Libvirt/QEMU reference guide

4 minute read

Background

Over the past few months I’ve gotten into experimenting with PCI Passthrough using Linux virtualization. The basic premise is that, instead of dual-booting Linux with Windows for gaming, we can run Windows in a VM and passthrough necessary hardware (storage, graphics card) to achieve near-native performance.

I’ve learned a lot from this experimentation. There are lots of helpful people in this community, but there are also a lot of differing configurations and no one place to look all of the various settings up. With this in mind, I aim to pool all of the information I’ve learned, to help people with their virtualization journeys.

Contents

Libvirt Parameters

My Setup

For reference, here is the computer that I’m using to test all of this.

Specs

  • OS: Fedora 31
  • CPU: AMD 2700x
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4
  • GPU 1 (Linux): AMD 570x
  • GPU 2 (Windows): Nvidia RTX 2060
  • Storage: 2x1 TB NVMe Drives.

libvirt XML

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<domain type='kvm'>
  <name>win10</name>
  <uuid>305e53f1-49be-4d1d-82ae-c630f88af39f</uuid>
  <metadata>
    <libosinfo:libosinfo xmlns:libosinfo="http://libosinfo.org/xmlns/libvirt/domain/1.0">
      <libosinfo:os id="http://microsoft.com/win/10"/>
    </libosinfo:libosinfo>
  </metadata>
  <memory unit='KiB'>8388608</memory>
  <currentMemory unit='KiB'>8388608</currentMemory>
  <memoryBacking>
    <hugepages/>
  </memoryBacking>
  <vcpu placement='static'>8</vcpu>
  <iothreads>2</iothreads>
  <cputune>
    <vcpupin vcpu='0' cpuset='0'/>
    <vcpupin vcpu='1' cpuset='8'/>
    <vcpupin vcpu='2' cpuset='1'/>
    <vcpupin vcpu='3' cpuset='9'/>
    <vcpupin vcpu='4' cpuset='2'/>
    <vcpupin vcpu='5' cpuset='10'/>
    <vcpupin vcpu='6' cpuset='3'/>
    <vcpupin vcpu='7' cpuset='11'/>
    <emulatorpin cpuset='0-1'/>
    <iothreadpin iothread='1' cpuset='2,10'/>
    <iothreadpin iothread='2' cpuset='3,11'/>
  </cputune>
  <os>
    <type arch='x86_64' machine='pc-q35-3.1'>hvm</type>
    <loader readonly='yes' type='pflash'>/usr/share/edk2.git/ovmf-x64/OVMF_CODE-pure-efi.fd</loader>
    <nvram>/var/lib/libvirt/qemu/nvram/win10_VARS.fd</nvram>
    <boot dev='hd'/>
    <bootmenu enable='no'/>
  </os>
  <features>
    <acpi/>
    <apic/>
    <hyperv>
      <relaxed state='on'/>
      <vapic state='on'/>
      <spinlocks state='on' retries='8191'/>
      <vpindex state='on'/>
      <runtime state='on'/>
      <synic state='on'/>
      <stimer state='on'/>
      <reset state='on'/>
      <vendor_id state='on' value='1234567890ab'/>
      <frequencies state='on'/>
      <reenlightenment state='on'/>
      <tlbflush state='on'/>
    </hyperv>
    <kvm>
      <hidden state='on'/>
    </kvm>
    <vmport state='off'/>
    <ioapic driver='kvm'/>
  </features>
  <cpu mode='host-passthrough' check='none'>
    <topology sockets='1' cores='4' threads='2'/>
    <feature policy='require' name='topoext'/>
  </cpu>
  <clock offset='localtime'>
    <timer name='rtc' tickpolicy='catchup'/>
    <timer name='pit' tickpolicy='delay'/>
    <timer name='hpet' present='no'/>
    <timer name='hypervclock' present='yes'/>
  </clock>
  <on_poweroff>destroy</on_poweroff>
  <on_reboot>restart</on_reboot>
  <on_crash>destroy</on_crash>
  <pm>
    <suspend-to-mem enabled='no'/>
    <suspend-to-disk enabled='no'/>
  </pm>
  <devices>
    <emulator>/usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64</emulator>
    <disk type='block' device='disk'>
      <driver name='qemu' type='raw' cache='none' io='native'/>
      <source dev='/dev/disk/by-id/nvme-PCIe_SSD_19060410240257'/>
      <target dev='sda' bus='scsi'/>
      <address type='drive' controller='0' bus='0' target='0' unit='0'/>
    </disk>
    <controller type='usb' index='0' model='qemu-xhci' ports='15'>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x03' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='0' model='pcie-root'/>
    <controller type='pci' index='1' model='pcie-root-port'>
      <model name='pcie-root-port'/>
      <target chassis='1' port='0x10'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x0' multifunction='on'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='2' model='pcie-root-port'>
      <model name='pcie-root-port'/>
      <target chassis='2' port='0x11'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x1'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='3' model='pcie-root-port'>
      <model name='pcie-root-port'/>
      <target chassis='3' port='0x12'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x2'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='4' model='pcie-to-pci-bridge'>
