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Re: [vfio-users] Some questions regarding VGA Arbitration, BIOS and UEFI Boot

Great answers, as expected. Some smaller miniquestions/comments followups

>> 1) The host using UEFI or legacy BIOS and VGA support is irrelevant.  In an ideal world, maybe this wouldn't be the case, but Xorg wants exclusive access to VGA even though it probably doesn't use it.  Find someone to go fix Xorg.

Since you mentioned that this specific issue is Xorg side, do you think that testing this in Wayland/Weston could be worth a shot? As far that I know, Wayland reuses Xorg GPU Drivers, so I'm not precisely optimistic about this.

>> 2) Yes, you should probably try secondary graphics passthrough, this typically works for AMD cards and would probably allow you to avoid the whole VGA issue.

Gotcha. So worst case scenario, I can reproduce my current Xen setup.

>> 3) IGD issues are numerous; dependencies not only on the PCI address of the device in the guest, but also stolen memory configuration, OpRegion access, vBIOS fixups, LPC bridge presence and IDs, and host bridge identification.  Go read the upstream development threads or maybe I'll write a blog post about it some day.

Looks a lot more complex that I thought, since from the xen-devel Mailing List, most of the things that I recall about the IGD Passthrough were about reserving the PCI Address. I suppose that most of that will have to be done anyways for Intel KVMGT/iGVT-g support, which I'm also waiting for.
Last time I checked a developer mail list was some months ago when there was a proposal for a vGPU API that included some VFIO guys, the Intel guys from iGVT-g, and the nVidia guys for their GRID. A mammoth task to standarize all that, indeed.

>> 4) romfile= doesn't care about the size of the physical option ROM space on the device.  I've never tried to mod a ROM for UEFI support, in fact, why bother, are you somehow attached to this 5770?  For an investment of $100USD a GTX750 handily beats it, includes UEFI support, and uses less power.  How much is your time worth?

I'm from a third world country, 100 U$D means more for me than for you. And since I'm not employed, I do have free time to tinker with these things (For as long as they don't go above my frustration threshold when I'm not getting results!).
Getting my loyal 5770 to work with pure UEFI Boot means that I don't have to use the slighty more complicated instructions with VGA Arbitration, and that I would be able to install a guest Windows with UEFI-GPT, so I wouldn't have to reinstall down the road if I get a modern Video Card and have to change the Passthrough method. But since as you stated, I can go the Secondary VGA Passthrough way, this is not precisely critical... Still, it is a good tinkering exercise. However, for someone using an older nVidia Video Card or that wants to do Multiseat, it could be a life savior. It all comes down to how easy it is to mod them - still have to look into that.
I do plan to upgrade after the release of the next nVidia generation, for as long as money allows to get a high end part. The GeForces 980 are around 2 years old and I would feel consumer's guilt if I spend to get one considering than Pascal should be around the corner.

And adding a 5)

5) In pretty much all guides I read about VFIO Passthrough, you have to bind the PCI Device to the vfio-pci Kernel Module. Xen has a Kernel Module named xen-pciback which serves the same purpose. However, there is a BIG difference: xen-pciback works with PCI Address (01:00.0, 01:00.1), while vfio-pci instead uses Vendor:Device ID (1002:68b8, 1002:aa58). As far that I know, this is an issue if you have two identical parts, and want to do Passthrough of one but not the other (Yes, I do have not one, but TWO 5770s, and if I were to upgrade to a LGA 2011-3 platform which has no Intel IGP, I would hit this issue where I would want one for host, other for Passthrough. Not that cash allows that to happen, but I'm dying for a soon-to-come Broadwell-E).
So, to not make the question longer: Is there a way to supply vfio-pci PCI Address instead of Vendor:Device ID? I think the PCI Address method is better because you don't have the previous issue if there are multiple identical devices. I'm curious about why that format was chosen.

Thanks for your time. Much appreciated.

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