Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

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powerhouse
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by powerhouse » Mon May 25, 2015 5:28 am

I installed Passmark PerformanceTest 8 and reran the tests. Here the results: http://www.passmark.com/baselines/V8/di ... 1615653875

I just discovered that the CPU benchmark is abysmal (well, some 25% lower than what it used to be!). Need to find the reason.
Asus Sabertooth X79, i7 3930K CPU, 8x4GB Kingston DDR3, Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler, GTX 970 + Quadro 2000 GPU, Asus Xonar Essence STX, Sandisk 120GB + Samsung EVO 860 1TB SSD + 4 HDD, Corsair 500R, SeaSonic 660W Gold X PS https://heiko-sieger.info

Dave B
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by Dave B » Mon May 25, 2015 9:29 am

Thanks for your interesting replies, don't agree that they are not good answers!

One thing I would suggest, after installing Windows (host / guest), is to run Windows' built-in performance test, this will help optimize various parts of the OS, including SSD.

Since I do not have a compatible (or modifiable) GPU for pass-through, I am yet to try Xen. Also, a few months ago, read a virtualization performance comparison, in some areas Xen performed a little slower than others. That being said, have tried a few virtualization programs (and emulators), VMware Player, Workstation (trial), VirtualBox, VirtualPC (tried many years ago, too slooow!), Bochs, QEMU, PearPC and Limbo (extremely slow on mobiles but fun), won't bother listing all emulators.

**Off topic** Which SSD did you buy? Many of the SSD controllers are (or used to be) optimised for 256GB size. BTW, don't overdo benchmark testing on your new SSD, as it will very slowly degrade its performance. :)

Maybe the Passmark CPU benchmark is not 25% slower, but more accurate than it used to be?

Long term, I intend dropping dual boot, and just use Mint with Windows under virtualization (for certain programs), already most of the way there, just a few areas to overcome. Highly impressed with Mint.

David

Laugh2
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by Laugh2 » Tue May 26, 2015 9:40 pm

General
I've been running Windows 8.0-64bit in VMWare Player on LM17.1-64bit for a while now. It is stable and performs OK. Since the current host is a laptop with Core 2 Duo CPU and only 4GB RAM then performance is determined by the hardware. My BIOS has settings supporting virtualisation, which may help.

Virtualisation is definitely the way to go if you need Windows sometimes - definitely better than dual booting. Even just letting Windows' never ending updating tasks run in the background makes this worthwhile.

Windows 8.0 in VMWare Player
Although Win8-64bit can run with as little as 1GB of allotted RAM, I wouldn't recommend less than min. 1.5GB. 2GB is necessary if you want to do anything useful. (It is easy to change in VMWare Player.) Also, Windows' updates get very slow or freeze sometimes at 1.5GB. They are markedly faster at 2GB RAM.

RAM and 32bit or 64bit Windows
When running LM17.1 as host with minimal hardware I suggest using the 32bit versions of the client OS e.g. Win8-32bit, which requires less RAM e.g. Microsoft recommends min.1GB for Win8-32bit vs. min.2GB for Win8-64bit. When Win10 is available I'll install it as a 32bit OS on VMWare Player with LM17.1-64bit as host.

GPU Pass-Through
Enabling GPU pass-through increased my CPU loading and slowed LM17.1 (host) tasks markedly for little gain in Windows 8 (client), so I disabled it. This behaviour is probably hardware dependent, so your system could easily respond differently.

Dual Boot
I keep the dual boot option to Windows Vista since it was free with the hardware, but almost never use it. Some programs such as iTunes may be too resource hungry to virtualise on many platforms. HDCP (High-bandwith Digital Content Protection) might also be an issue inside virtualisation, but I haven't checked that yet.

Equipment
  • Linux Mint 17.1-64bit Rebecca MATE
    Dell Latitude D630 laptop (Core2 Duo CPU, 4MB RAM)
    nVidia Quadro NVS 135M graphics
    Dell PR01X docking station
    Windows 8.0-64bit in VMWare Player 6.0.6 build-2700073 (hosted by LM17.1-64bit)
Last edited by Laugh2 on Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:53 pm, edited 5 times in total.

powerhouse
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by powerhouse » Wed May 27, 2015 10:29 am

David and Laugh2: thanks for your replies.

