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XenServer documentation only covers using GPU Pass-Through ("vGPU") to run XenDesktop's "HDX 3D Pro Graphics." XenServer GPU Pass-Through cannot be used with the XenCenter VNC console and it does not appear to accelerate apps over Remote Desktop.

So is there some way to use GPU Pass-Through to run 3D apps without XenDesktop?

(My use case: I will be setting up 2 Windows 7 Enterprise VMs that 2 users need to run old specialized 3D applications on. I am fairly certain the apps use direct3d instead of opengl. My backup plan is to use ESXi 5.5 free edition with its software 3D rendering.)

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1 Answer 1

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yes, but only with some graphic cards.

GPU passthrough is finicky, and the CPU+chipset must support VT-d for GPU passthrough to work properly on Windows guests.

Have a read of the following discussion: http://xenserver.org/discuss-virtualization/q-and-a/gpu-passtrough-the-2nd.html

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Yes, I am able to passthrough the GPU via the XenCenter GUI, but I have no way of using the GPU. That link only talks about using the GPU via XenApp/XenDesktop. –  mikedep333 May 26 at 19:38
    
Well, the link wasn't talking only about XenApp/XenDesktop, IMO. Anyways, looking around in the same forum, another guy posted that GPU passthrough works on Ubuntu 12.04, which means that GPU passthrough works even without XenApp/XenDesktop. –  pepoluan May 26 at 19:52
    
BTW, after configuring the GPU passthrough, had you installed the proper driver for the Graphics card? Since the VM now sees the GPU itself, it stops using the XS drivers; you must install the proper nVidia drivers within the VM. –  pepoluan May 26 at 19:55
    
Yes, I did install the AMD driver on my test machine w/ AMD graphics. The production machine would use the Nvidia driver for the Nvidia graphics. Both machines have VT-d. And in my use case, I am using Windows 7 enterprise. I can RDC into the machine, and the graphics card shows up with the driver loaded in device manager. However, opengl/direct3d apps are not accelerated over RDC. The fact that the GPUs can be used with Ubuntu 12.04 is a useful data point though. –  mikedep333 May 31 at 19:49

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