So I found this video about virtualizing Windows 10 and using it for gaming and whatnot.

Now, when I first saw this video, I realized that this wasn't going to be an easy task, since in order to use your GPU on the guest OS you need to do GPU passthrough, and apparently you also need two GPUs for this to work. I also noticed they used Manjaro Linux, but I found out QubesOS is more focused on virtualizing, and thought this could be the best OS to do this process.

However, the question remains like this:

Is there a way of doing this with only one GPU?

So far I found this and this guide to do so, but I was wondering if there was a better way of doing it.

Somethings that I feel are important to mention:

  • My [AMD] processor supports IOMMU, and I think it's enabled.
  • I also have Virtualization support. Last time I checked, this was enabled!
  • I would like to do this with a GTX 1650 Super.
  • The host OS could be either Manjaro or QubesOS.
    • The guest OS would be Windows 10 LTSC or any other W10 OS.

I'm not quite sure if any other requirement needs to be reviewed, but that's all I have.

Sorry if this is too unusual, I'm really curious about this and I'd like to know what to do and what NOT to do. I'm trying to keep it as short as possible, with only one question so it is a little bit more "focused" I guess...

  • You can't. When you pass through the GPU, or anything really, to a VM it removes access to that device on the host to give full control to the guest. You'll need to add a second GPU for the host. – essjae Jul 31 '20 at 23:48
  • This could be a bold assumption, but those guides are there for a reason. I don't think every OS require a GPU to work. That's why I have that question in mind; I wouldn't mind if I couldn't use graphics at all on the host OS, as I would use it for browsing, maybe even coding. The guest OS would work to watch videos and for gaming. – skidd10pp Aug 1 '20 at 3:31
  • Since I knew those guides existed, I was wondering if it was more convenient to use a second GPU (which most likely is), but since I can't afford another GPU right now I would like to do it with only one. I'm not trying to say you're wrong, but saying that it could be possible -with some quirks-, maybe difficult or very time consuming, but still possible. – skidd10pp Aug 1 '20 at 3:33
  • Yes, every computer with a screen attached to it requires processing of the video signals to make pictures on that screen. So, your computer needs the GPU and cannot share with a VM. – music2myear Aug 3 '20 at 4:18
  • But if the host OS is simply passing all the signals between the VM and GPU, then wouldn't the guest OS be able to handle all that? If you run it as a headless VM and enable USB passthrough for your mouse and keyboard, couldn't that work? Might require special support in the display manager and X server to keep everything running when the only GPU disappears, but I don't see any reason why it couldn't work. – flarn2006 Sep 4 '20 at 21:09

i can confirm that on Hyper-V, Linux and on ESXi you can pass-through any/all GPUs that you have, this includes your question (assuming only one GPU exist). the host simply has no display anymore (that's called headless in the server world) but why would it care?

RDP/SSH/Web/remotePowershell access still works.

i started these tests two years ago with hyper-v (server 2016) and an old radeon R390 and a radeon RX480. because of driver issues i later switched to linux (centos 7/8) with KVM. while driver issues were solved, the linux solution was wonky because of cpu scheduling issues which resulted in heavy usb audio glitches. last week i tried out hyper-vserver 2019, but abandoned the project because it seems server2019 no longer allows consumer grade GPUs to pass-through. instead of wasting too much time i tried out ESX, this is my preferred solution so far.

i currently run esxi 7 with a RX480 passed to one VM, and an old nvidia quadro400 to the second vm. host is headless = no GPU. during this switch i made tests with one GPU installed only, and passthrough works fine in this case as well.

i hope this answers your question.

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