I thought I had discovered the reason. Some time ago I reduced the number of VCPUs from 10 to 8 since I was running a webserver in another VM and forgot to increase it back to 10. Passmark performance has increased a little, but not what I expected.

I'm trying to update the drivers as I'm using ancient 2013 GPL PV drivers, but have difficulties to uninstall them and install the newer Citrix drivers.

Some of the virtualization benchmarks aren't worth looking at. As it seems, Xen, VMWARE and kvm are the virtualization environments to consider. VGA passthrough is an important feature if you want to use the Windows VM for gaming or things like Photoshop etc. with direct access to a dedicated graphics card.

EDIT:

I updated to the newer GPL PV .373 drivers that were released last year. Not much of a difference concerning CPU performance. I have a CPU meter applet running on my desktop and during the CPU test it rarely reaches 100% CPU load, usually around 60-85%. For those tests where it reaches full throttle the results are fine, as they used to be. I wonder why the Passmark test cannot make use of all the CPU power? A bug? Or something in my settings? Or a Xen problem? I don't know.

@David Black: My new SSD is a Samsung 850 EVO model MZ-75E250 using 3D V-NAND technology.
My old SSD (which I still use for my Linux partitions incl. SWAP) is a Sandisk Extreme 120GB SSD.

I will stop posting here as I am starting to sidetrack the OP. Here is my thread on VM benchmarks: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 5&t=153482
I will continue to post any findings there.
Asus Sabertooth X79, i7 3930K CPU, 8x4GB Kingston DDR3, Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler, GTX 970 + Quadro 2000 GPU, Asus Xonar Essence STX, Sandisk 120GB + Samsung EVO 860 1TB SSD + 4 HDD, Corsair 500R, SeaSonic 660W Gold X PS https://heiko-sieger.info

Veerstryngh Thynner
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by Veerstryngh Thynner » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:41 am

Hello all,

My experience with Windows in a Virtual Box is not a happy one.

I had it on my desktop PC, years ago - in either Ubuntu or DreamStudio. At first I thought it a good idea - but found out, later on, that it wasn't. For if you're a musician (like me) and using various MIDI applications in Linux and Windows both, you may find that a note played on your MIDI controller will be reproduced twice : by Linux first; and next, with some considerable delay, in Windows. Which is very impractical, to say the least. Be assured.

Another thing to take into account is that Virtual Box won't accept USB. Installing stuff in whatever you have in your virtual environment is still possible, but can be rather cumbersome. In my personal experience, anyway.

Both computers in my possession are currently running KDE Mint. I'm considering VM on my laptop as a means to gain more insight in and experience with KDE. But a LInux/Windows in VM configuration with the aim of making/producing music I most certainly wouldn't recommend.

Veerstryngh Thynner.

fraxinus_63
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by fraxinus_63 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:51 am

Veerstryngh Thynner wrote: Another thing to take into account is that Virtual Box won't accept USB. Installing stuff in whatever you have in your virtual environment is still possible, but can be rather cumbersome. In my personal experience, anyway.
I cannot comment on your problems with MIDI and music technology but VirtualBox certainly WILL accept USB devices with ease. I have to use Windows in VirtualBox most days, to use devices such as scanners and printers as well as to access USB storage devices, and there's no problem at all for me. You need to make sure that VirtualBox Guest Additions are installed and enabled and that your user is a member of the group vboxusers (sudo adduser YOURUSERNAME vboxusers).

Veerstryngh Thynner
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by Veerstryngh Thynner » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:16 pm

Thanks very much, fraxinus_63, for pointing that out. This is indeed new to me.

Still, what I wrote about in my previous posting truly happened - and it took me some time to understand what was actually going on. In the meantime, digital state-of-the-art may have strode forward...

Veerstryngh Thynner

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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by rc2o2w » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:35 pm

Re : Trouble installing Windows 7 Pro 32-bit in VirtualBox....

I am running Mint 17.2 64 bit Cinnamon as host and VirtualBox 5.0.2 installed via
the Software Manager.

Windows XP Pro 32bit installed without incidence and is currently running fine
where I can access the internet and install/run other Windows Apps onto it. I
want to do the same with Windows 7 but instead I am running into a number of
road blocks on installation...

