[vbox-dev] open sourcing pci passthrough (was Re: utlizing the nvidia card of the host machine in the vm)
klaus.espenlaub at oracle.com
Mon Aug 18 17:10:41 UTC 2014
On 13.08.2014 00:22, Mario Lobo wrote:
> Hijacking the topic a bit, what would be required (technically and
> "licensingly") to implement these basic pci passthrough
> functionalities on the ose source (freeBSD in particular), specially
> for using it on sound cards?
As you probably know there's currently a partially working PCI
passthrough implementation available, for Linux host only. A part of the
infrastructure and the Linux kernel part are open source, the rest is
closed. It is only functional if the Oracle VM VirtualBox extension pack
is installed containing the binaries of the closed portion.
So what you're asking for is either open sourcing the complete
functionality or providing a fully functional extension pack for
FreeBSD, and both options need convincing our management in some way or
another. The first one is a rather tough task, because the closed source
extension pack is currently the only way we have to make money. For some
reason no one seems interested in paying for support for the GPLed
product... everyone who can get away without the extension pack takes
the free ride (and probably later creates tickets in the public bug
tracker, complaining about loss of business). Creating an extension pack
for FreeBSD would similarly increase our effort/cost (and imply fully
supporting FreeBSD as a host), without an immediately obvious way to
compensate this by increased sales.
The licensing question is simply a non-issue.
This leaves only the technical aspects. In principle only the kernel
module portion of the functionality needs porting to FreeBSD. This is
something the FreeBSD community could investigate/implement. Everything
else should be portable code, with at most very minor need of platform
Overall - doable, but I'm skeptical that either of the two options for
"closing the gap" will be greeted with enthusiasm by the necessary people.
> P.S. - Sorry for top-posting but it seems to be the trend on this list.
Not so sure :)
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