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Old 01-19-09, 02:40 PM   #66
Felix.K
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 17
Default Re: Nvidia support for Xen

I'd really like nvidia drivers to support XEN Dom0, because this will open many doors to desktop or multimedia virtualization, combined with the great strengths of XEN.
There are also some ways to get the driver working (see XEN - NVIDIA - STEP BY STEP), but there are still many bugs and trade-offs. In addition, it doesn't work directly with the installer and you need to compile the module manually. But I think the driver is probably not far away from working in XEN, because it already does somehow work and I recognized a REALLY GREAT performance gain with Windows XP Professional inside a HVM with SDL (The cursor was lagging extremously before, which made it nearly impossible to navigate through Window's menus, but with the driver it was much better and I gained a nearly normal cursor reaction).
I see that it would need many modifications to get e.g. Computer Games work inside a HVM, but it would be great to have them work just in Dom0 (and other multimedia applications, too).

Another thing about graphics inside a HVM or other DomU:
If the driver worked correctly in Xen Dom0, would it be possible to think about an extension to qemu-dm, which allows it to emulate some better graphics card than this Cirrhus Logic one, which even doesn't support 1280x1024 with 24 colour depth? Of course I'm thinking about emulating some NVIDIA cards, for example with some special combination of a qemu-dm extension and a nvidia driver (with support for those virtual NVIDIA devices), that communicate in some simplier way than with full emulation, probably some way of command forwarding, where the graphic operations of the DomU are forwarded to the Dom0 graphics driver directly. Probably, in some future it would be possible to split your 3D resources to multiple DomUs (one head for Win XP, one for Linux...).
I think this will not only serve the needs of a gamer, but also the needs of any future computer user (thinking of cuda getting more and more important in many different applications). In some future, graphic card virtualization will probably gain the same importance that CPU virtualization gained the last few years, if not only computer games, but also video encoding, encryption (probably also interesting for servers) and many other applications profit from using the graphic card for calculations.
This will probably stay a dream for some years, but I think it's worth thinking about that.

So I really encourage you to be the first graphics card supplier who supports XEN Dom0 (and probably later even DomU).
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