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Last active Oct 30, 2022
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VMware Player: No 3d support available from the host

VMware Player: "No 3d support is available from the host"

Facts: VMware Player on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with the standard Gnome desktop running an AMD WX-2100 graphics card. Both glxinfo and glxgears show 3d acceleration is enabled and working on the host. In addition to VMware Player, the host is also running the qemu-kvm/libvirtd stack from Ubuntu's official repositories. My use case for 3d accelerated graphics in a Windows guest is to occasionally play a Windows-only game.

Issue: Player barks this warning during installation of... anything.

Solution: This askubuntu post, Powered by StackExchange[TM], provides the solution:

  1. Make sure 3d graphics is enabled in the guest settings and VMware Tools installed in it.

  2. Shut down the Windows VM and exit Player.

  3. Edit ~/.vmware/preferences to add... = "TRUE"
  1. Start up the guest VM in Player.


  1. Why not use qemu-kvm instead of VMware Player? Because there isn't a working Windows driver for virtual 3d accelerated graphics. The virGL project had this as a goal around five years ago (back when I went all-in on qemu-kvm myself), but has yet to deliver for Windows guests.

  2. Why not PCI (VFIO) pass-through? Too expensive for me, and I suspect for most ordinary users. If you need 3d graphics on Windows, it's probably justifiable. But then you could put the same money into a second workstation running Windows on bare metal. There's still a frustratingly high learning curve for getting pass-through graphics up and running, and the premium hardware required is very expensive (high-end motherboard and two graphics cards, as well as a spare monitor or a pro KVM switch -- like a Blackbox for reliability and durability).

  3. You can't run a VMware and a qemu-kvm guest at the same time, each virtualization system wants exclusive access to the kernel. For desktop use that shouldn't be a problem, but if the host doubles as a virtual lab (as mine does) you're going to have to shut down all your qemu-kvm guests before launching a guest in Player. It's an annoyance, but manageable for me. Note that you do not have to shut down or recycle libvirtd before or after using VMware Player.

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