Virtio GPU with OpenGL support for Linux virtual machines

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Starting with Parallels Desktop 17.1.0 update, we introduce the support for VirGL, which is a feature of the Virtio GPU, allowing for hardware graphics acceleration in Linux virtual machines.

Parallels Desktop has been featuring hardware acceleration in Linux virtual machines for a long time, but it has previously been achieved through Parallels' proprietary drivers (part of Parallels Tools) consisting of many kernel and user-space components that required regular updates and fixes.

In contrast to that, VirGL features out-of-the-box support by all common Linux distributions, which allows for better compatibility across different desktop environments and applications, most notably — enabling the improved support for the Wayland protocol

Moreover, it works even without Parallels Tools installed.

Note: due to compatibility concerns, VirGL will not be enabled in some instances. Learn more below.

Linux on ARM

Linux x86 (Intel)

In Intel-based Linux virtual machines, VirGL will be preferred only for systems with kernel 5.10 and newer:

To verify that VirGL is enabled, open Terminal inside the Linux virtual machine and execute the following command:

sudo dmesg | grep virgl

If the command returns a string with +virgl, this means that VirGL is enabled.

If the string contains -virgl, it's disabled.

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