      <model name='pcie-pci-bridge'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x01' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='5' model='pcie-root-port'>
      <model name='pcie-root-port'/>
      <target chassis='5' port='0x13'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x3'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='6' model='pcie-root-port'>
      <model name='pcie-root-port'/>
      <target chassis='6' port='0x14'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x4'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='7' model='pcie-root-port'>
      <model name='pcie-root-port'/>
      <target chassis='7' port='0x15'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x5'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='8' model='pcie-root-port'>
      <model name='pcie-root-port'/>
      <target chassis='8' port='0x16'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x6'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='9' model='pcie-root-port'>
      <model name='pcie-root-port'/>
      <target chassis='9' port='0x17'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x7'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='scsi' index='0' model='virtio-scsi'>
      <driver queues='8'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x09' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='virtio-serial' index='0'>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x06' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='sata' index='0'>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x1f' function='0x2'/>
    </controller>
    <interface type='network'>
      <mac address='52:54:00:76:6c:d5'/>
      <source network='network'/>
      <model type='e1000e'/>
      <link state='up'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x02' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
    </interface>
    <serial type='pty'>
      <target type='isa-serial' port='0'>
        <model name='isa-serial'/>
      </target>
    </serial>
    <console type='pty'>
      <target type='serial' port='0'/>
    </console>
    <channel type='unix'>
      <target type='virtio' name='org.qemu.guest_agent.0'/>
      <address type='virtio-serial' controller='0' bus='0' port='1'/>
    </channel>
    <input type='mouse' bus='ps2'/>
    <input type='keyboard' bus='ps2'/>
    <tpm model='tpm-crb'>
      <backend type='passthrough'>
        <device path='/dev/tpm0'/>
      </backend>
    </tpm>
    <video>
      <model type='virtio' heads='1' primary='yes'>
        <acceleration accel3d='yes'/>
      </model>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x0'/>
    </video>
    <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
      <source>
        <address domain='0x0000' bus='0x0a' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
      </source>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x01' function='0x0'/>
    </hostdev>
    <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
      <source>
        <address domain='0x0000' bus='0x0a' slot='0x00' function='0x1'/>
      </source>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x02' function='0x0'/>
    </hostdev>
    <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
      <source>
        <address domain='0x0000' bus='0x0a' slot='0x00' function='0x2'/>
      </source>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x03' function='0x0'/>
    </hostdev>
    <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
      <source>
        <address domain='0x0000' bus='0x0a' slot='0x00' function='0x3'/>
      </source>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x04' function='0x0'/>
    </hostdev>
    <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
      <source>
        <address domain='0x0000' bus='0x0c' slot='0x00' function='0x3'/>
      </source>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x07' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
    </hostdev>
    <redirdev bus='usb' type='spicevmc'>
      <address type='usb' bus='0' port='2'/>
    </redirdev>
    <redirdev bus='usb' type='spicevmc'>
      <address type='usb' bus='0' port='3'/>
    </redirdev>
    <memballoon model='virtio'>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x05' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
    </memballoon>
    <shmem name='looking-glass'>
      <model type='ivshmem-plain'/>
      <size unit='M'>32</size>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x05' function='0x0'/>
    </shmem>
    <shmem name='scream-ivshmem'>
      <model type='ivshmem-plain'/>
      <size unit='M'>2</size>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x06' function='0x0'/>
    </shmem>
  </devices>
</domain>

References