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vespaman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:33 am    Post subject: xen, virtualpc or vmware? Reply with quote

OK, so I have spent a couple of hours trying to understand their differences, but I fail to come to a conclusion.. :?

Background is that I am changing job, and with my new PC set-up, I'd like to go linux for the first time at work. I have been using Gentoo for many years at home, so I am really looking forward to this. But, there are a few W* programs that I will have to use, (like a electronics CAD program etc.).

My box will have a lot of ram (8GB), velociraptor, quad core, so there's some juice to make use of.
So Gentoo 'amd64' host, XP Guest. Quite simple set-up really!

I have previously tested VMWare, and a friend has had good experience using virtualbox with the exact same CAD software that I need to use. The only thing he missed was that the 3D (openGL) viewer was very slow. I *could* live with that, but preferably not. I understand that virtualbox does not support 3D just yet. Maybe none of the others either, so maybe that is not part of the equation.


So to the question:
In terms of general performance, which one is best suited for my set-up?
Is one more stable than the other?
Is one less future proof than the other (I'd like NOT to install windows over and over :) in the future)

Thanks
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trikolon
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi. on my gentoo amd64 box (core2duo with 2gb ram) i used vmware workstation with autodesk inventor and autodesk mechanical and both ran without any problems (WinXP). in vmware workstation you can enable 3d acceleration. i hope it helps
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mjf55
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On my desktop gentoo, amd64, dual core, 2gb ram, I use KVM (using the sajinet overlay). Real hardware level virtualization. My WinXP guest runs great ( about as great as XP can run). No issues at all. FAST..... You would not believe it.

I have used the others, vmware, virtualbox and xen, but I think KVM is the best.
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vespaman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjf55 wrote:
On my desktop gentoo, amd64, dual core, 2gb ram, I use KVM (using the sajinet overlay). Real hardware level virtualization. My WinXP guest runs great ( about as great as XP can run). No issues at all. FAST..... You would not believe it.

I have used the others, vmware, virtualbox and xen, but I think KVM is the best.



mjf55, so now I have one more to chose from... :D Could you elaborate on what (in your opinion) makes KVM better than the others?
(It certainly looks as a interesting alternative!)
Is it speed, stability, compatibility or others?

Is there any GL support (now or upcoming) for windows guests? (I guess not, could not find anything about it).

Thanks,
Micael
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Dagger
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my case I had to make good use of 2-quad core xeons, 24GB of ram and 6TB hdd. The server had to be used as environment for developers.

I started from VMware. With 10 VMs running the constant CPU usage was around 25-30% when all VMs were idle. Access to database was terrible as VMs were fighting for I/O access all the time.

Than I tried Virtualbox. I abandoned it quite fast when I reaslised VirtualBox requires X and QT.

Then I tried XEN. All my problems suddenly vanished and the average load on server while IDLE stays on 0%.

Code:

xentop - 15:54:03   Xen 3.2.1
11 domains: 1 running, 10 blocked, 0 paused, 0 crashed, 0 dying, 0 shutdown
Mem: 25160640k total, 12946280k used, 12214360k free    CPUs: 8 @ 2660MHz
      NAME  STATE   CPU(sec) CPU(%)     MEM(k) MEM(%)  MAXMEM(k) MAXMEM(%) VCPUS NETS NETTX(k) NETRX(k) VBDS   VBD_OO   VBD_RD   VBD_WR SSID
      a.vm --b---        492    0.1    1048576    4.2    1048576       4.2     1    1   233471  1029696    2      411    95081   145672 2149620272
      b.vm --b---       3217    0.1    1048576    4.2    1048576       4.2     1    1  1417784  2101957    2      588    63523   280644 2149620272
      c.vm --b---        334    0.1    1048576    4.2    1048576       4.2     1    1     9962   888606    2     1631    68292    40729 2149620272
      d.vm --b---        294    0.1    1048576    4.2    1048576       4.2     1    1     6593   851385    2      769    57970    25381 2149620272
  Domain-0 -----r      10440    0.5    2097152    8.3   no limit       n/a     8    4        0        0    0        0        0        0 2149620272
      e.vm --b---       8656    0.1    1048576    4.2    1048576       4.2     1    1  6623453  7939800    2      886    68445   331186 2149620272
      f.vm --b---        496    0.1    1048576    4.2    1048576       4.2     1    1   147751   911876    2     1033    53040    88378 2149620272
      g.vm --b---        298    0.1    1048576    4.2    1048576       4.2     1    1     1022   848536    2      935    47050    21321 2149620272
      h.vm --b---       1295    0.1    1048576    4.2    1048576       4.2     1    1     1033   848548    2      788    22374   240441 2149620272
      i.vm --b---        675    0.1    1048576    4.2    1048576       4.2     1    1   253024   929499    2      618    73332    77171 2149620272
      j.vm --b---        420    0.1    1048576    4.2    1048576       4.2     1    1    40127   863499    2      708    56120    47475 2149620272



XEN uses direct hardware, so there should be no problems with 3D.

just my 2cents
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Insanity5902
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used OpenVZ, Xen, VMWare and Virtualbox long term, and I've played with KVM and QEMU. My biggest thing was getting a windows enviroement for testing up.

OpenVZ is great when you are just need Linux boxes. All the others let you run windows. K/QEMU was okay, a bit laggy though. KVM I could never get to work 100%, wierd issues in the virtual machine all the time. VMWare I am not crazy about b/c of their history. Xen worked great, I would recommend it for servers, but not for desktop needing the occasional VM as the setup is lenghty, I haven't tested it with windows. I now recommend Virtualbox for desktop testing enviroments. Install is a breeze on both linux and windows. Speed is great. Since it is for Desktop X and QT aren't an issue. I am not sure how robust it is, i.e. I don't if it is suitable for a server enviroment or not. Virtualbox does provide a CLI interface so my guess is you can get by without a gui.

If you are just looking for a testing enviroment, then using the file-based HDD's are okay. If you are wanting to run it as a server, I would recommend giving your VM a partition on your drive, LVM can be a good thing to implement on the Host if you are planning on running several VM's.
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mjf55
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vespaman wrote:
mjf55, so now I have one more to chose from... :D Could you elaborate on what (in your opinion) makes KVM better than the others?


My needs are not great for a VM. What I wanted (and got) was a stable VM, using true hardware virtualization built into the AMD64 Dual Core. I needed a few windows apps (Macromedia Flash and a few work related apps). It boots fast, runs fast and is stable. Never had an issue. Since KVM modifies the actual kernel, there is not an extra software layer to cause issues.

Hope this helps you.
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vespaman
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all,

I will try them out in the week-end, if the weather gets bad as promised. KVM and VirtualBox will be tested to start with.

Micael
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Insanity5902
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just note, in case you having problmes, VirtualBox won't work with KVM installed in the kernel (even as a module)
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