In this post I’ll walk through the procedure for using vmware’s vga driver with your kvm windows guests along with a download for testing. Using vmware’s vga is something that a lot of users have been asking about and , to be honest, I was also curious about. I’ve read claims that vmware’s vga performs better than the standard kvm vga driver however this all depends. Running vmware’s vga driver will certainly perform well on vmware’s hypervisor but how well it performs on kvm’s hypervisor depends on it’s implementation there. I’ve only now started playing with this driver on kvm and I’m already seeing a few bugs but performance seems decent. One obvious bug I can report is screen redraws after changing screen resolution. Anyway, let’s move on.
To install the driver, boot your windows guest with the provided cdrom image included at the end of this post attached. I’ve included two images, one for windows 32-bit guests and another for 64-bit guests. This driver is taken from the cdrom image provided with the free vmware server product. After booting your windows guest, navigate to your cdrom device and simply double click on the device or right click on the cdrom device and run “autoplay” to begin the installation as shown below.
Run Autoplay to being the installation.
Click next to complete the install.
To verify your install, you can go to the “Add/Remove Programs” section of your control panel and you’ll see the vmware vga driver installation as shown below.
This completes the installation of the vmware vga driver.
To actually use your newly installed vmware vga driver you need to reboot your windows guest to use the kvm provided vmware vga device option. If you’re managing your kvm , from the command line then you need to use the option –vga vmware option as follows.
qemu-kvm -vga vmware ...
If you’re using a GUI management tool then select the vmware vga option. Since virt-manager seems be popular below shows the option in virt-manager VM details window.
On booting your windows guest, it’ll take a minute to register the driver after logon and you may notice a screen flicker. Once this is complete you will now see the vmware vga driver under your device drivers as shown in the screenshot below.
The vmware vga driver seems to be performing decently under kvm with a few minor bugs as mentioned at the beginning of this post. I’ve only just started using this so apart from the screen resolution change bug, I haven’t experienced any other issues. I have only tested this on a windows XP SP3 32-bit guest so far so please give these drivers a test on other windows guest versions and provide some feedback. Attached at the bottom of this post are the drivers for download.