OASIS Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) TC

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Chair: Michael S. Tsirkin, Red Hat

Chair: Cornelia Huck, Red Hat

OASIS Staff Contact: Kelly Cullinane


Enhancing the performance of virtual devices by standardizing key features of the VIRTIO (Virtual I/O) Device Specification

Group Notes

Table of Contents


Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) Version 1.2 is now an OASIS Committee Specification. For details, see the announcement.

Download the latest virtio specification: Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) Version 1.2

Find the latest specification draft source and the list of outstanding issues at https://github.com/oasis-tcs/virtio-spec.

Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) Version 1.1 is approved as an OASIS Committee Specification. See the announcement for details.

The OASIS Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) Technical Committee membership is open to all. See
the list of standing committee rules
. See Participation Instructions or contact OASIS for more information.

The Virtio TC has adopted a standing rule to conduct business only by electronic ballot, without Meetings. The list of all current and past ballots can be found on this page

For full information about how the Virtio TC operates, see the README file on the TC GitHub.

Send a comment or join the TC. Participation is open to all.


The goal of the OASIS Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) TC is to simplify virtual devices, making them more extensible and more recognizable.

The purpose of VIRTIO is to ensure that virtual environments and guests have a straightforward, efficient, standard, and extensible mechanism for virtual devices, rather than boutique per-environment or per-OS mechanisms. PCI devices of the VIRTIO family as found in virtual environments are not all that different from physical PCI devices. Treating them similarly allows the guest to use standard PCI drivers and discovery mechanisms.

The TC intends to define formal specifications for virtual device buses (including PCI) for a variety of devices, including network devices. Specification development will be based upon the "Virtio PCI Card Specification" v0.9.5, seeking solutions that support portability, simplicity, least-surprise for driver authors, extensibility, and performance. The specification will also document existing implementations and practice.

The expected TC deliverables include:

  • Specification of feature negotiation, configuration and queues, from both driver and device points of view

  • Specification of device-specific configuration

  • Non-normative code examples for operation of guest/host side of buffers

  • Non-normative guide for creating devices which also support previous mode(s)

For more information on the VIRTIO TC, see the TC Charter.


No subcommittees have been formed for this TC.

TC Liaisons

No TC Liaisons have been announced for this TC.

TC Tools and Approved Publications

Technical Work Produced by the Committee

[VIRTIO-v1.2] Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) Version 1.2. Edited by Michael S. Tsirkin and Cornelia Huck. 01 July 2022. OASIS Committee Specification 01. https://docs.oasis-open.org/virtio/virtio/v1.2/cs01/virtio-v1.2-cs01.html. Latest stage: https://docs.oasis-open.org/virtio/virtio/v1.2/virtio-v1.2.html.

[VIRTIO-v1.1] Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) Version 1.1. Edited by Michael S. Tsirkin and Cornelia Huck. 11 April 2019. OASIS Committee Specification 01. https://docs.oasis-open.org/virtio/virtio/v1.1/cs01/virtio-v1.1-cs01.html. Latest version: https://docs.oasis-open.org/virtio/virtio/v1.1/virtio-v1.1.html.

[VIRTIO-v1.0] Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) Version 1.0. Edited by Rusty Russell, Michael S. Tsirkin, Cornelia Huck, and Pawel Moll. 03 March 2016. OASIS Committee Specification 04. http://docs.oasis-open.org/virtio/virtio/v1.0/cs04/virtio-v1.0-cs04.html. Version with change bar: http://docs.oasis-open.org/virtio/virtio/v1.0/cs04/virtio-v1.0-cs04-diff.html. Latest version: http://docs.oasis-open.org/virtio/virtio/v1.0/virtio-v1.0.html.

Expository Work Produced by the Committee

There are no approved expository work products for this TC yet.

External Resources

Mailing Lists and Comments

If you're interested in following ongoing development and can't join the committee, I recommend you subscribe to the virtio-comment and virtio-dev lists. Subsription is required to participate to the discussions.

You can subscribe by sending an email to virtio-comment+subscribe@lists.linux.dev and virtio-dev+subscribe@lists.linux.dev respectively.

virtio: the discussion list used by TC members to conduct Committee work. TC membership is required to post, and TC members are automatically subscribed. The public may view the list archives.

virtio-comment: a public mailing list for providing feedback on the OASIS VIRTIO TC: non-TC-members can reply to posts on the virtio list here, too. Send a comment or view the comment list archives.

virtio-dev: a public mailing list for discussing implementations of the OASIS VIRTIO standard. Send a comment or view the dev list archives.

Press Coverage and Commentary

Additional Information

Public Resources


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