KVM Pass Through?

I am wanting to see what exactly I need to do for my new PC build, to run Linux as my everything OS and have Windows solely for the purpose of gaming?

I guess I should have thought this through more before all of my parts were ordered, but the stuff that has come in is still all new in box so I can return/exchange if need be. I really didn't have much intention to run Linux before when I pieced my build together but that has changed.

I am going off the assumption that doing the pass through has added benefits over dual booting?

I am currently running Mint 17.2 Cinnamon on my Acer laptop and have enjoyed it very much, and between last night and today sorted out running the same OS on the mid 2009 Macbook Pro that my wife is using.

How can I check if my MOBO will support Linux? I ordered an MSI X99S SLI Krait Edition and will be using an i7 5930K.

Build specs here. Everything save for the RAM and the keyboard is on hand, but all parts were purchased hence the $0.00 next to the items.

Thanks for the help

Your CPU needs to support either VT-d or IOMMU. (VT-d for Intel, IOMMU for AMD)
You also need to make sure your mobo supports either of them. (Some board are known to have BIOS that mangle Vt-d)

You need 2 GPUs. You could have 2 discrete GPUs, one for host, one for guest, or you could use an integrated GPU for host and a discrete GPU for the guest. (Most Intel processors have an iGPU, AMD A-series have a GPU. I don't believe the FX-line has a GPU onboard)

(This paragraph might not be entirely trust-worthy, as I've never used KVM pass-through)
Also think about how the video will be output from the guest GPU, you could use a KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) or plug directly into your monitor using another cable and switch using the monitor firmware. There is also some software you may be able to use on the host and guest which manages input but it will probably add a small amount of latency
(^^^^^ is assuming there is no other way to get kbd/mouse input to the VM. You may be able to use a QXL display to send the input through then just switch monitors)

You also need to think about how to get audio and keyboard/mouse input to the virtual machine. You could directly connect a KVM (same as above) to the VM, that would take care of video, kbd, and mouse. Don't quote me but you can direct the VM sound through to the host, leaving your headphones/speakers plugged into the host.

Where would I check the support of the MOBO for VT-D?

According to this, my CPU does support VT-d so that's one down, one to go.

Try looking in the manual. You can usually find it on its support page. Look for virtualization stuff.

It only has one NIc though so just based on that I would need a different MOBO right?

Nope the guest is able to access the host network. If you use virt-manager it can set up NAT "things"(I don't know a better word for it) to allow network access to the guest. You can also set up bridges through virt-manager

Networking data all goes through the host anyway, so that shouldn't be a problem.

EDIT : ninja'ed by a second

I looked all over the website from MSI on their Bios page too and see nothing about VT-D support anywhere....? Should I email customer care?

What motherboard?

MSI X99S SLI Krait Edition

In the manual on page 3-23 there is an option in the BIOS to turn vt-d on, so it does support it.

Wow thanks, I did not find that support page, I found two other different pages, lol.

Ok, so then my CPU and MOBO are GTG, so now I just need a second GPU and to sort out the monitor situation correct?

Yep. FYI most people have better luck with AMD cards in KVM-passthrough. For some Nvidia cards it just never works with no easy fix. Try googleing your card to see if anyone has gotten it to work. For monitor stuff it's easiest just to plug a cable into the 2nd gpu and run it to your monitor. Just use the monitor firmware to switch input

Ok thanks. Yeah as much as it will kill me I might be returning this beast of a GPU......

So stupid question here.

I will need 2 GPU's to do this I got that part. You said to check if anyone has gotten it to work with my card.

I would want to keep the current GPU for gaming on the windows guest. So I can and would buy an AMD card for the linux host.

Is the issue with the Nvidia cards passing through them to get to the guest GPU, or using them as the guest GPU?

Did this make sense?

The issue is passing Nvidia cards to a guest. AMD cards tend to work better for both hosts and guests. With a bit of work any supported Nvidia card will work fine under linux, it's just making sure you have all the right stuff installed.

So I could keep mine and get an AMD car for the host linux system?

Which processor and GPU do you have?

Intel Core i7 5930K
EVGA GTX 980 Ti Hybrid

You would need to buy another card for that setup. AMD cards have better luck with KVM-passthrough. Your 980ti appears to be supported in Linux (there are driver dls for it). I would go for an AMD card though.

Best bet would be 980ti for host, some AMD card for guest