GPU Passthrough using the expansion bay

Hey everyone,

I am an avid Linux user and the Framework 16 is shaping up to be the ultimate all-in-one machine.

The only thing I am unsure about (as I have little experience doing this) is the possibility of GPU Passthrough using a GPU in the expansion slot for the ultimate VM experience.

Thanks for any help.


I don’t think we will have an answer to that question until the laptop is available and it can be tested.
We still do not know if the laptop will have a MUX switch for the screen, even after the deep dive on the subject.

I am also hoping that all this will be supported and won’t buy until I know for sure that it was correctly implemented.


Ah, I see.
Thanks for the help

@Darius_C what do you do in a VM utilizing a GPU, and what VM software do you use? I’ve yet to find a good workflow for either productive GPU usage or gaming.

Could be used for Windows games with restrictive anti-cheats (aka blocking Proton)

@RandomRanger Don’t know about their use case, but personally I find it useful for a Mac VM I use for digital art and development. It’s nice to have hardware acceleration on a canvas or with some graphical design apps which are mac only. On the development side, this is used mostly for applications targeting MacOS or IOS. Though, for both usecases, it can be quite hard to get up and running and sometimes an older version or second GPU is needed.

When you set up a vm right it’s not really that slow either. Specifically, when giving it a full partition or drive instead of a qcow file. On top of that, I have had a reasonably good experience with a windows VM and gaming when set up correctly. Not as good as native, but reasonably good. One more point, I know some people who use it for a contained environment allowing others to use it for Crypto or ML over a network. Not my jam but it can be done and is a reasonably good experience. This’ll be more usefull when recycling the board and card through after an upgrade.

It’s good for testing environments built with an image when building application, developing games, or pen testing systems which may use a graphics card. This way you don’t need to worry about your dev environment hiding or creating issues. In production, in a data center, your applications will be run on a VM anyway it’s good to test locally on the correct environment.

Edit: To answer your question on software, Qemu with KVM for a quicker VM

@RandomRanger I was planning on using it for mainly gaming as everything gaming just works so much better in Windows but I don’t like using too much proprietary software (especially Microsoft) and dual booting is too inconvenient as I would like to dynamically allocate HD space.

I also work in software so having a Windows testing environment can be useful, but obviously that wouldn’t require a GPU.

I use qemu and KVM for as close to native performance as possible.