I have attempted installing from ISO files and from an actual Authentic DVD from
Microsoft and continue to get ... "missing or corrupted files" or "cannot find the
drivers" or "enable VT-X mode", "Cannot Boot from Media" etc....

In settings I ask for a 40Gb VDI, 2Gigs of RAM, and 128M of Video Memory. And I
have checked/unchecked CD/DVD and PAE options....

"nothing seems to get past GO"???

Has anyone else had this experience with Windows 7 and VirtualBox???

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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by Bolle1961 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:54 pm

Strange, Windows 7 SP1 Home OEM installed without problems.
Here are my settings
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Cosmo.
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by Cosmo. » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:11 pm

At first:
If you created the virtual machine for W7 (I do not mean the installation of W7, but the definitions for the virtual machine inside VB), did you select W7 - 32 bit on the first page of the assistant?
rc2o2w wrote:I have attempted installing from ISO files and from an actual Authentic DVD from
Microsoft and continue to get ... "missing or corrupted files" or "cannot find the
drivers" or "enable VT-X mode", "Cannot Boot from Media" etc....
You say, from both media exactly the same error messages?
Might be, the ISO file is corrupted, might be the DVD or the DVD-player is defective. But this mix of error messages does not make sense for me. If the media you used cannot be booted, how should the Windows-installer be able to miss files or to identify files as corrupted?

What is the setting for VT-x in the VM?
rc2o2w wrote:I have checked/unchecked CD/DVD and PAE options
Which CD/DVD option do you mean? There is one in the system settings for the VM, but this for the boot-order. Obviously it has to be activated (it is by default) to be able to run the installation media (regardless if you use an ISO-file or a physical DVD).

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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by ghardy2k » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:14 pm

i run windows 10 and a windows 7 vm under virtualbox with no problems. i use the default options and they both run perfectly. i am on an i5, so im going 64bit all the way. and yes, vtx is enabled, pix, apic too. however, pae/nx is disabled. and how are you mounting the iso?

g

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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by Laugh2 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:18 am

Laugh2 wrote:General
I've been running Windows 8.0-64bit in VMWare Player on LM17.1-64bit for a while now. It is stable and performs OK.
...
RAM and 32bit or 64bit Windows
When running LM17.1 as host with minimal hardware I suggest using the 32bit versions of the client OS e.g. Win8-32bit, which requires less RAM e.g. Microsoft recommends min.1GB for Win8-32bit vs. min.2GB for Win8-64bit. When Win10 is available I'll install it as a 32bit OS on VMWare Player with LM17.1-64bit as host.
...
RAM and 32bit or 64bit Windows
I'm now running Win10 32bit with 1.5GB on Mint 17.3 64bit Rosa using VMWare Player 12.1.0.

This business desktop is low end - the Windows Experience Index (WEI) value is 2.2 due to Desktop Graphics Performance (... including video and TV) while 3D Business and Gaming Graphics was 9.9 ! (.. helped by two old graphics cards). WEI was measured using Winaero WEI Tool v1.0 (Win10 doesn't have the WEI utility). The corresponding bare-metal values are 4.8 and 5.7 using Win7"s WEI utility. It's interesting that the 3D Business and Gaming Graphics value is so much lower on bare metal.

I tried Win10 64bit in the VM but found it didn't perform significantly better on this system but required much more RAM and slowed multitasking of other programs. For me this confirms using 32bit Windows clients on low end hardware esp. with limited RAM.

This configuration works smoothly and reliably for simple Windows uses. Since I use it only when I must this is OK with me, only the slow video performance is disappointing esp. since two graphics cards are installed. I tried iTunes on it and found the picture stuttered a bit and sound suffered too sometimes. Otherwise it runs well for low load uses.

Equipment
HP Compaq dc7900 SFF, Core2 Duo CPU, 5GB RAM
nVidia Quadro NVS300 graphics card
nVidia Quadro NVS290 graphics card
Graphics card driver 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.96

658Blue
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by 658Blue » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:32 pm

I run WinXP in VirtualBox on 2 machines, this Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop that came with Vista running 17.2 Cinnamon , and an older ASUS P4PE home-built workstation that spent many years as an XP machine, now with 17.3 Xfce. 17.3 Mate was just too slow on that one. I've allocated 840 MB RAM out of 3GB DDR2 RAM on the Dell, and XP runs well. I just booted it, and it took 45 seconds. It is slower on the workstation, which has only 1.5 GB of RAM of slower spec.

