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I'm running a Windows workstation, and doing a lot of Rails (Ruby) development. Rails runs about 3x faster in Linux, so I intend to run a Linux VM on my workstation, to test the app. It's important for the testing to be as high performance as possible. I'm currently running VMWare Workstation. I have a quad core processor with 12 GB (plenty of RAM to spare).

I have three options:

  • A. Run Linux in VMWare workstation
  • B. Run Linux in another virtualization tool
  • C. Buy a new server for Linux (no virt, or perhaps ESXi). Besides the cost, this will make it hard to copy and paste between my Windows workstation.

My questions are: What type of performance overhead will I get with each solution? I have plenty of RAM to spare, so I'm not concerned about footprint. But I want the app to start, test, and run as fast as possible. That is, I want to shave seconds off, esp. the latency.

Oh: I'll mainly be running without any GUI. But I may want to use a GUI editor on the Linux vm sometimes as well.

  1. What type of performance overhead do I
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closed as not constructive by Shane Madden, ewwhite, Ben Pilbrow, Zoredache, MDMarra Oct 6 '11 at 17:30

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With PAE+VT-x/AMV-V enabled processors, I would say you will near zero overhead. I doubt you will get any meaningful benchmark out there comparing VMs under real world workload.

Don't forget to check out CoLinux. It is as bare-metal as you can get with Linux under Windows.

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