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Xen VGA passthrough compatible graphics adapters

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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
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This thread is a work in progress. It's aim is to list graphics adapters that have been successfully passed through to Xen domU guests (virtual machines in Xen talk) to provide native graphics acceleration within a guest system on a Xen hypervisor / Linux based system.

Xen VGA passthrough can be used - for example - to run a Windows virtual machine on Linux / Xen hypervisor with native graphics acceleration. This is good news for people who want to use Linux, but at the same time would like to be able to run Windows, for example for gaming or other graphics intensive work.

Since this technology is rather new and not so common, there is little information on which graphics adapters actually work with VGA passthrough.

If you have successfully implemented VGA passthrough under Xen, please list your graphics adapter hardware here, with some information on the system and type of passthrough (primary or secondary VGA adapter passthrough).

EDIT 3.3.2014: Xen.org maintains a compatibility list here: http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/Xen_VGA_Passthrough_Tested_Adapters. Some information below is overlapping with the xen.org list, which has been updated recently. In addition to merely listing the compatible graphics adapter, I post links to user reports and provide additional details where available.

AMD graphics adapters

There are a number of AMD graphics adapters that have been reported to support VGA passthrough. Please add a reply with your graphics adapter and system specs and I will update this list here.

AMD R9 270x - see here
Xen hypervisor: 4.3, xm toolstack
dom0 Linux kernel: 3.11.0
dom0 host system: Linux Mint 16
xen-pciback compiled as: module
domU guest system: Windows 7
VGA passthrough: Secondary VGA adapter
Problems encountered: none

Radeon HD 4890 - see here
Xen hypervisor: 4.2.1, xl toolstack
dom0 Linux kernel: ?
dom0 host system: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
xen-pciback compiled as: ?
domU guest system: Windows Vista x64 Ultimate
VGA passthrough: Secondary VGA adapter
Problems encountered: none

Radeon 6450 - see here
Xen hypervisor: 4.3, xm toolstack
dom0 Linux kernel: 3.11
dom0 host system: Linux Mint 16 KDE (Ubuntu 13.10)
xen-pciback compiled as: module
domU guest system: Windows 7
VGA passthrough: Secondary VGA adapter
Problems encountered: none

Radeon 5770 - see here
Xen hypervisor: 4.3.1-5 with Radeon patch, xl toolstack, device_model_version = "qemu-xen-traditional"
dom0 Linux kernel: ?
dom0 host system: ?
xen-pciback compiled as: ?
domU guest system: Windows XP
VGA passthrough: Secondary VGA adapter
Problems encountered: Requires qemu-xen-traditional instead of qemu-dm since release 1.7 of qemu is broken

Radeon 5850

Radeon 6570 - see here

Radeon HD 6950 - see here
Xen hypervisor: 4.3
dom0 Linux kernel: 3.12.6
dom0 host system: Linux Mint 16 (Ubuntu 13.10)
xen-pciback compiled as: ?
domU guest system: Windows 7 64-bit Pro
VGA passthrough: Secondary VGA adapter

Radeon 7750 (1 GB and 4 GB versions) - thanks Rezz
Xen hypervisor: 4.1.3
dom0 Linux kernel: 3.7 (3.8 RC1)
dom0 host system: Linux Mint 14 (Ubuntu 12.10)
xen-pciback compiled as: ?
domU guest system: Windows 8 pro
VGA passthrough: Secondary VGA adapter
Problems encountered: Kernel panic with default kernel, see here

Radeon 7770 - see here
Xen hypervisor: 4.1, xm toolstack
dom0 Linux kernel: ?
dom0 host system: Debian wheezy (stable)
xen-pciback compiled as: ?
domU guest system: Windows 7
VGA passthrough: Secondary VGA adapter

Radeon 7850 - see here
Xen hypervisor: 4.3, xm toolstack
dom0 Linux kernel: 3.11
dom0 host system: Linux Mint 16 KDE (Ubuntu 13.10)
xen-pciback compiled as: module
domU guest system: Windows 7
VGA passthrough: Secondary VGA adapter
Problems encountered: none


Radeon HD 7870 - see here

Radeon HD 7870 Gigahertz edition - see here

Radeon HD 7950 - see here and here
Xen hypervisor: 4.1.x
dom0 Linux kernel: ?
dom0 host system: Ubuntu 12.04
xen-pciback compiled as: module
domU guest system: Windows 7 64bit
VGA passthrough: Secondary VGA adapter
Problems encountered:

Radeon 7970 - thanks wTheOnew

See also next post for cards listed on xen.org


Nvidia graphics adapters

General consent is that most Nvidia adapters are more challenging to make them work with VGA passthrough. Newer Xen hypervisor releases may offer better support for Nvidia cards. There are also hypervisor patches that help solve some of the issues. Here is the list of Nivida adapters that have been successfully passed through. As with AMD, please add a reply with your graphics adapter and system specs and I will update this list here. See example below.

