[libvirt-users] Virtual gaming/workstation desktops using KVM VGA passthrough?

Gizmo Chicken gizmochicken at gmail.com
Sat Oct 4 21:13:06 UTC 2014

Hi Alex,

The first bit of advice that I was about to give was that you should
have a look at a particular thread on the Arch Linux user forum.  But
as it turns out, the article that you found (which seems really
well-written) already mentions that thread, and in fact even links to
one of my comments on that thread, namely this comment:

With regard to CentOS 7 vs Ubuntu 14.04, keep in mind that VFIO (which
is part of the Linux kernel) is relatively new and is still rapidly

I'm not very familiar with CentOS, but if I'm not mistaken, CentOS 7
uses kernel 3.10 by default.  You'll probably want to use a newer
kernel version, which would have better VFIO support.  Again, I'm not
really familiar with CentOS, but my understanding is that many feel
that updating the kernel in CentOS isn't a good idea. So with this in
mind, you might be better off using a distro that ships with a newer
kernel version, such as Fedora or Ubuntu, etc.

In my experience, Ubuntu 14.04, which ships with kernel 3.13 and QEMU
2.0, works pretty well with VFIO.  However, Ubuntu 14.10, which will
ship with kernel 3.16 and QEMU 2.1, seems to work a little better, but
is still pre-release and so has a few other bugs.  If you go with
Ubuntu 14.04, you might want to install a newer "mainline" kernel.
But in any case, please do keep in mind that VFIO is still new and so
you will almost assuredly encounter some bugs.  So don't expect 100%

Hope the above is of some help.


On Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 5:19 PM, Alex G.S. <alxgrtnstrngl at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear List,
> Recently I read an article [1] about how to use KVM and VGA passthrough to
> create multiple GPU accelerated VM's for use in gaming or as virtual
> workstations:
> [1]
> http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Multiheaded-NVIDIA-Gaming-using-Ubuntu-14-04-KVM-585/
> I'm planning on building a KVM workstation to do this using CentOS 7 or
> Ubuntu 14.04 LTS as the base virtualization host and then an Intel Xeon CPU
> and two Nvidia GeForce GTX 750's as GPU's for the virtual machines.
> I'm really new to this sort of GPU passthrough on KVM and am wondering if
> anyone has any advice or has done this before?
> Thank you!
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