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Linux Kernel 4.10 Officially Released With Virtual GPU Support ( 90

"Linus Torvalds announced today the general availability of the Linux 4.10 kernel series, which add a great number of improvements, new security features, and support for the newest hardware components," writes Softpedia. prisoninmate quotes their report: Linux kernel 4.10 has been in development for the past seven weeks, during which it received a total of seven Release Candidate snapshots that implemented all the changes that you'll soon be able to enjoy on your favorite Linux-based operating system... Prominent new features include virtual GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) support, new "perf c2c" tool that can be used for analysis of cacheline contention on NUMA systems, support for the L2/L3 caches of Intel processors (Intel Cache Allocation Technology), eBPF hooks for cgroups, hybrid block polling, and better writeback management. A new "perf sched timehist" feature has been added in Linux kernel 4.10 to provide detailed history of task scheduling, and there's experimental writeback cache and FAILFAST support for MD RAID5... Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) could be the first stable OS to ship with Linux 4.10.
It required 13,000 commits, plus over 1,200 merges, Linus wrote in the announcement, adding "On the whole, 4.10 didn't end up as small as it initially looked."
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Linux Kernel 4.10 Officially Released With Virtual GPU Support

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  • Does this mean... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zontar The Mindless ( 9002 ) <plasticfish DOT info AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday February 19, 2017 @08:52PM (#53897635) Homepage

    ...that we'll finally get a Nouveau driver that isn't a crash-prone piece of crap?

    • I think you are confusing the Nouveau driver for the closed-source driver from nVidia. My experience with Nouveau is that it is very stable.
      • Re:Does this mean... (Score:4, Informative)

        by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Sunday February 19, 2017 @11:17PM (#53898065)
        Same with nvidia's own driver. Every time I've seen a machine where it looked like the nvidia driver was doing something wrong it's been a dead or dying fan on the card.
        The nouveau driver is great for what it does, but if someone is going to be using google earth you need the one from nvidia. Both are rock solid for what they do IMHO (and the fans on video cards are frequently shit).
      • by kuzb ( 724081 )
        It's stable enough, it just doesn't hold a candle to the binary drivers when it comes down to features and performance.

        Personally I prefer the driver which gets the job done, and while Nouveau is a solid effort, it just doesn't.
      • Re:Does this mean... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Zontar The Mindless ( 9002 ) <plasticfish DOT info AT gmail DOT com> on Monday February 20, 2017 @12:42AM (#53898303) Homepage

        Your experience is the opposite of mine, then, which is that the *only* safe way to run Nouveau on a machine with an Nvidia card is to add nomodeset or acpi=OFF to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT, or get used to random lockups. I've had this issue on 3 different machines (2 desktops and 1 laptop).

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      No that's a real GPU so no luck there.
      In this case things like the "new" gnome (nearly ten years and still slow) which relies on a GPU may come up to the speed of the old one on hardware that isn't a 1337 gamer box.
    • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @12:25PM (#53900467)

      Does this mean that we'll finally get a Nouveau driver that isn't a crash-prone piece of crap?

      Sure, it's virtually yours! ;)

  • vGPU seems cool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday February 19, 2017 @09:21PM (#53897711) Homepage

    Looks like you can get near-native performance even though you're sharing hardware. With this maybe instead of a dual boot PC you can have a dual VM PC, one runs Linux and the other Windows and both at near native performance and you don't have to dedicate a graphics card. That sounds like a real gateway drug, use Linux for the desktop and the games that run on it but be able to switch to your Wintendo and play that one must-have game your friends want. That said right now it looks like an an Intel tech, did anyone see anything about AMD/nVidia support? Because sharing that Intel iGPU wasn't really what I'm looking for....

    • Re: vGPU seems cool (Score:5, Informative)

      by dknj ( 441802 ) on Sunday February 19, 2017 @10:01PM (#53897811) Journal

      there is definitely support for nvidia []

      Vgpu seems very very cool. Now how can we turn this into something commercially viable?


