Especially if you want to debug the shell without locking your system this might be a helpful setup:
Setup KVM for Mir
At the time of writing not all necessary patches to run Mir inside KVM can be
found in a vanilla kernel release. The steps below describe setting up KVM and
installing the right version of Mesa and the Linux kernel.
Install KVM and utilities
The only way to run Mir inside KVM requires a setup with
SPICE. So next to KVM a SPICE client is needed on
the host to provide a monitor to the guest. The following description will use
virt-manager for this task:
$ apt-get install qemu-KVM virt-manager python-spice-client-gtk
More details on setting up KVM can be found in the
Now create a new virtual machine with virt-manager and a current Linux boot iso
image or reconfigure an existing installation.
Configure the virtual machine
Launch virt-manager and open your virtual machine. Go to the configuration
options through the info icon in the toolbar. There are now two relevant
configuration entries: Video and Display.
- Open the Display settings and select SPICE instead of KVM
- Open the Video settings and select QXL as model.
Now boot the machine and build a new kernel and verify that you have the right
Verify Mesa and used Kernel
Since the DRM QXL driver only provides KMS, GEM and dma-buf support, and no 3D
GPU emulation or forwarding, Mesa will load the kms-swrast driver. This driver
is available since Mesa 10.3.0. The necessary support for dmabuf fds and crtc
handling in QXL is available since Linux 3.18.
With that we have enough support for EGL and GLESv2 to run Mir.
This is not necessary but helpful for day to day use:
Now you can finally install & run unity8-desktop-session-mir in KVM.
Setup VMware for Mir
Here is a quick-start guide for running Mir in VMware:
Go to https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/downloads and download
VMware Player (last in Desktop & End-User Computing section).
Install VMware player with: sudo bash VMware-Player-<VERSION>.x86_64.bundle
Get the latest vivid daily iso (not the unity-next iso!).
Install vivid into VM, restart and log in.
Install VMware tools from the menu "Virtual Machine->Install VMWare tools"
and follow the instructions. If you get an error "VMware Tools installation
cannot be started manually while the easy install is in progress
If you are using Mesa drivers, stop the virtual machine, go to the folder
where the VM is saved and add the following line to the .vmx file
mks.gl.allowBlacklistedDrivers = "TRUE"
Restart the VM, log in and try
glmark2 to ensure it shows ‘SVGA’ as the
GL renderer (not ‘llvmpipe’!):
$ sudo apt-get install glmark2
$ sudo apt-get unity8-desktop-session-mir mir-demos
Try out a Mir demo server:
Change to VT2 and run
$ sudo mir_demo_server --launch-client mir_demo_client_egltriangle
You should see a window with a triangle spinning fast
Use Alt + click + drag to move the window around
Use Ctrl+Alt+BkSp to stop the server
Try out the unity8 desktop session by selecting it in lightdm
Unfortunately the VMware KMS support is still somewhat unstable. The KMS/DRM
driver doesn’t seem to respect vsync (hence the fast spinning egl triangle in
step 9c). Also switching between VTs may occasionally make the VM unresponsive,
and sometimes screen resizing causes problems. I strongly suggest you set up
an ssh server in the VM so you can inspect the system over ssh from the host.