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[Xen-devel] Just another PCI VGA passthru report

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Subject: [Xen-devel] Just another PCI VGA passthru report
From: Pavel Matěja <pavel@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 14:41:16 +0100
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Hey guys,
I have new toy and I there is something I want to tell you about it.

AMD Phenom(tm) II X6 1075T Processor
16GB of DDR3 ECC
3x ASUS EAH6850
Intel X25-M SSD 160GB G2
2x USB headset Tactic 3D alpha
1x headphones with jack
3x USB keyboard
3x USB mouse
3x LCD monitor with 4-port USB HUB

xen-unstable.hg with original AMD passthru patch
linux-xen with backported patch for Marvell 88E8059
Samba, bind, etc.

3x domU:
Win XP SP3 32b

domU configuration:
Every domU has:
2 dedicated cores
8GB partition/disk image
passthru to USB and VGA
USB keyboard
USB mouse
one domU has PCI passthru to onboard soundcard
two have USB headset

Some problems:
Disk performance is poor even when I use gplpv drivers.

I can't read valid CPU frequency from /proc/cpuinfo

I can't power computer off. It's working normaly when running non XEN

Onboard sound:
I had to add kernel parameter
I got error 10 in windows driver when I just unbound it from PCI.

Sometimes I need normal login before XEN start so I unbind USB controller just 
before start of guest.
I was unable to pass EHCI. Just OHCI was working which caused problems when 
detecting USB devices. It took long time and sometimes some keys on keyboard 
were ignored.
I had to:
a) change PCI resource alignment
cd /sys/bus/pci
echo "00:12.2;00:13.2;00:16.2" > /sys/bus/pci/resource_alignment
b) turn power controllers off
echo 0 > slots/0000:00:12.2/power
echo 0 > slots/0000:00:13.2/power
echo 0 > slots/0000:00:16.2/power
c) rescan PCI
echo 1 > rescan
When I tried to use kernel parameter only first PCI device alignment was 

I can see Windows starting just on primary VGA. Booting other instances causes 
image damage to primary VGA Windows instance. I have to start that domU last.

Current status:
I'm successfully running three instances of Windows XP. Every one has fully 
accelerated VGA and it's own keybord, mouse and soudcard.
I took some video by my phone. Check (no comment, poor quality)
http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=34qtx8p&s=7 XEN boot, WXP start
http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=1679kzb&s=7 3x Counter Strike, very short

What is it good for?
Think about offices, schools,.. You can save lot of money when you get three 
computers for price of two or less. My computer is gaming machine so it's more 
expensive than usual one. But you need VGA PCI passthru.
Pavel Mateja

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