    • Is this like the pass through feature on ESXI? I always thought about running OS X and Windows together.

      • Re:vGPU seems cool (Score:5, Informative)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @12:56AM (#53898373) Journal
        My understanding is that it is more extensive: PCI(mostly 'e' these days) passthrough allows you to assign a physical device to a VM; but the device can't be shared: if a given piece of hardware is being passed through to one of the guests, none of the other guests or the host OS can use it.

        This 'virtual GPU' stuff is supposed to make allocating GPU resources between VMs closer to how it is with CPU time or memory, where all the guests and the host can't exceed the capabilities of the machine they are running on; but they can all have access, with relatively modest overhead, to the same device.

        I don't know if things work as pleasantly as desired yet; but in principle it should be a lot more convenient than full device passthrough. Especially in cases where you might be interested in the GPU for its computational capabilities, video transcoder, etc.
      • by kscguru ( 551278 )

        ESXi does have a very similar mediated passthrough. Here's a quick google hit for installing vgpu on ESXi []. The two approaches are approximately equivalent in functionality, and should be similar in performance.

        In a nutshell, there are four ways to do high-quality graphics in a virtual machine ... you can fully emulate a graphics card (which nearly everybody does, but it's slow); you can forward DirectX/OpenGL calls to the host (which works great for Mac-on-Mac, and not much else); you can directly pass thro

    • by Poeli ( 573204 )
      AMD has something similar with their FirePro S series. The difference is those cards implement the SR-IOV standard to 'split' the GPU into 16 parts (at most). Unfortunately, the kernel driver is still not part of the kernel. There are patches floating around so it's probably for 4.11. The primary use case for this is virtualization. You can give several vm's a slice of the GPU and deliver near bare-metal performance. But it may be of interested for gamers too: the can share their GPU with a windows vm to p
  • Virtual gpu? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Sunday February 19, 2017 @10:32PM (#53897889)

    Can someone link to a concise discussion of what this does and some use cases? Thanks.

    • It's not exactly concise, but this video shows what it can do. []

      • by LubosD ( 909058 )

        I find it rather funny that an NVIDIA guy (in the video) is explaining GPU passthrough as how things used to be done up until now.

        The thing is both NVIDIA and AMD/ATI have been hard at work to block exactly this kind of use, and a crapload of hacks had to be introduced to fool their Windows drivers into functioning in this scenario.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Yeah, I was hoping for a paragraph or three somewhere.

  • run Windows CAD packages under Wine and have the graphics work properly? I've been looking/waiting for a decent CAD package for Linux for years. The closest thing to good CAD that I've seen for Linux is OnShape's cloud based package that runs in a web browser.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, but it would help you run Windows CAD packages inside a Windows VM and get near native GPU performance both in the Windows VM and Linux host. vGPU lets you share a single compatible GPU across multiple VMs running on the same system. This way each VM can benefit from full hardware accelerated 3D rendering as well as access to OpenCL and/or CUDA even though only a single physical GPU is present in the system.

      Wine wouldn't benefit because it already has direct access to the GPU as long as it's associated

      • Great! I'll give it a try in VMware when the new kernel is released. I have attempted to run CAD in VMware before and failed miserably with the graphics. I don't mind loading a VM with Windows if that's what it takes, I just don't want to be stuck with Windows as my main OS simply because I need it to run CAD.

    • Run them under vmware instead. Their graphics driver is pretty good. It's good enough to where you can actually play many games on it, let alone use CAD. Of course, then you actually need a copy of Windows in a VM, which you may find offensive.

  • OK.. so I am not sure why, but it is.
    See, at work people always get praise for "going the extra mile", working overtime to get the job done. The people who rarely get the accolades are the ones who work effectively and efficiently at just doing the work. They don't get "recognition awards" for getting things done on schedule. That's just their job. But the downside is that to prove your worth, it is in your best interest to create a little chaos so you can step up and put out the fires.

    Kudos to Linus an

  • by Bodhammer ( 559311 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @02:40PM (#53901463)
    How about native ZFS support?

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all different.