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RE: [Xen-users] hardware accelerated 3D-graphics in Win-XP-domU possible

To: "Martin Nicolay" <m.nicolay@xxxxxxxxxxx>, xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [Xen-users] hardware accelerated 3D-graphics in Win-XP-domU possible?
From: "Petersson, Mats" <Mats.Petersson@xxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 13:48:37 +0100
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Thread-topic: [Xen-users] hardware accelerated 3D-graphics in Win-XP-domU possible?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
> [mailto:xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
> Martin Nicolay
> Sent: 22 March 2006 11:10
> To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [Xen-users] hardware accelerated 3D-graphics in 
> Win-XP-domU possible?
> Is there any way to make gaming in domU work?  It's not clear 
> to me, if this can be done with open-gl or so.

It's not currently possible to achieve this. The reason is that the
guest would not unerstand that the absolute (physical) address of it's
memory isn't actually where it thinks it is [the DomU OS will think that
memory starts at address zero and ends at, say, 512M, but the hypervisor
has actually given it memory around 256MB->768MB]. 

To solve this, you'd need either an IOMMU implementation, which I know
there's some work to implement the GART version of IOMMU for Xen - but
I'm not sure how well this will work with the fully virtualized guests.
A full IOMMU device won't be avaialble from AMD until next year (2007)
some time (probably more than a year from now). 

The other solution is some form of para-virtualized driver that does
understand the situation of memory and such. This could be done with a
fairly trivial front-end/back-end driver pair, where the back-end driver
is talking to a user-mode app that actually does the drawing. Hans Gorm
Jacobsen has developed such a driver setup for para-virtualized systems
and OpenGL, and it works really well (I've saw a demo at Xen-Summit in
January). Of course, it requires a fair bit of work to support all of
OpenGL, DirectX and 2D graphics for Windows - there's a lot of calls to
translate and transfer the information of. But it certainly can be done.

> If this is impossible now, is some development planned in this area?
> Eventually I would wait buying my next pc until the necessary 
> cpu features are available.

I don't think there's any concrete plans for this type of development
just yet. It makes sense to do at some point... 

I would think you're in for a decent wait. 

> TIA, martin
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