Installing and configuring the NVIDIA VIB on ESXi (KB: 2033434)

Details

Before you can use the hardware-based (GPU) virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA) feature in vSphere, you must install and configure the NVIDIA GPU VIB (vSphere Installation Bundle) on ESXi.

This feature is supported in Horizon View 5.2 and later releases.

Note: This vSphere 5.1 feature is not supported in Horizon View 5.1 or earlier.

Solution

Installing the NVIDIA GPU VIB

To install the NVIDIA GPU VIB:

  1. Download the VIB from the NVIDIA web site: 

    Note: The preceding link was correct as of December 30, 2013. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.

  2. Open a command prompt on the ESXi host and run the command:

    esxcli software vib install -v /path_to_vib/nvidia_vib

Alternatively, you can use ESXi Image Builder to create a bootable image that contains the NVIDIA VIB. For more information, see the vSphere Installation and Setup Guide in the VMware vSphere 5.1 Documentation Center.

Starting the xorg Service

Before you start any virtual machines, make sure that the xorg service is running.

To verify that the xorg service is running using the vSphere Client:

  1. Connect to the ESXi host.
  2. On the Configuration tab under Software, click Security Profile.
  3. Click the Properties link for Services.
  4. Ensure that xorg is Running and has the startup policy you prefer. If xorg is Stopped:
    1. Select xorg and click Options.
    2. Click Start.
    3. Select the Startup Policy and click OK.

Note: To verify that the xorg service is running using the vSphere Web Client:

  1. Connect to vCenter Server.
  2. From the inventory, select the ESXi host.
  3. On the Manage tab under System, click Security Profile.
  4. Click the Edit button for Services.
  5. Ensure that xorg is Running and has your desired startup policy. If xorg is Stopped:
    1. Select xorg and click Start.
    2. Select the Startup Policy and click OK.

To verify that the xorg service is running using the command line:

  • From a command prompt on the ESXi host, run the command:

    /etc/init.d/xorg start

Configuring virtual machine video card 3D capabilities

To configure virtual machine video card 3D capabilities using the vSphere Client:

  1. Connect to the ESXi host.
  2. Select the virtual machine.
  3. On the Summary tab under Commands, click Edit Settings.
  4. Under Hardware, click Video card.
  5. Under Displays and video memory, set the video card 3D capabilities:
    1. Set the Total video memory to a value from 64 MB to 512 MB.

      Most applications should work with 128 MB. Video memory values larger than 128 MB are available only with virtual machines with hardware version 9.

    2. Under 3D graphics, select Enable 3D Support.
    3. Click OK.

Note: You cannot set the 3D renderer from the vSphere Client. Enabling 3D support is sufficient to use the hardware-based (GPU) virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA) feature in vSphere. To set the 3D renderer, use the vSphere Web Client to configure video card 3D capabilities.

To set the 3D renderer from the vSphere Web Client:

  1. Connect to vCenter Server.
  2. Select the virtual machine:
    1. Click a data center, folder, cluster, resource pool, or host.
    2. Click the Related Objects tab, then click Virtual Machines.

  3. On the Manage tab, click Settings.
  4. Click VM Hardware.
  5. Click Edit.
  6. Expand the Video card setting.
  7. Set the Total video memory to a value from 64 MB to 512 MB.

    Most applications should work with 128 MB. Video memory values larger than 128 MB are available only with virtual machines with hardware version 9.

  8. For 3D Graphics, select Enable 3D Support.
  9. For 3D Renderer, select Hardware or Automatic.
  10. Click OK.

To configure virtual machine video card 3D capabilities from View Administrator:

Note: Hardware-based 3D rendering can be configured from View Administrator in Horizon View 5.2 and later releases.

  1. Connect to VMware View Administrator.
  2. Add or edit a desktop pool. For more information, see the VMware Horizon View Administration guide.
  3. On the Pool Settings page (or tab), set the 3D Renderer to Automatic or Hardware.
  4. Complete the Add Pool wizard or click OK in the Edit Pool dialog.

Note: If you use the Manage using vSphere Client option in View Administrator, you can configure 3D rendering from the vSphere Web Client on a per-virtual machine basis. If Manage using vSphere Client is not selected in View Administrator, the 3D rendering settings you make in View Administrator apply to the entire pool and overwrite any 3D rendering settings you make in the vSphere Web Client.

Uninstalling and updating the NVIDIA GPU VIB

To update the NVIDIA GPU VIB, you must uninstall the currently installed VIB and install the new VIB.

To uninstall the currently installed VIB:

  1. Stop all virtual machines using 3D acceleration.
  2. Place the ESXi host into Maintenance mode.
  3. Open a command prompt on the ESXi host.
  4. Stop the xorg service by running the command:

    /etc/init.d/xorg stop

  5. Remove the NVIDIA VMkernel driver by running the command:

    vmkload_mod -u nvidia

  6. Remove the VIB by running the command:

    esxcli software vib remove -n NVIDIA-VMware

    You can now install a newer NVIDIA GPU VIB by following the steps provided earlier in this article.


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