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Steam Remote Play homestream
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mooo Jan 26, 2014 @ 8:38pm
Steam streaming from a virtual machine?
Has anyone tried this setup yet?

I'm thinking of building a gaming Windows VM on a VMware ESX headless server and I'm hoping that I can use VT-d passthrough to assign a GPU to the VM and stream the output to a Mac.

The reason for this madness is that my ESX server is currently the most powerful machine in the house and I would like to be able to stream to my older 2009-2010ish Macbook Pro for gameplay.

That way I get the best of both worlds (for me). Windows games etc played on a Mac. This way I also get to avoid having to upgrade any more equipment for the near future.

Thanks.
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Showing 1-15 of 50 comments
mooo Feb 2, 2014 @ 12:08am 
Bump. So has anyone tried this yet?
FuN_KeY Feb 2, 2014 @ 10:27am 
I never tried it with in-Home streaming, since I do not have access to this technology yet; but I do have a few experience about GPU & VMDP.

It is possible to use VT-D to dedicate a GPU to a VM unter ESXi. Here are the constraints:
- Nvidia GPU does not work as far as I know, only AMD
- Not every AMD GPU might work
- The VM could not get more than 4GB of ram when VMDP was enabled, but this limitation might have been removed
- The whole memory needs to be reserved for the VM on the host. Dynamic memory allocation cannot be used
- You will lose the snapshot, vmotion & co features for the VM that has the GPU

I did that a few years ago to get a virtual HTPC with XBMC. It worked OK, but overtime crappy AMD driver kept crashing (seg fault),
Last edited by FuN_KeY; Feb 2, 2014 @ 10:27am
eric Feb 2, 2014 @ 4:09pm 
I am hoping to try this. I have passed through a Quadro K4000, so higher end Nvidia works.
You can have as much ram as you want, you just have to set the PCI hole. Snapshots work, but only when the VM is powered off. I have been able to pass through just about any Radeon I've tried.

Currently I have 4 SteamOS vm's running simultaneously on ESXi 5, Starbound plays just fine.
I would like to try streaming from another VM on the same ESXi, using virtual nics & switches entirely.
mooo Feb 5, 2014 @ 10:09am 
Has anyone tried vt-d'ing the onboard Intel GPU yet? My ESXi server is headless so I don't really need a video output for that. It would be fantastic if this were possible.

eric, I'm not familiar with the K4000, does that mean you have a GPU assigned per SteamOS VM?
mooo Feb 5, 2014 @ 10:36am 
I forgot to mention that my ESX server is a SFF machine so I only have a single PCIe x16 slot available. Looking around, it looks like the R7 240 is the most performant card available right now that could fit in a single slot.

Bummer is that that particular GPU seems to be only a little better than my processor with HD4400 graphics.

I'm also open to suggestions for a better card that fits in a single slot (the other slot is taken by a network card).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121799
jasonmicron Feb 5, 2014 @ 4:05pm 
I'm trying it right now, actually. This is my setup:

Host: Fedora 20, Intel 3770 CPU, host uses Intel GPU - HD3000
Guest: Windows 7, 4 cores, 16GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX3800 GPU

I can game in the guest fine normally. However, when I try to stream from there to my laptop downstairs I get only a black screen. Not sure if I'm blocking traffic on my network or what's going on. If I get it going, I'll post it here.
jasonmicron Feb 5, 2014 @ 4:06pm 
Oh - the hypervisor I'm using is KVM
jasonmicron Feb 5, 2014 @ 4:09pm 
mooo - you can't use the Intel integrated graphics with VT-d. At least, I don't think you can do that. Even if it is running headless, your hypervisor will still expect a console.
jasonmicron Feb 5, 2014 @ 4:14pm 
One thing I *have* learned so far is you cannot have a console or RDP session open on the guest. If you do, the other system receiving the stream will be relegated to the resolution of the console / RDP session, rather than what it should be.
jasonmicron Feb 5, 2014 @ 4:22pm 
So I've tried several games, all no luck, all with a black screen. To quit, I have to ALT+F4 twice, then open a remote console and manually kill the game:

Doom (this one just crashes)
Titan Quest
Skyrim
Gemini Rule

Before I say this won't work in a VM with VT-d, I really want to see it work normally so I know what is NORMAL and what is NOT normal. I'll have to pick this up another day, time for me to cook the kiddo some food. I suspect kids need to eat or something like that.
eric Feb 5, 2014 @ 5:24pm 
The K4000 is in someone else's computer - It is assigned to a VM, but it's win7
My SteamBoxes are VM's with Radeon HD 6450's assigned to them.
I just built a win7 VM using one of the HD 6450's, and it's currently downloading Dota so I can try streaming to one of the steamboxes.
mooo Feb 7, 2014 @ 11:52am 
Hmm, with Xen, supposedly you *can* vt-d the onboard GPU. I wonder how they are able to do this if the other hypervisors are not able to (supposedly).

http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/Xen_VGA_Passthrough#Status_of_VGA_graphics_passthru_in_Xen
eric Feb 7, 2014 @ 8:37pm 
I am also passing through a Geforce FX 5200 PCI (not pcie) card.
jasonmicron Feb 8, 2014 @ 8:04am 
Update - it works! I had to update the drivers on the Windows 7 guest to the current 332.XX driver set for Quadro cards, and now streaming works great! This is really exciting. Skyrim finally came up and everything worked.

So yes, you can definitely run Steam from a virtual machine with GPU passthrough enabled, and streaming will work.
jasonmicron Feb 8, 2014 @ 8:07am 
And one more time - this is my setup:

Host: Fedora 20, KVM hypervisor, Intel HD3000 GPU on an Intel 3770 (non-K) CPU
-- remember, only the NON-K version of Intel's CPUs support VT-d, but you cannot overclock them
Guest: Windows 7, Quadro FX3800 passed through
My remote system: Laptop that overheats way too much to play Skyrim

Sweetness.
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Date Posted: Jan 26, 2014 @ 8:38pm
Posts: 50