XenCenter allows you to assign a dedicated graphics processing unit (GPU) or a virtual GPU to a new VM during VM creation. This enables a VM to use the processing power of the GPU, providing better support for high-end 3D professional graphics applications such as CAD/CAM, GIS, and Medical Imaging applications. For detailed information, refer to the Configuring XenServer for Graphics guide.

XenServer supports Intel’s virtual GPU; a graphics acceleration solution that requires no additional hardware. It uses the Intel Iris Pro functionality embedded in some processors, and utilizes a standard Intel GPU driver installed within the VM. Note that the motherboard must be equipped with a chipset which enables GPU functionality, for example, C226 for Xeon E3 v4 CPUs or C236 for Xeon v5 CPUs. For more information, see Configuring XenServer for Graphics guide. For information about supported processors, refer to the XenServer Hardware Compatibility List.

The following table provides information about GPU and virtual GPU support for various types of VMs

  GPU for Windows VMs GPU for HVM Linux VMs Virtual GPU for Windows VMs
AMD Yes No No
Intel Yes No Yes
NVIDIA Yes Yes Yes

The GPU type drop-down list displays available GPUs, supported virtual GPU types, resolution, and the maximum number of displays per virtual GPU. Select a GPU or a virtual GPU type from the list to assign a GPU or a virtual GPU to the VM.

If you are using virtual GPU, select Pass-through whole GPU to allow a VM to use the full processing power of the GPU. The GPU or virtual GPU selection can be modified later, if required. For more information, see Change VM Properties.


  • GPU Pass-through and Graphics Virtualization is only available for XenServer Enterprise Edition customers, or those who have access to XenServer through their Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops entitlement. For more information about licensing, see About XenServer Licensing.
  • There is no licensing restriction to use NVIDIA GPU pass-through for HVM Linux VMs.
  • When you allocate a GPU to HVM Linux VMs, the GPU type drop-down list displays all GPU types available on the host or the pool. However, you should note that only NVIDIA GPU pass-through is supported for HVM Linux VMs.

Enabling Intel GPU pass-through

XenServer supports GPU pass-through feature for Windows 7 and Windows 8 (32-/64-bit) VMs using an Intel integrated GPU device. This is supported on Haswell (Xeon E3-12xx v3) or newer CPUs that contain an Intel integrated GPU device and have a graphics-capable chipset. For more information on the supported hardware, refer to the XenServer Hardware Compatibility List.

When using Intel GPU on Intel servers, the XenServer host’s control domain (dom0) will have access to the integrated GPU device. In such cases, the GPU will not be available for pass through. Customers who wish to use the Intel GPU pass-through feature on Intel servers should disable the connection between dom0 and the GPU before passing through the GPU to the VM.

To do this:

  1. Select the XenServer host on the Resources pane.
  2. On the General tab, click Properties and then click on GPU on the left pane.
  3. In the Integrated GPU pass-through section, click This server will not use the integrated GPU.

    This disables the connection between dom0 and the Intel integrated GPU device.

  4. Click OK.
  5. Reboot the XenServer host for the changes to take effect.

    The Intel GPU will now be visible on the GPU type drop-down list during new VM creation and on the VM’s Properties tab.


The XenServer host’s external console output (for example, VGA, HDMI, DP) will not be available after disabling the connection between dom0 and the GPU.