Nvidia Quadro 2000
Xen hypervisor: 4.1.2 and 4.3 using the xm toolstack
dom0 Linux kernel: 3.2.0-30-generic and 3.11 (for Xen 4.3)
dom0 host system: Linux Mint 13 Mate 64 bit (Ubuntu 12.04 based), LM14 and LM16
xen-pciback compiled as: module
domU guest system: Windows 7 Professional 64bit
VGA passthrough: Secondary VGA adapter
Problems encountered: None
Remark: "multi-OS" (Nvidia term) specified graphics adapter

Nvidia Quadro FX 5800 - see here and here
domU guest system: Windows Vista, Windows 7
VGA passthrough: Primary VGA adapter

Nvidia Quadro K5000 - see here
domU guest system: Windows Vista
VGA passthrough: Primary VGA adapter


XenServer GPU Pass-through compatibility list

For reference, here is the compatibility list published on the Citrix XenServer website:
http://hcl.xensource.com/GPUPass-throughDeviceList.aspx

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 #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 06:14 AM
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FWIW, from xen.org:

Tested adapters by AMD:
Radeon 4850
Radeon 4870
FirePro V5700
FirePro M5800

User reported working adapters:
Radeon 4550
Radeon 4770
Radeon 5750
Radeon 5850
Radeon 6770
Radeon 6850
Radeon 6970
Radeon 7970

I can personally vouch for the 5850 and 7970. I should try my 3870 and 1950 for the heck of it. I'll update this post with a little more info when I'm actually in front of the server.

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wTheOnew View Post

FWIW, from xen.org:
Tested adapters by AMD:
Radeon 4850
Radeon 4870
FirePro V5700
FirePro M5800
User reported working adapters:
Radeon 4550
Radeon 4770
Radeon 5750
Radeon 5850
Radeon 6770
Radeon 6850
Radeon 6970
Radeon 7970
I can personally vouch for the 5850 and 7970. I should try my 3870 and 1950 for the heck of it. I'll update this post with a little more info when I'm actually in front of the server.

Thanks for putting this list together. It would be great if you could add some more details on the two cards you passed through, such as Xen hypervisor version, kernel version & distribution, type of passthrough, problems and notes regarding specific things to look out for.

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 #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post

Thanks for putting this list together. It would be great if you could add some more details on the two cards you passed through, such as Xen hypervisor version, kernel version & distribution, type of passthrough, problems and notes regarding specific things to look out for.

I'll have some info on the 7870 and 69xx for both Xen and KVM (under Mint13) shortly.
I've got both working (very easy with KVM) but having issues rebooting guest with the 7870 (host crash with ats.c:62).
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 06:34 PM
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Radeon 7750 most definitely works (Powercolor single slot. Both the 1GB GDDR5 and 4GB GDDR3 variants work).

Xen 4.1.3

HVM Dom0 (Windows 8 Pro)

Mint 14 (Cinnamon)

Kernel upgraded to 3.7 (also worked with 3.8 RC1).

A default install of Mint 14 (Cinnamon) + Xen would boot into a "kernel panic" error and hang unless the kernel was upgraded to 3.7 (or above).
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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@Rezz and @ blistovmhz: Thanks for your update.

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 #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blistovmhz View Post

I'll have some info on the 7870 and 69xx for both Xen and KVM (under Mint13) shortly.
I've got both working (very easy with KVM) but having issues rebooting guest with the 7870 (host crash with ats.c:62).

I've seen similar reports from other KVM users - passthrough works but exiting the VM and trying to restart it crashes the host. I haven't experienced this with Xen. Maybe worth trying? It might be a little pain in the neck to get it working, but I'm using it now for over half a year with no issues at all. In the meantime I even upgraded from Linux Mint 13 to 14, again no issue at all (I actually installed Mint 14, but since I have a separate /home partition it was really painless).

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 #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 07:45 AM
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Hi, many thanks for all your feedback. I'm asking for the HD7770, if the 7750 works, so the 7770 is supposed to be working too ?
(Actually I have only a 5450 in the first slot, it's a full AMD config)
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorcier777 View Post

Hi, many thanks for all your feedback. I'm asking for the HD7770, if the 7750 works, so the 7770 is supposed to be working too ?
(Actually I have only a 5450 in the first slot, it's a full AMD config)

See http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/Talk:Xen_VGA_Passthrough_Tested_Adapters and http://osdir.com/ml/general/2013-03/msg34678.html.

It seems the xl toolstack has some problems, so it might be best to use the xm toolstack for now. Just be aware that since Xen 4.2 the xm toolstack has become deprecated. For reference, I'm using Xen 4.1.3 which is the current Xen hypervisor in Linux Mint 14 and Ubuntu 12.10, and Xen 4.1.3 still uses xm as toolstack.

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 #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 01:51 AM
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With this howto you got the chance to set up a Windows virtual machine that is capable of playing video games on a Linux host.

HOLY CRAP!

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(18 items)
Core 2 Haf
(12 items)
CPU
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RAM
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Hard Drive
WD Blue 5400 RPM 1TB
Hard Drive
ODD Conversion w/ White Label 2TB
Hard Drive
Empty / Free Bay
Optical Drive
Converted External USB
Power Supply
Dell 330 Watt Brick
Cooling
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Operating System
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Monitor
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Monitor
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