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RE: [Xen-users] A few questions

To: "tsuraan" <tsuraan@xxxxxxxxx>, xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [Xen-users] A few questions
From: "Petersson, Mats" <Mats.Petersson@xxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2006 17:06:58 +0200
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Thread-topic: [Xen-users] A few questions
Currently, Xen doesn't support any direct hardware access from fully virtualized domains [aka HVM domain => AMD-V (SVM, Pacificia) or VMX (Intel VT, Vanderpool, etct)].
If there was support for IOMMU in Xen (and in hardware), and the relevant software architecture to support it is present, then in theory you could pass the entire hardware component to the HVM domain. This means the netire nVidia/ATI/3DLabs/S3/etc graphics card, not a window thereof. To get a window, you need some software to manage it, and it would be easiest to implement that as a paravirtual driver that sends drawing commands to the owner of the actual hardware (Dom0 usually).
Migration of fully virtualized domains is also not yet supported. Only way to do that is a full shutdown and startup in the new location. There is work in progress for this, initially to save/restore the domain, which is "slow migration [but faster than shutdown+start]".

From: xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of tsuraan
Sent: 13 September 2006 15:49
To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Xen-users] A few questions

Sorry if this has come up before, but the xen-users search function is totally broken right now (a search for "xen" yields 0 results, anyhow). 

As I understand it, I can have a xen kernel that exposes the raw video card device to an underlying virtual machine.  Will this allow windows to use the normal nVidia graphics drivers to have hardware acceleration, provided that I'm running on a Pacifica machine (assuming the iommu is necessary)? 

If that works, then I have another question.  Does xen machine migration between identical hardware and xen kernel configurations allow for Windows to be migrated if it has raw hardware access to the video card?  That sounds like some really dark magic if it works, but I can't find any reference that says it's impossible.  Of course, I don't even see how machine migration can keep network connections up, so there's probably something I'm missing...

Thanks for any help!

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