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Windows Server VM with Physical Monitor

  • 1.  Windows Server VM with Physical Monitor

    Posted Mar 07, 2019 01:06 PM


    We use ESXi 6.7 U1 on a few machines that are used for build and automated testing of our visual-effects software products. For our tests to run properly, they need hardware-accelerated OpenGL and OpenCL, so we are passing through NVIDIA and AMD GPUs from the host into the guest VMs.

    This generally works fine, but we found that on Windows Server 2016 with an AMD GPU, it's necessary to have a monitor plugged into the GPU and set up as a display in Windows for us to get a hardware-backed OpenGL context. That works, but it renders the VMware remote console difficult to use. We end up with a multi-monitor setup where the physical monitor (actually a dummy DVI plug) is the primary display and the virtual monitor is the secondary display, with the desktop extended over both. In the console, the mouse cursor no longer lines up with where Windows thinks it is on the virtual display, so clicks are sent to wrong widget, etc. I appreciate that it will not be possible to see what's being sent to the physical monitor in the console, that's not important.

    Does anyone know how to solve this problem with the console?

    I accept this is a pretty niche use case, but I can't think of a better way to achieve what we need. Alternative suggestions welcome.