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RE: [Xen-users] Ability to pass-through a PCI videocard & PCI USB card?

To: "Daniel Kao" <dkao@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Xen List" <xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Xen-users] Ability to pass-through a PCI videocard & PCI USB card?
From: "Ross S. W. Walker" <rwalker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2008 16:11:56 -0400
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Thread-topic: [Xen-users] Ability to pass-through a PCI videocard & PCI USB card?
Daniel Kao wrote:
> Hi All!
> Quick question as I'm wondering if this is possible.
> On a Intel-VT enabled machine (Intel Xeon X3220 on an Intel 
> 3000 Series Chipset), if I have a PCI video-card and a PCI 
> USB card, would it be possible to do a PCI pass-through on 
> those two PCI devices to a guest domain?  I'm assuming the 
> PCI USB card would be fairly easy, but my gut instinct on the 
> PCI video-card is that it isn't possible or am I wrong?  How 
> about PCI capture-cards?

Well, let me tell you what I discovered when I tried this.

You can pass the video through, but the video doesn't have
access to the video memory which is mapped in dom0! Which
makes it useless :-( I wasn't able to find a way to
exclude this memory from dom0 and pass that through so I
dropped it there. If you find out a way, let me know.

As far as USB goes, you can pass that through fine, but
you may need to setup a 'quirks' database for it in
/etc/xen and keep adding io ranges the hypervisor complains
it tries to access. Oh and don't forget to keep your USB
keyboard and mouse ports in dom0. Doh!

> Reason being is I was hoping to setup a MythTV or a Windows 
> Media (under XP 32-bit) for testing under the Xen 
> environment.  It would be quite nice if I could just 
> pass-through all the additional PCI devices for those guest 
> domains.  Was hoping someone has already tried this and could 
> give me a "Yah!" or "Nope!" on attempting it.

Unfortunately even if you could pass the video and it's
memory mapped region in, the HVM wouldn't be able to access
it, but you may be able to access the tuner device for
MythTV as a PV, unlikely for Windows Media under HVM.

USB you can do now by adding and removing usb devices in
the qemu monitor of the HVM. Would love it if somebody
would add the python code necessary to define these USB
devices for qemu at domain creation.


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