Attemting GPU passthrough

So I am newer to linux I used it slightly in highschool and due to the way Microsoft is going I thought now is a good of time as any. And I dove head first possibly a big mistake swapped all my PCs to Linux..... Noticed GTA and a few other games I have do not work on Linux and it kind of sucks. So I came across Wendel when searching the webs to figure out what the hell to do. I tried to follow his tutorial and well all of my displays went black..... so reinstalled Ubuntu and back to square one... I am not asking for someone to hold my hand but will someone please hold my hand while I figure out what the hell I am doing so the wife can quit yelling about how she missed all of her shows since the server has been down aka my pc.... I have a 5600k Skylake CPU GTX 970 Graphics card 16gbs of ram ssd 2 random hdds I use for movies shows and games. MOBO is a Asus Sabertooth Mark S. also have 2 monitors both connected to the dedicated graphics card atm. but was thinking I could use the igpu and my dedicated as well.

You can check my profile for the thread or two that I made about my GPU passthrough shenanigans. I will warn you, it is higher level stuff, but it is totally doable. Just keep at it, the feeling you get when it works is amazing.

Here's the best guide I found, and what I used to get my setup to work:

Parts 3 and 4 are where the magic happens. At the end of my thread I shared a tip that made the driver passthrough easier than in the guide.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. @Blanger helped me a lot so I'll mention him so he can maybe help you too.

Are you sure? I couldn't find that processor. Also you posted a Z97 motherboard - which works with Haswell/Devils Canyon
Double check.

sorry lol yeah it is a 6600k and the Brand is a Asus Sabertooth z170 S

Awesome thanks man reading it all now :D

OK, those both support VT-d. Make sure it's enabled in the BIOS and you should be able to do it.
Sometimes it's called IOMMU

Like he said in the video, it's a 400th level task

Whatever the case, whenever you do end up getting the passthrough done, you'll need to do some additional steps for an nvidia GPU

1 Like

What is attemting?

So read through this page I'm listing....if it makes sense to you your half way there,

If it doesn't make sense then start reading here...

Read through all 5 of the posts he made......

The hard part.......

You really need to ditch Ubuntu (personal opinion) and move to a Linux distro that is going to be more in tune with what you want to accomplish, my recommendation would be Fedora or OpenSuse, but it's up to you, if you want to proceed I'll try to help you, but bear in mind I'm on vacation this week and will only be at my computer in the evenings.


You can use iGPU for your host system and the 970 for your guest, as pointed out in a post above @Streetguru said there are extra steps you have to go through to use a Nvidia GPU in a KVM (hardware pass through) because Nvidia gimp'd it's driver stack to look for virtualization and if it see's the install is in a virtual environment it will error out (windows error code 43), it can be fooled but there is a slight performance hit in the KVM for doing it. It would be better to buy another GPU (just my opinion) like a R9 3XX and keep the 970 for your host....but again that is your choice.

I'd also advise you to give dual booting a thought.... nothing wrong with dual booting at all and if your only using Windows to play games then it makes sense to do so, it took me a long time to get the pass through to work (a few weeks) and it isn't without it's pitfalls, quirks, and other anomalies such as sound latency, network latency (when sharing a NIC) you will need to work out your input devices also. (mouse and keyboard). You have 16g of RAM that is the bare minimum I would recommend but you really should have 32g, the reason is at 16g prolly the best you can hope for is 12g to the guest and leaving 4g for the host, same with your CPU it's a quad core so you are prolly cut it in half by giving 2 cores (4 threads) to the guest while keeping the same for the host.

The reason I'm pointing this out is look at the spec for the games you will be playing, if those games will be happy on a dual core with 12g of RAM then your fine but if that is the minimal spec to run the game your not going to be happy with the performance/ experience, you will get discouraged and just format your way back to Windows.

Last word....

I've mentioned this several times and it bears repeating, a KVM with hardware pass through isn't something you just do, it is something you plan your hardware around when purchasing, while a lot of people have the right amount of hardware (lots of cores, lots of ram, multi-gpus) others do not and nothing is more aggravating then to spend days and days trying to get something to work only to find the performance sucks and it was a wasted effort.

Having said that wall of text if you want to proceed I'll be glad to help you in any way I can, there are other here on the forum who will help also....(I'm not trying to discourage you just trying to open your eyes a little wider so you see what is possible)

Hope this helps.

Dude what?
Fedora and OpenSuse are way less popular than Ubuntu. From a support and documentation standpoint alone, Ubuntu makes about the most sense of any distro. Also, the base Ubuntu LTS is April 2016 - just a few months old. He'll have 5 years with the supported base system if he wants. It's a good starting point.

Looks like Ubuntu 16.04 'just works' with IOMMU:

1 Like

Yep, it's a good base for learning Linux, you do realize that IOMMU is just one aspect of hardware pass through, that the more important components are QEMU and vert-manager, Ubuntu may offer the necessary support today but my experiences with Ubuntu 14 were way less then stellar trying to get a working hardware pass through.

Anyway just voicing my opinion......

True, I went through many distro's and I stopped at opensuse, it is by far the best one I've used thus far.