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Thread: Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

  1. #1
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    Default Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

    I am new to setting up a virtual machine, and am confident it will be straightforward. I am anxious to finally make linux my primary OS, but cannot get rid of Windows since I need Adobe Apps and a few other windows only apps that i need for work. I am looking for the best performance I can get and plan on using XEN with openSuse 11 GM. I just built a nice new system, vt-d capable and very high performance. Though I have a few questions:

    From what I have read, I should be able to run a virtual machine off a bootable windows partition. Are there any performance benefits or draw backs to this? (cannot find anything related to performance).


    Performance wise for photoshop, which virtual machine setup would you recommend?


    As far as shared storage, I have read that I can set up a samba share so my windows box can access my linux files. I definitely need shared storage since I will be developing web apps on linux, and doing graphics for them on windows, are there any better ways to share storage?

    Other than that, i would appreciate any advice anyone can give me in setting this virtual machine up. I am looking for the best performance i can get for the windows vm, since I sometimes work on very large raster images in PS for print.


    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

    I'd recommend Wine for Photoshop before I'd recommend a VM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

    wine does not work with the latest adobe products (cs2 or cs3), way too bugy. plus, its not just photoshop, its other adobe products as well as a few other windows apps.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

    Fair enough. I haven't used Xen so I can't help there, but I have CS2 working in Wine with no real problems.

    I don't really use any another Adobe apps, so I couldn't tell you about those. I can export to PDF with Ghostscript and OOo so I no longer need Acrobat.

    You should also look at Koffice 2's version of Krita. Between that and digiKam, I rarely use Photoshop anymore. Both are considerably faster.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

    I will have to give Krita a try, though as an advance photoshop user, I have my doubts after trying other alternatives. One more app to give a test, thanks for the recommendation.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

    I use virtualbox with XP for my necessary MS stuff. Works a charm.

    Having said that, I'm not doing anything fancy like photoshop, though I do work with some pretty intense Excel worksheets, and have no complaints about the performance (using a dual-core Intel proc).

    Cheers,
    KV

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

    I second elsewhere on using Virtualbox for your workstation VM.

    Although Xen is very matured it is not meant as desktop platform just yet. The machine will run well but the means of managing and viewing it (mainly viewing in this case) are spartan compared to using Virtualbox/VMWare workstation. Also Phyton still has a memory leak that pops up now and then (the code virt-manager runs on), and keeping the vm view screen open for longer periods will slowly take away precious memory (until the virt-manager is closed and opened again).

    At this moment Xen compares to VMWare ESX/VI as Virtualbox compares to VMWare Workstation.

    As a note, for a Windows system to get the equal performance in Xen you need the Virtual driver pack enhancement from Novell. Without this your virtual network and disk performance is much lower than it can be! This tools are also a good thing to install when using Virtualbox or VMWare.

    Just some added 2cents
    Wj
    Have a lot of fun!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

    I have read good things about VirtualBox, though forgot what comments steered me away from it -- they were nothing major. Thanks for the info on the virtual driver pack... first time I hear about it, to be clear, the driver pack also can be applied to VirtualBox or VMware?

    Now about running a vmachine off a bootable windows partition, does anyone know how this affects performance?

    As for shared storage, I have read that VirtualBox handles this quite nicely, so no need for samba share.

    One last question for both of you that suggested VirtualBox, did you guys try others before settling on VirtualBox? If so, how long ago did you guys make the switch?

    Thanks for the input!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by in0ni View Post
    ...to be clear, the driver pack also can be applied to VirtualBox or VMware?
    after reading the FAQ, its only for Xen.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Virtual Machine Performance Recommendations

    Yep, the driver pack is for Xen only...

    VMWare has the VMWare Tools that can be installed using the VMWare GUI when viewing your VM.

    Virtualbox has a similar guest tool install mapping to the guest iso.

    For all environments it boosts performance.
    Have a lot of fun!

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