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RE: [Xen-devel] VGA passthrough to HVM

To: <timothy.moore@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Xen-devel] VGA passthrough to HVM
From: "Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)" <enming.teo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 10:40:23 +0800
Cc: Xci-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Dear Timothy,

Thank you for compiling all the links to the currently available work on Xen
PCI/PCI-E/PEG VGA pass through to Windows HVM guests.

When I looked at Peter J. van der Maas's reported success, I have some

Intel Desktop Board DQ35JO only has an onboard graphics and an external
PCI-E x16 slot. How was Peter J. van der Maas able to use two external
display cards?

Assuming that his nVidia GeForce2 MX200 is a PCI card, and his nVidia 9500GT
is a PCI-e x16 card, this resolves the above doubt.

Even then, when you plug in both PCI and PEG graphics card at the same time,
as is with the case on my Intel Desktop Board DQ45CB, only the PCI VGA card
will work and display to the monitor. The PCI-E x16 display card will not
work. When the PCI display card is plugged in, my motherboard DQ45CB can't
even detect how many lanes my PEG display card is using (should be 16

Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming) Dip(Mechatronics Engineering)
BEng(Hons)(Mechanical Engineering) 
Technical Support Engineer 
Information Technology Department
Asiasoft Online Pte Ltd
Tampines Central 1 #04-01 Tampines Plaza 
Singapore 529541
Republic of Singapore
Mobile: +65-9648-9798
MSN: teoenming@xxxxxxxxxxx
-----Original Message-----
From: xen-devel-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:xen-devel-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Tim Moore
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 5:09 AM
To: 'enming.teo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'
Cc: 'Xci-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'; xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [Xen-devel] VGA passthrough to HVM

Hi Teo,

We have all been eagerly awaiting the PCI Passthrough for VGA patches to be
released by the Xen-Devel community .. but from the sounds of the guys at
Intel - it's not ready for public testing and it will most probably generate
more questions for them to answer. Ultimately this is a distraction and will
only delay the release of this functionality.

The closest you will get at the moment is the patches which form part of the
XCI build tree and support is limited to the Intel chipset and onboard Intel
graphics controller. I believe Ian Jackson also has some success with ATI
but NVidia cards are known not to work.

There are other examples available including the "Neo 1:1 patch" which is
based on an older version of Xen (I think 3.2).

NOTE: This ONLY applies to HVM, VGA Passthrough using xen-unstable and Linux
non-HVM DomU is working, I have success with many Nvidia cards using this
setup. You can use this to prove your Xen in preparation for the HVM patches
and to ensure that your VT-d and Dom0 are sound.

Peter J. van der Maas inspired us all with his announcement, but no one has
ever been able to reproduce:

Myself and Beng Heng also got to the same point as yourself, with issues on
vBar<>pBar mapping and VGA BIOS. In all cases, the VGA card is visible in
Device Manager in the DomU but the driver does not load. On My 8800GTS, the
VGA Card FAN spins down the same as when booting under native XP but still
the driver does not load.

Here are some good links with relevant information.





This is where I admit defeat and hand over to the brilliance of the Xen

My last state is captured here:

The most success I have evidence of is from Alex Bebbington here:

If you look closely, this feature is on the Offical Xen Roadmap for Xen 4.0
captured here:

There is sufficient information for the XCI project to build and create a
demo install for the enthusiast:


I was downloading and building XCI before the above information was
available by reading the XCI build tree and patches. The code is quite well
structured along with containing some additional information on the xenvm
and xenops commands:

Hopefully this pulls together all the information that is available on Xen
VGA Passthrough.

Tim Moore

Xen-devel mailing list

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