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VirtualBox 7.0 is out with their DirectX 11 support using DXVK

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Well this was an interesting one entering the GOL inbox recently. VirtualBox, the general-purpose full virtualizer has a big new release out and even they are now using DXVK.

DXVK is the Vulkan-based implementation of D3D9, D3D10 and D3D11 for Linux / Wine that's used in Proton. There's also DXVK-Native, designed for running apps and games that have Linux Native builds (like VirtualBox itself in this case). It's quite incredible to see how this amazing open source tech is being used in more places, just goes to show how essential and performant it has become.

Some of what's new in VirtualBox 7.0 includes:

  • Virtual machines can be fully encrypted now, including the VM config logs and saved states (CLI only for now).
  • GUI: Added a new utility similar to "top" or "resource monitor" which lists peformance statistics (CPU usage, RAM usage, disk I/O rate, etc.) of running guests.
  • GUI: Improved theme support on all platforms. Linux and macOS use native engine while for Windows host it is separately implemented.
  • Audio: Added "default" host driver type to make it possible to move VMs (appliances) between different platforms without the need of changing the audio driver explicitly. When the "default" driver is selected, the best audio backend option for a platform will be used. This is the default for newly created VMs.
  • Linux Guest Additions: Reworked guest screen re-size functionality, added basic integration with some of guest Desktop Environments.
  • Devices: Implemented new 3D support based on DirectX 11 (and DXVK on non Windows hosts).
  • EFI: Added support for Secure Boot.
  • GUI: Improving mouse handling in multi-monitor case on X11 platform.
  • Devices: Added virtual IOMMU devices (Intel and AMD variant).

Plus quite a lot more you can see on the official site, they've been busy.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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11 comments
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edo 11 Oct
So how is gaming performance now? Is it better?
ShabbyX 11 Oct
QuoteImplemented new 3D support based on DirectX 11

Sounds like they implemented something new, but were shortsighted enough to do it in d3d. Otherwise, if they are just translating app d3d with dxvk now, wouldn't they say something like "optimized d3d support" or something similar?
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In my experience with Virtualbox and Virt-Manager/Libvirt/QEMU last year, I found that QEMU gave me smoother performance with fewer bugs on a Windows 10 guest. Part of this might be due to libvirt taking advantage of KVM for native CPU performance on Linux. I mention this because Virtualbox's extension pack, which contains what many might consider fundamental features, is licensed under a proprietary license. Virt-Manager has a little more of a learning curve, but it also gives you finer control; even giving you the ability to pass-through a hard drive for better performance. And GPU pass-through, of course, though that's not something I've tried...because I mostly fail to see the point.

You can also try GNOME Boxes, which also uses libvirt and QEMU, but has a very simple interface with fewer options.

The performance of my games, which were exclusively visual novels encumbered with DRM from the likes of DMM, was still poor regardless of the software. Oh, and sharing files is more of a pain to set up than with Virtualbox. On the other hand, what I love about libvirt is that the machines are defined using XML files, which are easily editable and portable. Virsh is also very easy to use for those who prefer a command-line interface.
ridge 11 Oct
Quoting: edoSo how is gaming performance now? Is it better?

Not really, unless you pass through a graphics card.
Personally, I'm sticking with kvm/qemu. I don't use it for playing games but it does exactly what I need it to, works on every distro and I can remotely manage guests by simply connecting over SSH with virt-manager.

It just feels over-all "more integrated". Plus it's FOSS. FOSS always wins my vote.
Lofty 11 Oct
Quoting: pleasereadthemanualOh, and sharing files is more of a pain to set up than with Virtualbox.

Well that depends on what you define as pain. I use Gnome boxes with 'Sync-thing' and to my amazement it just worked directly from host to client & vise versa. Fast too. In fact the syncing of downloads from a VM pushed to the local machine is better than mere shared folders, in my use case anyway.
jens 11 Oct
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Quoting: ShabbyX
QuoteImplemented new 3D support based on DirectX 11

Sounds like they implemented something new, but were shortsighted enough to do it in d3d. Otherwise, if they are just translating app d3d with dxvk now, wouldn't they say something like "optimized d3d support" or something similar?

I’m quite certain this is really just about app d3d support, thus using dxvk to translate d3d from the guest driver to vulkan on the host. No idea what exactly happens where.
edo 11 Oct
Quoting: ridge
Quoting: edoSo how is gaming performance now? Is it better?

Not really, unless you pass through a graphics card.

Yeah but now that it is using dxvk it should be better
omer666 11 Oct
Quoting: edo
Quoting: ridge
Quoting: edoSo how is gaming performance now? Is it better?

Not really, unless you pass through a graphics card.

Yeah but now that it is using dxvk it should be better
I would rather say that it may be better, as performance will be bottlenecked by the Virtual Machine itself, running a whole virtualized system is more CPU intensive than Wine and added to the DXVK translation layer which obviously uses CPU time too, the whole thing won't compete with Proton any time soon.

On the other hand, I'd be really curious to see benchmarks of this (but too lazy to run them myself... Liam? )
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Quoting: Lofty
Quoting: pleasereadthemanualOh, and sharing files is more of a pain to set up than with Virtualbox.

Well that depends on what you define as pain. I use Gnome boxes with 'Sync-thing' and to my amazement it just worked directly from host to client & vise versa. Fast too. In fact the syncing of downloads from a VM pushed to the local machine is better than mere shared folders, in my use case anyway.
I'm referring to the standard webdavd method. Syncthing certainly seems like an easier method, though I don't think it would work if the guest were connected to an isolated internal network, which I usually have my Windows guests on.
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