Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (880 mails)

< Previous Next >
Re: [opensuse] Windows virtual machine - KVM vs XEN vs Virtualbox
  • From: C <smaug42@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 10:30:11 +0200
  • Message-id: <>
On Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 9:59 AM, Dylan wrote:
Hi All

What are the pros and cons between KVM, XEN and Virtualbox for setting up
either WinXP or Vista in a VM? The guest system would only be used
occasionally for Windows-only applications (3D graphics editors)

VirtualBox/VMWare Player is easier to set up and use, and you can run
it on any modern hardware without any issues. Performance on the
software emulators is pretty good. The only gotcha I've had to deal
with is they won't do high end gaming very well. I've found that
VMWare Player has slightly better performance than VirtualBox for 3D
accelerated graphics, but VirtualBox is easier to manage (because it's
in the openSUSE repos).

KVM/XEN are harder to set up because they are bare metal hypervisors -
ie you set up your XEN/KVM install, and then into that you install all
your other OSes. The advantage is better management and control of
your VMs, along with better performance. There are more hardware
restrictions though, and depending on what you want to do, you may
need to buy new a CPU just to deal with it (eg, Intel VT-x or AMD-V is
a minimum and on most current CPUs, but if you want PCI passthrough,
you have to have a CPU with Intel VT-d or AMD IOMMU, and on Intel as
an example, VD-t is not available on the i7 "K" processors such as the
4770-K). KVM/XEN really comes into its strengths when you need
multiple concurrent OSes running on a single machine.

For simplicity, especially if it's only occasional use, I'd recommend
the VirtualBox/VMWare solution. Your host machine should have at least
4GB of system RAM, but 8GB or more is better. More system RAM means
your VM can have a little more virtual RAM to work with. eg on a host
system with 4GB, you might want to only allow 1.5Gb of virtual RAM,
but on a host with 16 GB you could easily allocate 4GB to the guest.
The rule of thumb is to try not to allocate more than 50% of system
RAM to the VM or disk swapping can start to really impact the
performance of host and guest.

Best thing you can do is set up a VirtualBox of VMWarePlayer install,
and test your application. If the performance is good, then you're
done :-)

openSUSE 12.3 x86_64, KDE 4.11
To unsubscribe, e-mail: opensuse+unsubscribe@xxxxxxxxxxxx
To contact the owner, e-mail: opensuse+owner@xxxxxxxxxxxx

< Previous Next >