Script to Dump xml Configuration Files

Most people today use the libvirt API and/or its front end Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager) to configure and manage virtual machines. Both create xml configuration files. Unfortunately you can’t just copy them or edit them using your favorite editor.

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12 Years GPU Passthrough

Time flies. 12 years have passed since I built my first PC with GPU passthrough. Back in the old days there was little documentation on how to do it. I found a tutorial written for Fedora, plus some messages here and there. VGA passthru, as it was often called, was very restrictive. You had to have the right hardware to make it work, including a graphics card that was supported (like the Nvidia Quadro series).

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Sharing Files between the Linux Host and a Windows VM using virtiofs

I often transfer files between my Windows virtual machine (VM) and my Linux host. Up until now I used a Samba server on the Linux host, with the Windows guest connected via a network bridge. That worked great and never gave me any problems.

Recently I tried out the new virtio-fs shared file system that allows you to share a folder on the Linux host with a Windows or Linux guest. Before you rush and follow my tutorial below, check out the “Performance” and “Conclusion” sections at the end. Here is my tutorial:

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Kernel 6.0 and VFIO

Kernel 6 not booting with VFIO – workaround

Recently I upgraded to kernel 6.0 on my Manjaro rig, but that didn’t go well. The PC booted but there was no screen output. I was able to ssh into the Manjaro host, though.

Searching for an answer led me to the “Linux Kernel 6 seems to be incompatible with the vfio_pci module needed for PCI passthrough” on Level1Techs. If you go further down the thread, you’ll see how someone posted a working solution “Using the driver_override feature“.

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Why Long Tutorials?

Anyone who follows this website will notice that the tutorials are rather long. In these long tutorials I usually give reference specs, explain basic terms or processes, and expand on the how and why.

I wish I could write short, easy, step by step tutorials titled “GPU passthrough made easy” or the “Quick guide to VFIO bliss”. In fact, there are plenty of those out there in the great Internet. Some of the most popular ones are on Youtube, showing you how to get your Windows gaming VM up and running in no time.

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Nvidia And The “hidden state”

No more need to hide the hypervisor

Ever since I started to run a Microsoft Windows VM with GPU passthrough, Nvidia graphics drivers would only support their professional Quadro line of graphics cards in a virtual machine. Ten years ago I bit the bullet and bought an outrageously expensive Nvidia Quadro 2000 GPU. Truth be told – it’s been and still is a great GPU and I currently use it for my Linux host. Back then the Quadro was passed through to a Windows 7 VM running on Xen. It worked great.

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Passing Through a Nvidia RTX 2070 Super GPU

Tutorial for passing through a Nvidia RTX graphics card to a Windows 10 virtual machine using a modified VBIOS

Last update: September 14, 2021

Starting with the GeForce 1000 series, vfio passthrough of a Nvidia GPU has become a little more complicated. If, when starting the VM, you get a black screen, chances are you need to pass along a VBIOS file to the VM so the GPU can properly initialize.

This post is about passing through a Nvidia RTX 2070 Super GPU or any other modern Nvidia GPU to a Windows 10 guest.

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Remote Backup Script for Windows NTFS Partitions on LVM Volumes

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.

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Windows 10 VFIO Passthrough Configuration

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)
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Graphics Cards: AMD vs Nvidia

Updated on March 23, 2024

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?

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