From: Norman Geist (norman.geist_at_uni-greifswald.de)
Date: Mon May 18 2015 - 02:47:21 CDT

Yes, the poor performance is due software rendering. The only way to get a
"real" GPU inside a VM currently, is to use VGA-pass-through with an
"multi-os" Nvidia GPU (Quadro, Tesla K*), which allow the VGA BIOS to be
"re"-initialized by a VM. This all is a proprietary and rather young
solution between Nvidia and only some VM products like VMware and Citrix.

The better options might be dual-boot on that same machine or
VirtualGL+TurboVNC on a remote machine.

Norman Geist.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-vmd-l_at_ks.uiuc.edu [mailto:owner-vmd-l_at_ks.uiuc.edu] On
> Behalf Of John Stone
> Sent: Saturday, May 16, 2015 8:52 PM
> To: Justin
> Cc: vmd-l_at_ks.uiuc.edu
> Subject: Re: vmd-l: Running 64-bit Linux VMD in VMWare VM on Windows
> 8.1 64-bit Host Machine
>
> Hi,
> I'm assuming that the CPU-based rendering is the cause of the
> poor OpenGL performance you're seeing, particularly if you're using
> some kind of stock Mesa implementation. I would recomment watching
> some of the videos on high performance OpenGL in virtualized
> environments.
> This one talks about the VMWare stuff from the description:
> http://insidehpc.com/2015/05/achieving-near-native-gpu-performance-in-
> the-cloud/
>
> I think that the key issue is that you need to be using the VMWare-
> specific
> GPU-passthrough drivers or similar to get peak speed. A properly setup
> VM machine is also capable of using CUDA as I recall.
>
> Cheers,
> John Stone
> vmd_at_ks.uiuc.edu`
>
> On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 05:16:16PM +0800, Justin wrote:
> > The VMD for Windows has only the 32-bit version and this is
> incapable of
> > handling larger trajectories, it normally crashes when I try to
> load a
> > larger trajectory (>1GB).
> > So I have tried running VMD 64-bit for Linux in a virtual machine
> on
> > VMWare 7.1.0. The guest OS is CentOS 7.1 64-bit and the host OS is
> Windows
> > 8.1 64-bit.
> > Unfortunately the performance is quite poor. Using render mode
> Normal, it
> > is very slow to rotate and move the protein structure around using
> the
> > NewCartoon drawing method. Surprisingly it is very smooth when I
> change
> > the render mode to Acrobat3D. GLSL rendering displays a weird red
> pentagon
> > with a circle in the middle regardless of drawing method. CPK
> drawing mode
> > is extremely slow for both Normal and Acrobat3D. Lines drawing
> method is
> > slow but bearable for both Normal and Acrobat3D rendering modes
> > I have checked VMWare and made sure that I have enabled CPU
> hardware
> > acceleration and 3D hardware acceleration on VMWare and installed
> > installed VMWare Tools. To ensure the 3D hardware acceleration
> support
> > through OpenGL in Linux, I have built
> > the¬ vmwgfx,¬ xf86-video-vmware,¬ Mesa/gallium OpenGL driver svga
> and
> > user-space libdrm library by following the guide
> > at¬ [1]http://www.mesa3d.org/vmware-guest.html
> > Running: "glxinfo | grep OpenGL". I get:
> > OpenGL vendor string: VMware, Inc.
> > OpenGL renderer string: Gallium 0.4 on SVGA3D; build: RELEASE; ¬
> > OpenGL version string: 2.1 Mesa 10.6.0-devel (git-4ab8d59)
> > OpenGL shading language version string: 1.20
> > OpenGL extensions:
> > Running VMD I get:
> > Info) VMD for LINUXAMD64, version 1.9.2 (December 29, 2014)
> > Info) [2]http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬
> ¬ ¬
> > ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬
> > Info) Email questions and bug reports to [3]vmd_at_ks.uiuc.edu ¬ ¬
> ¬ ¬
> > ¬ ¬
> > Info) Please include this reference in published work using VMD: ¬
> ¬
> > Info) ¬ ¬ Humphrey, W., Dalke, A. and Schulten, K., `VMD - Visual
> ¬ ¬
> > Info) ¬ ¬ Molecular Dynamics', J. Molec. Graphics 1996, 14.1, 33-
> 38.
> > Info) ------------------------------------------------------------
> -
> > Info) Multithreading available, 4 CPUs detected.
> > Info) Free system memory: 12833MB (96%)
> > Warning) Detected a mismatch between CUDA runtime and GPU driver
> > Warning) Check to make sure that GPU drivers are up to date.
> > Info) No CUDA accelerator devices available.
> > Warning) Detected X11 'Composite' extension: if incorrect display
> occurs
> > Warning) try disabling this X server option.¬ Most OpenGL drivers
> > Warning) disable stereoscopic display when 'Composite' is enabled.
> > Info) OpenGL renderer: Gallium 0.4 on SVGA3D; build: RELEASE; ¬
> > Info) ¬ Features: STENCIL MDE CVA MTX NPOT PP PS GLSL(OVF)¬
> > Info) ¬ Full GLSL rendering mode is available.
> > Info) ¬ Textures: 2-D (4096x4096), 3-D (256x256x256),
> Multitexture (8)
> > Info) Dynamically loaded 2 plugins in directory:
> > Info) /usr/local/lib/vmd/plugins/LINUXAMD64/molfile
> > I also ran Microsoft Sysinternals Suite's Process Explorer to
> monitor the
> > GPU usage while running VMD in VMWare and I do indeed find VMWare
> using
> > the GPU although the % utilization is quite low ~7-10%.
> > Is there anything else that I can do to improve the performance of
> VMD in
> > the VM?
> > More specifically, is there a way to get VMD/Linux/VMWare to make
> better
> > use of my GPU on Windows?
> > Thanks in advance.
> > Regards,
> > Justin
> >
> > References
> >
> > Visible links
> > 1. http://www.mesa3d.org/vmware-guest.html
> > 2. http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/
> > 3. mailto:vmd_at_ks.uiuc.edu
>
> --
> NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
> Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
> University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
> http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~johns/ Phone: 217-244-3349
> http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/