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[Xen-users] VGA passthrough success (with doubts)

To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Xen-users] VGA passthrough success (with doubts)
From: Leonardo Prosperi <leo.prosperi@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 20:22:09 -0800
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I have got VGA passthrough to work in my computer with Windows7 HVM guest.

Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair IV Formula (890fx chipset)
Video card: HIS Radeon HD 6850

Xen: 4.0.2-pre2 from xen-4.0-testing.hg
Kernel: pvops dom0 kernel 2.6.32 from Jeremy's xen.git

In order to compile Xen 4.0 in Ubuntu 10.10 I changed the default python directory in Makefile as describe in the guide.
I downloaded the bios from my videocard and I patched Xen to load the vgabios. ( I don't know if this is necessary)
I compiled the kernel with EXT4 support and the driver for my network card.

In the Grub configuration file I added:

05:00.0 is a SATA controller, it is not the videocard.
If I hide the videocard with pciback, I cannot see the console and I have to use SSH.

I wrote a script that disconnects the videocard and the USB controller (where mouse and keyboard are connected) from dom0, and then start the HVM guest.

I pass the 3 available pci controllers to the HVM guest and the system boots Windows 7 without problems.
I don't see the BIOS messages and the Windows 7 loading screen, but I see only the login screen (there is a patch for this, but I will test it later)
I can see the Windows 7 loading screen, if I have use SSH+VNC from another computer.
The HVM guest has full 3D acceleration and it uses Catalyst 11.1 drivers.

I hope this info will help someone else.

It is working but I have some questions for the experts:
I don't use: gfx_passthru=1 , if I enable it, VGA passthrough doesn't work and VNC will connect to the QEMU console.
Why does it work without gfx_passthru=1?

I used GPU-Z to detect the video card in Windows 7 HVM, and it reported that it is using boch vgabios.
Is there a way to know if the real BIOS is loaded?

I cannot pass the keyboard as USB device, I had to pass the USB controller.
How can I pass the keyboard as usb device?

Is there a way to pass the video card back to dom0?


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