The only problem I've encountered is my recent attempts to get USB to work properly. Since I have VB version 5.0.2 r102096, and the extension pack on Oracle's site is now 5.0.16, I had to download the matching version for my installation from an alternate source. The guest Additions is also 5.0.2. If the versions don't match, attempting to set up USB will result in an error message in VirtualBox Manager. I now have the Patriot USB 2.0 stick set up as the only USB device in VirtualBox Manager with a filter specific to that Hexadecimal info for that stick, but when I started the XP VM, it discovered the USB port as a USB video device. When I inserted the Patriot USB stick, the XP VM started the Video recording process, tuning on the built-in light and attempting to actually record (*very* slowly). I had to kill the process and shut down the VM. I've set up a vbuser group, added myself, and verified using VBManager. Still looking for info on a fix.

I have some engineering applications running in the WinXP VM that are pretty intensive caculation-wise. I don't run Photoshop in the VM, as I run PhotoshopCS2 under Wine, and it works well.

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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by Cosmo. » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:53 pm

Vb 5.0.2 is by far outdated and full of bugs, which have been solved in the meantime. Remove the old version and install 5.0.16 from Oracle.

In general using a USB drive (inclusive stick) inside a VM is dangerous and can produce data loss on the usb device. I recommend strongly, that you transfer files at first to a shared folder, which you can access from the VM.

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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by newyorkpaulie » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:04 pm

I run Windows 7 in VBox and it works just fine. I tried Windows 10 and got that to work too, but it was quite slow, so back to 7 for me.
Dual-booting LM17.3Rosa-64bit - Win10-64bit on a T61 ThinkPad.

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Bolle1961
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by Bolle1961 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:38 pm

After upgrading my Virtualbox 4.3.4 to Version 5.0.16 r105871 Windows 10 does not start. To be honest, I really don't care :D :D
I only need Windows to run ADE, KIndle for PC and Calibre to deDRM an ebook I bought, and even that is less and less because of SocialDRM.
So even after 14 januari 2020 I'll keep using Windows 7 for that only job 8)
“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.” ― Cree Indian Prophecy
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Re: Anyone run Windows in a virtual environment?

Post by Laugh2 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:37 pm

Last week I installed Virtualbox 5.0.2 r102096 onto LM17.3 using Software Manager. I then installed Windows 10 64bit from Microsoft's free ISO I had downloaded in February named Win10_1511_English_x64.iso. (Use the latest version e.g. from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/softwar ... ndows10ISO.)

(I had recently done the same installation using 32-bit versions, which also proceeded without issue.)

Virtualbox accessed the Windows 10 ISO on the hard-drive, which was quick and convenient - no need to burn it to a disk. The whole installation ran smoothly "right out of the box". Excellent. :D :D I am now testing the new system prior to decommissioning the old Win10 system with my license.

This is my first experience with Virtualbox for a few years and I'm positively impressed. Speed has been OK except that 2D video is rather slow. (There's the same issue with VMWare Player.) I considered attempting PCI pass-through but found that these graphics cards aren't supported, so that's on the "wish-list" for now. Enabling both 2D and 3D options helped with iTunes, and enabling 3D increased max. available Video Memory from 158MB to 256MB.

Also, I very much like Virtualbox letting the user know exactly what hardware options and accelerators it is using e.g. VT-x/AMD-V, Hyper-V Paravirtualisation, etc. It's nice to know after activating these options that they are actually found by Virtualbox and in use. :D This hardware is a bit old and low-end so such options can provide a useful boost in performance.

In summary, running Windows 10 as guest on LM 17.3 as host using Virtual box 5.0.2 works works well in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. :D While speed in virtual machines is always slower than bare metal, I'm not worried here as I don't use Windows much.

Equipment
HP Compaq dc7900 SFF, Core2 Duo CPU, 5GB RAM
nVidia Quadro NVS300 graphics card
nVidia Quadro NVS290 graphics card
Graphics card driver 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.96

Software
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa 64-bit
Virtualbox 5.02 r102096 (with Guest Additions installed) (64-bit)
Windows 10 64-bit ver 10.0.10586 (2.56 GB RAM allocated)

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