Enable GVT-d in ACRN

This tutorial describes how to enable GVT-d in ACRN.


After GVT-d is enabled, have either a serial port or SSH session open in the Service VM to interact with it.


Intel GVT-d is a graphics virtualization approach that is also known as the Intel-Graphics-Device passthrough feature. Based on Intel VT-d technology, it offers useful special graphics-related configurations. It allows for direct assignment of an entire GPU’s prowess to a single user, passing the native driver capabilities through to the hypervisor without any limitations.

Verified Version

  • ACRN-hypervisor tag: acrn-2020w17.4-140000p

  • ACRN-Kernel (Service VM kernel): master branch, commit ID 095509221660daf82584ebdd8c50ea0078da3c2d

  • ACRN-EDK2 (OVMF): ovmf-acrn branch, commit ID 0ff86f6b9a3500e4c7ea0c1064e77d98e9745947


Follow these instructions to set up Ubuntu as the ACRN Service VM.

Supported Hardware Platform

Currently, ACRN has enabled GVT-d on the following platforms:

  • Kaby Lake

  • Whiskey Lake

  • Elkhart Lake

BIOS Settings

Kaby Lake Platform

  • Set IGD Minimum Memory to 64MB in DevicesVideoIGD Minimum Memory.

Whiskey Lake Platform

  • Set PM Support to Enabled in ChipsetSystem Agent (SA) ConfigurationGraphics ConfigurationPM support.

  • Set DVMT Pre-Allocated to 64MB in ChipsetSystem Agent (SA) ConfigurationGraphics ConfigurationDVMT Pre-Allocated.

Elkhart Lake Platform

  • Set DMVT Pre-Allocated to 64MB in Intel Advanced MenuSystem Agent(SA) ConfigurationGraphics ConfigurationDMVT Pre-Allocated.

Passthrough the GPU to Guest

  1. Copy /usr/share/acrn/samples/nuc/launch_win.sh to install_win.sh

    cp /usr/share/acrn/samples/nuc/launch_win.sh ~/install_win.sh
  2. Modify the install_win.sh script to specify the Windows image you use.

  3. Modify the install_win.sh script to enable GVT-d:

    Add the following commands before acrn-dm -A -m $mem_size -s 0:0,hostbridge \

    gpudevice=`cat /sys/bus/pci/devices/0000:00:02.0/device`
    echo "8086 $gpudevice" > /sys/bus/pci/drivers/pci-stub/new_id
    echo "0000:00:02.0" > /sys/bus/pci/devices/0000:00:02.0/driver/unbind
    echo "0000:00:02.0" > /sys/bus/pci/drivers/pci-stub/bind

    Replace -s 2,pci-gvt -G "$2" \ with -s 2,passthru,0/2/0,gpu \

  4. Run launch_win.sh.

Enable the GVT-d GOP Driver

When enabling GVT-d, the Guest OS cannot light up the physical screen before the OS driver loads. As a result, the Guest BIOS and the Grub UI are not visible on the physical screen. This occurs because the physical display is initialized by the GOP driver or VBIOS before the OS driver loads, and the Guest BIOS doesn’t have them.

The solution is to integrate the GOP driver binary into the OVMF as a DXE driver. Then the Guest OVMF can see the GOP driver and run it in the graphic passthrough environment. The physical display can be initialized by the GOP and used by the Guest BIOS and Guest Grub.


  1. Fetch the ACRN OVMF:

    git clone https://github.com/projectacrn/acrn-edk2.git
  2. Fetch the VBT and GOP drivers.

    Fetch the VBT and GOP drivers from the board manufacturer according to your CPU model name.

  3. Add the VBT and GOP drivers to the OVMF:

    cp IntelGopDriver.efi  acrn-edk2/OvmfPkg/IntelGop/IntelGopDriver.efi
    cp Vbt.bin acrn-edk2/OvmfPkg/Vbt/Vbt.bin

    Confirm that these binaries names match the board manufacturer names.

  4. Use git apply to add the following two patches:

  5. Compile the OVMF:

    cd acrn-edk2
    git submodule update --init CryptoPkg/Library/OpensslLib/openssl
    source edksetup.sh
    make -C BaseTools
    vim Conf/target.txt
      ACTIVE_PLATFORM = OvmfPkg/OvmfPkgX64.dsc
      TARGET_ARCH = X64

Keep in mind the following:

  • Use a build machine that has GCC 5.X version installed.

  • The source edksetup.sh step is needed for compilation every time a shell is created.

  • This will generate the binary at Build/OvmfX64/DEBUG_GCC5/FV/OVMF.fd. Transfer the binary to your target machine.

  • Modify the launch script to specify the OVMF you built just now.


Once you’ve installed the Docker environment, you can use this script to build ACRN OVMF with the GOP driver enabled. For more details about the script usage, run build_acrn_ovmf.sh -h.