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Separate process for UI

Summary: Run QEMU UI in a separate process

Normally, if QEMU is compiled with graphical window support, it displays output such as guest graphics, guest console, and the QEMU monitor in a window.

On the other hand, there are remote display viewers, such as remote-viewer that provide similar functionalities for user interactions and desktop integration. There is a duplication of effort to provide a good experience on the various OS & desktops over time.

With the SPICE protocol, there shouldn't be a performance hit, since the compression is disabled locally and the display process may use shared buffers/textures.

However, some functions are lacking, such as QEMU monitor interactions or console support. They can be provided thanks to SPICE "port" channel for example. Other mechanisms or solutions are possible (for example, quit QEMU when the display process exit by watching the child process). In other cases, virt-viewer provides a superior experience: clipboard sharing, usb hotplugging, kiosk mode, custom key bindings, shared folders, advanced display configuration, etc.

The goal of this summer of code is to provide a new -display backend to run a "QEMU UI" in a seperate process. It should try to provide as much functionality as the existing display backends.

For example, a -display spice backend that would run an enhanced remote-viewer as child process, with additional menu entries and terminal consoles providing a similar experience as -display gtk.



  • Skill level: intermediate or advanced
  • Language: C
  • Mentors:,
  • Suggested by: