I would like to run some windows program under Ubuntu.

I was wondering if I can expect some differences in performance regarding :

  • the version of Windows I choose : Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 or upcoming Windows 10 ?
  • or the software I use for virtualization : vmware player or virtualbox or kvm ?

I have a preference for vmware regarding their "unity" mode.

Note: I previously tested Wine / PlayOnLinux but I experienced a lot of crashes and I have no more trust in this technology. I want something reliable.

As the answer may depends on my hardware, I have a X230 ( core i5 3320 with 16Go RAM ). I intend to set 4Go of RAM to the virtual machine and 2 cores at 100%).


closed as primarily opinion-based by dobey, Eric Carvalho, Ron, Pilot6, user364819 Jul 25 '15 at 21:09

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Well ok, I was guessing if it will be interpreted as too much opinion related... – aklmie Jul 23 '15 at 23:17
  • Should I delete the question ? – aklmie Jul 23 '15 at 23:36
  • I don't think you should delete it. It's not a greatly framed question for what the community is after, however I came to this exact site looking for the answer to almost this same question, quite a while ago. Someone will be back looking again, and perhaps this will answer their question. – Dave Jul 24 '15 at 4:05

This quesiton leaves a lot of room for opinion, but I'll lay out what I know. I run exclusively Linux for my host OS on all of my computers. I am required to run windows for certain testing situations. I have used VirtualMachines with Windows XP, Windows 7 (home-pro) and Windows 8 (Have not tried 10 yet). Ultimately how well An OS will perform in a VM will depend on how much machine you can allocate to it (within reason).

I am running an 8 core AMD 3.5ghz with 32 gigs of ram. I'm running 3 to 5 virtual machines at any given time. All of them run quite smooth whether Windows or the various flavers of Linux. I also run both VMWare Workstation 10, and VirtualBox. My server runs ESXI which has pushed me toward VMWare in the past. That said, I'm slowly moving back to VirtualBox.

Both VMWare and VirtualBox have their individual querks, so regardless of which you chose virtualization comes with costs. The expense of VMware Workstation is what is pushing me toward VirtualBox again. As I type this I'm in a VirtualBox VM, which is my main development machine. In the background I have running two different test VMs which happen to still be using Workstation.

Now, between the two I find performance issues to vary. When running Windows there is very little difference between the two virtual environments. One of the biggest improvements I've come across is running multiple virtual machines on seperate hard drives, and having all those drives seperate from your host drive. Typically my VM's run exactly what you're suggesting you'd like to run: 4G of ram, and 2 cores. Though in virtualbox I tend to cap my cpu at 99%. It seems to make the host machine more comfortable to use when the virtual machine is being worked.

KVM, I think falls down when it comes to dealing with GUIs. It's fantastic if you're doing headless machines, but when you slap a desktop on a majority of your vm usage, you're better off going another direction.

Wine is a waste of time for most things in my experiance. I'm not a fan, and it's simply not a viable option for me in any sense.

In terms of reliability I find both VirtualBox and VMware Workstation to be pretty rock solid. But if you're comparing VMWare Player, and VirtualBox I'd go VirtualBox hands down simply for the fact that you can utilize snapshots, which in my work are invaluable.

  • Thanks for your quick and long answer. Your answer and the downgrade of my question confirm what I was guessing... there is no much difference and my question does not make sense... – aklmie Jul 23 '15 at 23:19

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