MMIO Device Passthrough

The ACRN Hypervisor supports both PCI and MMIO device passthrough. However there are some constraints on and hypervisor assumptions about MMIO devices: there can be no DMA access to the MMIO device and the MMIO device may not use IRQs.

Here is how ACRN supports MMIO device passthrough:

  • For a pre-launched VM, the VM configuration tells the ACRN hypervisor the addresses of the physical MMIO device’s regions and where they are mapped to in the pre-launched VM. The hypervisor then removes these MMIO regions from the Service VM and fills the vACPI table for this MMIO device based on the device’s physical ACPI table.

  • For a post-launched VM, the same actions are done as in a pre-launched VM, plus we use the command line to tell which MMIO device we want to pass through to the post-launched VM.

    If the MMIO device has ACPI Tables, use --acpidev_pt HID and if not, use --mmiodev_pt MMIO_regions.


Currently, the vTPM and PT TPM in the ACRN-DM have the same HID so we can’t support them both at the same time. The VM will fail to boot if both are used.

These issues remain to be implemented:

  • Save the MMIO regions in a field of the VM structure in order to release the resources when the post-launched VM shuts down abnormally.
  • Allocate the guest MMIO regions for the MMIO device in a guest-reserved MMIO region instead of being hard-coded. With this, we could add more passthrough MMIO devices.
  • De-assign the MMIO device from the Service VM first before passing through it to the post-launched VM and not only removing the MMIO regions from the Service VM.