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Thread: Intel ARC 750 Causes VMware console to freeze

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2024
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    Intel ARC 750 Causes VMware console to freeze

    Hello all,

    I have an issue with one of my Ubuntu VMs running in ESXI 7.0 U3 that I'm hoping to get some help with. Backstory first:
    I have a media server running within this Ubuntu VM that uses a GPU for transcoding. I first ran an old P2000 Nvidia GPU which didn't support codecs I wanted, so I tried an AMD MI25 which worked great, except my media server didn't fully support it (go figure), so I've now ended on the Intel ARC 750 GPU which transcodes great and is fully supported by the media server software. These all have been utilized in a direct passthrough setting in VMware.

    Hardware is an HP ML350 Gen9 and everything is accessed through VMware web console, and there are no monitors connected to the host. My Ubuntu is 22.04.3 LTS running the generic 6.5 kernel (required to get the Intel ARC drivers installed and operating) with a MATE desktop GUI.

    My issue is that with the Intel ARC card it appears to be setting this GPU as the default device and blocking the VMware vga adapter so I lose console access as soon as it gets to the point in the boot. (See the screenshot below, switching from 0000 to 0002). To my knowledge the 0000 device is the VMware VGA adapter that is required to display the vmware console and the 0002 is the Intel ARC GPU, so when it switches I lose display. If I remove the gpu from the VM in VMware I get my display back just fine. The console freezes at the point of this switch, but the VM and everything associated (my media server included) are operating fine still, I just have no display.

    My question is this, is there anyway to make the VMware VGA device remain as the default for display with the Intel GPU in the background so to speak waiting to be utilized by my media server?

    Thanks for any help in advance.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Intel ARC 750 Causes VMware console to freeze

    This is really a VMware Virtual Host question... But hey, why not.

    On the HP ML350 Gen9 Xeon processors do not have an iGPU. That server supports GPU's as cards... Which you only mentioned the Intel ARC 750... What is your other GPU? If you are passing that one through, then you lose that for use by the host.

    Do you not have another GPU? So that when the ARc is committed to the VM, that the host has something to use...

    EDIT: You said you had other GPU's on-hand, that you tried previously for our VM. They didn't work out for the passthrough to your VM for what you needed to do, but they could work for your Host right? I have even just used cheap x1 VGA only GPU's for host use, just soi I have "something." Just saying.

    Otherwsie, if you were using KVM, instead of VMware, I would just tell you to use scripts in the hooks to unassign the GPU from the host and hand it over to the VM via vfio, then back to the host on exit. But you are using VMware, so can't do that, that way.
    Last edited by MAFoElffen; February 14th, 2024 at 06:33 PM.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2024
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    2

    Re: Intel ARC 750 Causes VMware console to freeze

    Sorry, I may have been a bit muddy with my description here. There is no other GPU in the host aside from this ARC card. What I was referring to is a virtual VGA adapter that a hypervisor sets up when you create a VM so that you can view and control that VM from whatever interface your hypervisor contains. In this case with VMware I am running vCenter so I'm going through the web GUI. Without passing any actual GPU through into the VM, a VM views this virtual VGA adapter as its "GPU" so to speak. With the other 2 cards I had installed, Ubuntu left VMware's virtual VGA as the primary adapter so my VMware console functioned as it should. I suspect the difference here is that both of those cards are server GPUs, and this ARC is a consumer grade so it is treated differently by Ubuntu (this is just a guess on my part).

    In summary, I just need to find a way to make Ubuntu treat the VMware virtual VGA as its primary "GPU" again instead of handing that off to the ARC card during the boot process.

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