How to enable a VMware Virtual Machine for GPU Pass-through.

How to enable a VMware Virtual Machine for GPU Pass-through.

This article provides information on how to enable a VMware Virtual Machine for GPU Pass-through.


Configuration Steps:

  1. Enable the Host for GPU Passthrough:
    1. Check VT-d or AMD IOMMU Is enabled on the host by running the following command, either via SSH or on the console. (Note: replace <module_name> with the name of the module: vtddmar for Intel, AMDiommu for AMD). # esxcfg-module –l | grep <module_name> If the appropriate module is not present, you might have to enable it in the BIOS, or your hardware might not be capable of providing PCI passthrough.
    2. Using the vSphere Client, connect to VMware vCenter™ and select the host with the GPU card installed.
    3. Select the Configuration tab for the host, and click Advanced Settings (Hardware in the top left section). If the host has devices enabled for passthrough, these devices will be listed here.
    4. To configure passthrough for the GPU, click Configure Passthrough.
    5. In the Mark Devices for Passthrough window, check the box that corresponds to the GPU adapter installed in the host.
    6. Click OK. The GPU should now be listed now in the Window on the Advanced settings page.
    7. Note: If the device has an orange arrow displayed on the icon, the host needs to be rebooted before passthrough will function. If the device icon is green, passthrough is enabled.
  2. Enable the Virtual Machine for GPU Passthrough
    1. Update the VM to Hardware Version 9
    2. For vDGA to function, all the virtual machine configured memory must be reserved. If each virtual machine has 2GB of memory allocated, you should reserve all 2GB. To do this, select the Reserve all guest memory option when you view the Memory option under the Resources tab in a virtual machine’s settings window.
    3. For virtual machines that have more than 2GB of configured memory, add the following parameter to the .vmx file of the virtual machine (you can add this at the end of the file): pciHole.start = "2048"
    4. Using the vSphere Client, connect directly to the ESXi host with the GPU card installed, or select the host in vCenter.
    5. Right-click the virtual machine and select Edit Settings
    6. Add a new device by selecting PCI Device from the list, and click Next.
    7. Select the GPU as the passthrough device to connect to the virtual machine from the drop-down list, and click Next.
    8. Click Finish
    9. Download and install the drivers according to the Virtual Machine's OS.
    10. Reboot the virtual machine.

Reference: Virtual Machine Graphics Acceleration Deployment Guide

Article ID: SLN288103

Last Date Modified: 09/14/2019 05:08 AM

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