> > 3D virtualisation is hard. VMGL was one approach to it, Jacob Gorm
> > Hansen did some work on it too. I know other people who have been
> > looking into 3D virtualisation under Xen but I can't guarantee what
> > they'll produce or when they'll produce it.
> > There are also people working on 3D virtualisation for other virtual
> > machine programs, both Open Source and proprietary. I think we'll see
> > more solutions popping up in the future.
> > > For what I should focus on for my next notebook, to have full 3D
> > > support with Xen.
> > It would be nice but there are no concrete plans for if / when Xen will
> > have full 3D support for domUs.
> Without knowing fully what the future holds. I would look at Xen advanced
> graphics support being provided through a combination of PV drivers that
> interface with SDL or some remote display technology like NX (or both).
> I would also think OpenGL library support would come through the Mesa
> framework in some fashion.
Well, VMGL transfers OpenGL commands over the network, making it VMM
independent (and network transparent, effectively), which is quite nice. I
think these days X11's GLX API can also transmit commands over the network
and have them hardware accelerated at the host running the X Server. So that
could help too...
A Qemu developer has experimented with adding interfaces to relay OpenGL
commands out of a VM and accelerate them natively on the host system - quite
impressive results there too.
This doesn't solve the problem for other 3D APIs though - Direct3D in
particular is what I'm thinking of. Fabrice Bellard, Qemu author, suggested
that the Qemu solution could use Wine's Direct3D->OpenGL code to reduce
Direct 3D to the solved case of transmitting GL commands. Might work but
possibly not ideal.
I'm aware of some folks who have been looking at a more cross-API, cross-OS
means of paravirtualising 3D graphics. If they have time to try to make this
work, it could be quite interesting. Certainly their design seems quite
> These are just obvious choices that I am hypothesizing about.
There must have been work from the commercial VM companies on this. In the
ooooooold days, there used to be emulation of pre-GPU 3D accelerators by some
virtual machine solutions. They gave up on that later, presumably because
the task became too complex. I don't know if any commercial VM solutions do
3D virtualisation at the moment but they will, I'm sure, since 3D is
increasingly important these days. I rather wonder if Citrix has thought
about this but I have no inside knowledge there whatsoever - sadly!
I also heard that MS had been talking to ... Nvidia, I think ... about
hardware support for 3D graphics virtualisation. That would make a lot of
sense, so perhaps we'll see that enter the market too at some point in the
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