I am currently trying to switch my laptop from exclusively Windows 10 to a dual-boot with Ubuntu (just the regular distribution).

To test Ubuntu and see if I liked it, I downloaded VirtualBox and ran it there first, but I was curious if the performance would be any different (hoping it would be better in a real install). It isn't terrible right now but I know my computer is better than that.

My system specs if that helps:

  • HP EliteBook 850 G4
  • Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7500U CPU, 2.70GHz, 2904MHz,2 Core(s), 4 Logial Processor(s)
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB Hard Drive

In VirtualBox I have 4GB of RAM and 2 Processors allocated to running Ubuntu and again, its fine, but I assume if I run a real install it would improve...right?


A bare metal installation is always faster than a VM, because you only have one system running instead of two, and you have direct hardware access instead of expensive hardware virtualization.

You should get a better idea of the performance when you boot your computer from an Ubuntu installer USB drive and select "Try Ubuntu without installing". This gives you a live system than runs off the USB drive without disk installation, but otherwise it runs directly on your computer hardware. You can also easily see if any hardware is giving trouble this way.

Note however that unless it's a fast USB 3 port and drive, read speeds will be a bottleneck here compared to how it would run once you install Ubuntu to your internal hard disk, so don't judge boot and program loading times or other disk-intensive tasks too critically while running the live system.

  • Thank you for the quick response! – Letters 1836 May 5 '19 at 15:22
  • You can accept this answer by clicking on the check button on its left if it satisfyingly solved your problem. @ChristianHakim – Byte Commander May 5 '19 at 15:33

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