I was so busy studying, writing, and processing photos that I didn’t touch my Manjaro Linux host for a long long time. Then one day I decided to upgrade my PC from a 5.4 kernel to the most recent LTS or “Long Term Support” Manjaro Linux kernel 5.10.Continue reading “Manjaro Linux Kernel 5.10”
A look at Manjaro Linux from a VFIO passthrough user perspective – the benefits and downsides of using Manjaro as a Linux host
Last year in April I switched from Linux Mint via a short detour to Pop_OS to Manjaro Linux as my host OS. The reasons I chose Manjaro Linux were its up-to-date kernel and software and its well-rounded selection of software packages. However, the latest and greatest kernel and software can come at a price of being less stable. In this post I like to weigh in the pros and cons for Manjaro Linux and what you might want to consider before jumping on the wagon.Continue reading “Manjaro Linux”
Online data relocation to other drives using LVM and pvmove
These days my disks are filling up fast. My current PC holds 7 drives, including 2 NVMe drives. Actually 8 drives as I installed a new HDD today. All of my disks and partitions – with the notable exception of the FAT16 EFI partition for UEFI boot – are using LVM, the Logical Volume Manager.
With the availability of larger drives at reasonable costs, I decided to move some logical volumes (LV) spanning several drives onto one single drive, thus consolidating disks. This one drive will then be mirrored in a RAID-1 configuration for redundancy.
Note: In a multi-drive LVM Logical Volume each drive represents a potential point of failure. Moving the data from multiple drives onto one drive reduces that risk.Continue reading “LVM and the Ease of Migrating to a New Drive”
Tutorial for passing through a Nvidia RTX graphics card to a Windows 10 virtual machine using a modified VBIOS
Recently I replaced my old NEC MultiSync 2690 HD screen for a HP DreamColor wide gamut screen with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. The Nvidia GTX 970 GPU I used, though still perfectly capable at HD resolution, is likely to get challenged by higher resolutions. Moreover, the new Nvidia Studio driver doesn’t support models before the Geforce 1000 series, and I do want the 30 bpp (bit-per-pixel) support that this driver provides. Time for an upgrade – the Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super GPU.
This post is about passing through a Nvidia RTX 2070 Super GPU or any other modern Nvidia GPU to a Windows 10 guest. Continue reading “Passing Through a Nvidia RTX 2070 Super GPU”
Up until November 18, 2020 I would have suggested against the purchase of an AMD GPU for VFIO. But yesterday AMD launched its Radeon RX 6800 line of GPUs. Are the AMD Radeon 6800/6800XT suitable for VFIO?
What is VFIO? -- Click to expand
VFIO is about running for example Windows 10 in a virtual machine (VM), using a discrete graphics card that you pass through to the VM. The Linux driver framework that is used to bind the graphics card during the host boot is called VFIO. The virtual machine itself (e.g. Windows 10) then uses its own native graphics driver to drive the GPU, significantly boosting VM graphics performance. This enables you to run Linux on the host and create Windows virtual machines for gaming and other high performance tasks.
AMD graphics cards have been plagued with the notorious FLR reset bug over several years now. Independent developers wrote a kernel patch as a workaround that would work most of the time. But the patch required kernel or module compilation, which is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Yesterday Wendell at Level1Techs posted a (p)review of the latest AMD Radeon 6800 and 6800XT graphics cards. He attests that the AMD Radeon 6800/6800XT are perfectly suitable for VFIO passthrough. No more FLR reset bug. Wendell goes further to point out that the Linux graphics drivers available in Ubuntu 20.04 already support these cards. This is great news for the Linux user community in general, and VFIO passthrough enthusiasts especially! Finally an alternative to NVIDIA.
There are more good news: Those of you who already own an AMD Navi, Vega or Polaris graphics card plagued with the FLR reset bug can now enjoy a simpler, better workaround. Instead of compiling the patch into the kernel, all you need to do now is to “build the module and modprobe it, or use dmks to manage it directly”.
AMD has already shown its Linux support through its open source graphics drivers. The new graphics cards based on the RDNA2 architecture have finally corrected the product flaw of previous releases. Welcome to the VFIO club.
You will probably have to wait some time to get hold of one of these cards, as they seem to have sold out on launch day.
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Linux bash script to mount and backup / synchronize a Windows 10 partition inside a LVM volume to a remote backup server using rsync and SSH
I run the bash script below to backup my Windows NTFS partitions residing on LVM volumes to a remote backup server. It uses SSH and public key authentication to authenticate at the remote side.
The script mounts an NTFS partition inside a LVM raw volume. It performs a file-based backup using rsync. It is NOT suitable for system backups!
Please carefully read the “Requirements”, “How it Works”, and “Usage” sections before attempting to use it.Continue reading “Remote Backup Script for Windows NTFS Partitions on LVM Volumes”
I am a Linux user for decades. I have promoted the use of Linux wherever I could. But it’s about time to say the truth: Linux sucks!
Before you draw conclusions I like to add: Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS suck even more.
I’ve been tweaking my configuration for my needs and it performs very well. As a reference, I’m posting my:
- hardware configuration
- Linux distro, kernel, etc.
- Windows VM configuration (XML)
Updated on November 19, 2020
A question that frequently pops up in VFIO or GPU passthrough forums is which graphics card to buy: AMD or Nvidia? And the answer often depends on whom you ask.
Some people will tell you to stay clear of Nvidia graphics cards since their driver detects the virtual machine and quits.
Others mention the “reset bug” that’s been haunting AMD graphics cards for the last couple of years (see Wendells video interview of Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman). So what’s the story?
Last updated: June 19, 2021
I’ve already written a detailed tutorial on Windows 10 kvm VGA passthrough based on QEMU version 2.11. Years have passed and recent distributions like Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20, or Manjaro come with QEMU 4.0, 4.2 or 5.1.
A lot has happened since version 2.11. QEMU 4.0 includes numerous changes and improvements such as trim support in the virtio-blk driver, pcie-root-port with PCIe 4.0 support (with Q35-4.0 machine type), as well as improved audio. Continue reading “Creating a Windows 10 kvm VM on the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X using Qemu 4.0 and VGA Passthrough”