Desktop virtualization

I was using VMWare Player on a Windows 7 host, and an Ubuntu guest for several years to run my test web server. This worked well. Recently I switched to a Windows 10 guest and moved some of the software I’ve been working on to the guest in addition to the test web server. Problem is, one of the programs needs 3D hardware acceleration. :(

I really like virtualization to keep my machines neat and tidy. I don’t want development tools like Visual Studio and XAMPP cluttering my gaming machine. And I don’t want to surf the Web on my development machine due to risk of malware. I wonder how many decades it will take before pass-through hardware virtualization becomes common? I can’t wait.

It won’t be far away. At least it is certainly technically possible right now. Both major commercial desktop virtualisation vendors (VMware and Citrix) have been doing passthrough GPU for virtual desktops for a few years now, but on enterprise platforms and leveraging the NVidia GRID cards (PCI cards with many GPU dies onboard) to do the heavy lifting. They can do a shared resource model, or direct 1:1 GPU mapping to the guest.

From memory, I am certain people cludged together GTX cards to work with VMware VDI (unsupported), but recall it was reliant on unreleased drivers from NVidia in order to work on ESXi that were floating around during early proof of concepts while GRID card availability was scarce.

So, the code exists, just the will to push it beyond enterprise VDI seems lacking for the time being, probably for commercial reasons.

Not sure where the free/opensource community is at (Virtualbox, etc) on GPU passthrough.

What CPU do you have? In order to dedicate your GPU to the guest you need an intel processor that supports VT-X for the IO pass-through (I don’t know what the equivalent on AMD is but they do have one).

My CPU doesn’t support it, which is the only reason I’m not using a Ubuntu host with a windows guest right now.

It’s definitely possible. There was a Linus video where he built a Linux server that had a stupid number of video cards and was able to have 7 people playing games on their own VMs at one time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXOaCkbt4lI

It can be done with open source virtualization too.

Googling around it only appears possible on the consumer side with a Linux host atm, and it seems like you have to dedicate a card to it (no shared resource).

	CPU
		AMD A8-5600K

	Graphics
		ASUS VS247 ([email protected])
		2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti (EVGA)