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I just started experimenting with ubuntu server. I have a minimal virtual machine ubuntu server 9.04 64bit running on my macbook. It's great for testing.

In actual practice, would a full install virtual machine be better performing? Or would the minimal machine perform better because of no gui or extra hardware requirements?


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Are we to assume the same hardware configuration would be available in each case? – John Gardeniers Sep 22 '09 at 2:27
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The smaller the OS footprint the better the machine will perform. This is the same for VMs or for physical servers.

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If anything, this effect is magnified on VM's. – sysadmin1138 Sep 22 '09 at 5:45

How large of an install you do doesn't have much of an effect on performance, IMO. It just depends on which services you enable or disable, and the overhead of those services. A bunch of apps sitting on disk aren't going to hit you performance wise unless you're actually running them.

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The difference is also more noticeable when there is a lot of disk activity: Virtual Machines are not great at writing to a disk, while silicon and metal are excellent.

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