So I'm trying to get my laptops NVIDIA fx 880m to pass to a virtual box running window seven on a linux mint 17 install.

So far everything seems to be (maybe) heading in the right direction:

the device passed through happily, when I booted the virtual box it installed a bunch of new drivers, but when I try to install the NVIDIA driver on the guest it can't find the card. I looked under the device manager and there's no listing for the nvidia card under the pci bus, my guess would be that I need to disable it in the host so that it can be passed through to the guest (the virtual box manual said they can't be shared) but I'm not sure how to do so. Can anybody help with this? This question does not seem to me to be a duplicate of Cannot setup PCI Passthrough for display adapter in VirtualBox, because here the given solution was that it was not possible with a windows host, however in this case the host is linux


3 Answers 3


This feature is not yet supported in Virtualbox.

Your only alternative virtualization software that supports this that I am aware of are Qemu and Xen and possibly VMWare. Most success tales of passing through GPUs to virtual machines come from either Qemu or Xen so I would suggest you turn towards that until Virtualbox supports this.

There is a blog devoted to the subject(that is their 2015 tutorial on how to do this with qemu as a focus) which you may want to look into.

Keep in mind that VGA Passthrough is still very experimental technology and it requires Motherboard/CPU combinations that support very specific features, and usually it also requires a custom kernel configuration to actually be able to access these features from within Linux (to be able to use them in the virtual machine).

In light of this, please try not to overcommit. You are very likely to run into bugs or issues that can render either your physical or virtual system unstable or in some ways inoperable while using VGA Passthrough. Don't expect it to work completely, nor easily. You need luck for that to really happen.


It can't be done.

You can pass through USB devices, no problem. But when you start dealing with PCI and PCIe devices, they will not get passed through. In theory, if you disabled your graphics card until you booted your host OS, then enabled your graphics card "magically", your VM would still need full control over it (which your OS won't give you). It's not going to be possible given current technology

  • hey thanks, so do you mean to say that, although virtual box will allow pass through of pci devices, the current technology doesn't allow it to pass through total control? Maybe I misunderstood, but it seemed like this guy unix.stackexchange.com/questions/56777/… seemed to get almost there...
    – sean read
    Jul 27, 2015 at 7:02
  • Windows won't give up that kind of control. I could see it theoretically possible if you had multiple types of video cards detected, but they get initialized with the BIOS/EFI when your system boots, before Windows would be able to give up control to another VM Jul 27, 2015 at 7:04
  • Yes but I'm passing through from Linux to windows, so wouldn't it be Linux giving up control?
    – sean read
    Jul 27, 2015 at 7:06
  • Sorry, yes. But either way, the OS will not give up control to a full PCI device. It's still going to intercept requests to it, as PCI actually maps to part of the CPU, literally. Jul 27, 2015 at 7:07
  • See superuser.com/a/680857/24010 Jul 27, 2015 at 7:15

Okay, so it seems that it can be done, however what is important is the graphics card and chipset that are being used. In my case, processor and motherboard are fine, but graphics card is not :( but good news for the rest of you. Also it seems that the feature is better supported in xen or kvm than virtual box, see http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=112013

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.