to confirm as I can't resolve the PA libs dependencies.
The easiest option currently is to pass through a secondary audio card.
The next easiest is to use HDMI from your DomU to your display, and use your displays speakers or plug them back into your Dom0's line in (and manually crank up the Line feed).
If you're not terribly concerned with A/V sync, you can always install a dummy sound driver (actually any sound driver will work so long as the DomU starts) and pipe the output over network to your Dom0's Pulse server.
I did the following (won't go into huge detail unless someone requests it, as this is not at all an ideal solution):
  • Download Netcat for windows. http://joncraton.org/media/files/nc111nt.zip
  • Download Linco (LineOnCode) for Windows. http://liveincode.romanrm.ru/download/liveincode/0.94/LiveInCode-0.94.exe
  • Configure your Dom0's Pulse server to accept RAW TCP streams on port 5000 by adding the following line to the end of your /etc/pulse/default.pa
    module-simple-protocol-tcp port=5000
  • Save your default.pa and restart your PA server (manually kill both processes or just reboot).
  • Copy your NetCat binary to the same directory Linco is installed in.
  • Try the following (from DomU)- `linco.exe -B 16 -C 2 -R 44100 | nc.exe IPofTHEdom0MACHINE 5000`
You should now be streaming all audio. If your WIndows sound driver doesn't exist or isn't working (make sure you have the right output selected and verify that you can see some DB levels when playing some sound) install the dummy audio driver from Barix
http://www.barix.com/downloads/file/Virtual_Audio_Card_VACard_2b1_ZIP/9481/221 - This is the dummy driver I was using before switching to HDMI.

I found the following http://gleamynode.net/articles/2228/ and was trying it. Actually I modified it by using plink from PuTTY. Here is my Windows command line:
Code:
linco.exe -B 16 -C 2 -R 44100 | plink woody "cat - | pacat --playback"
I also installed the dummy audio driver you suggested, which linco is using (it says so on the command prompt). The point is, my Windows reports "No audio devices installed" and the volume icon on the bottom right has a red X. I can't configure anything sound related under Windows.

I don't know if following your instructions to the letter will do much, if I don't have an audio device installed in the first place. How do you get them working?

By the way, Device manager lists the Quadro 2000 HDMI audio drivers, but they can't be used since I have DVI to the screen.

Hardware:
Desktop: i7 3930K, Asus Sabertooth X79, 32GB Kingston 1600MHz RAM, PNY Quatro 2000 graphics adapter for Linux Mint host, Gigabyte GTX 970 graphics adapater for Windows 10 VM, Asus Xonar Essence sound card, Sandisk Extreme 120GB SSD for Linux, Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD for Windows, 4 hard drives for data, Corsair 500R chassis, Noctua CPU cooler, SeaSonic Gold PSU, NEC 2690WUXI2 screen, Linux Mint 18.2 Mate host OS, Windows 10 Pro in KVM VM, Logitech K780 multi-device wireless keyboard, Logitech MX Master multi-device mouse smile.gif

Notebook: Macbook 2010 edition with 8GB RAM
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