Skip to main content
Version: v1.1

PCI Devices (Experimental)

Available as of v1.1.0

A PCIDevice in Harvester represents a host device with a PCI address. The devices can be passed through the hypervisor to a VM by creating a PCIDeviceClaim resource, or by using the UI to enable passthrough. Passing a device through the hypervisor means that the VM can directly access the device, and effectively owns the device. A VM can even install its own drivers for that device.

This is accomplished by using the pcidevices-controller addon.

To use the PCI devices feature, users need to enable the pcidevices-controller addon first.

Enabling Passthrough on a PCI Device

  1. Now go to the Advanced -> PCI Devices page:

  2. Search for your device by vendor name (e.g. NVIDIA, Intel, etc.) or device name.

  3. Select the devices you want to enable for passthrough:

  4. Then click Enable Passthrough and read the warning message. If you still want to enable these devices, click Enable and wait for all devices to be Enabled.


    Please do not use host-owned PCI devices (e.g., management and VLAN NICs). Incorrect device allocation may cause damage to your cluster, including node failure.

Attaching PCI Devices to a VM

After enabling these PCI devices, you can navigate to the Virtual Machines page and select Edit Config to pass these devices.

Select PCI Devices and use the Available PCI Devices drop-down. Select the devices you want to attach from the list displayed and then click Save.

Using a passed-through PCI Device inside the VM

Boot the VM up, and run lspci inside the VM, the attached PCI devices will show up, although the PCI address in the VM won't necessarily match the PCI address in the host.

Installing drivers for your PCI device inside the VM

This is just like installing drivers in the host. The PCI passthrough feature will bind the host device to the vfio-pci driver, which gives VMs the ability to use their own drivers. Here is a screenshot of NVIDIA drivers being installed in a VM. It includes a CUDA example that proves that the device drivers work.

Known Issues

  1. The 1.1.0 version of PCI passthrough matches VMs to devices using vendorId:deviceId. This means that if there is more than one device with the same vendorId:deviceId pair, then KubeVirt will choose which device to allocate to a VM in a way that is essentially random. This will be addressed in 1.1.2 with the new deviceplugin implementation.