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  • Added some RAM, now my 8.1 VM is a lot faster

    Posted on MrJimPhelps Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Other platforms – for Windows wonks Linux for Windows wonks Added some RAM, now my 8.1 VM is a lot faster

    This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  MrJimPhelps 5 days, 14 hours ago.

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    • #226642 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody MVP

      I have been running Linux Mint 8.1 64-bit with 4 GB of RAM. That’s not too bad; but it’s just barely enough if you’re trying to run a Windows 7 or 8.1 VM.

      Actually, Windows 7-32 wasn’t too bad. But Windows 8.1-32 was dreadfully slow when trying to access my shared drive via Windows File Manager.

      I installed 8 GB of RAM, bringing my total to 12 GB. I then allocated 4 GB total to each of the VMs. (Prior, I had allocated 2 GB to each VM.) Now that I have done that, Windows 8.1 running in a VM runs very well.

      I am fortunate to have a computer that allows me to mix and match different sizes of memory. In other words, I could add an 8 GB stick without having to toss my 4 GB stick.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #227090 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody MVP

      Update: I have Thunderbird and Firefox open in my Linux host, and my Windows 8.1 VM is open; and in the VM I am remotely connected to a customer’s computer via Splashtop.

      In short, everything is FAST! Before I installed the additional memory, I had to close EVERYTHING in Linux prior to opening a Windows 8.1 VM session; otherwise, it was intolerably slow. And even with closing everything in Linux, accessing the host drive from the VM was dreadfully slow. But now, everything is FAST, without my closing anything!

      If you are thinking of switching to Linux, but you want to keep your foot in the Windows world, install Linux as your host, and then install Windows as a virtual machine within Linux. As long as you have enough memory installed to give at least 4GB to the VM, you should be good to go.

      Disclaimer: I am running 32-bit Windows in the VM; I don’t know how 64-bit Windows would run. I plan on checking that out – I’ll report back here with the results.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #227401 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody MVP

      Update 2: I allocated 6.1 GB of RAM to my Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VM. It runs very well.

      It’s hard to believe well everything runs, now that I have a decent amount of RAM installed and allocated. I can be surfing the web and doing Thunderbird email in Linux, and doing Splashtop remote control of a computer in the Windows VM. I can switch back and forth freely, without having to close anything. Nothing slow at all!

      The one thing that absolutely won’t work is if I try to run two VMs at the same time. I ran my Windows 8.1 32-bit VM. So far, so good. Then, without closing anything, I ran my Windows 7 64-bit VM. Although the Windows 8.1 VM continued to work well, the Windows 7 VM was horrendously slow. I couldn’t even shut it down, because I couldn’t get the start button to work – that’s how slow it was. I had to suspend the session. Later, I opened only the suspended W7 session. It ran very well when it was the only VM running. I was then able to close it normally.

      A problem that I have discovered with the W7 64-bit session: I used VMWare tools to convert an actual Windows 7 install to a VM. I then ran that as my W7 64-bit VM. (This is the OEM version of Windows 7 that came installed on my computer.) It has become unactivated because the “hardware” changed – it is now a VM rather than the host OS on the computer. So if you are thinking of installing Windows 7 in a VM and then using your OEM license to activate it, it won’t work, because your OEM license is designed for that one computer; the VM is, in fact, another computer, albeit a “virtual” computer; it therefore doesn’t qualify as the same computer under the terms of the OEM license.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #233004 Reply

        anonymous

        See here for a possible solution to your win7 vm activation problem.  It involves adding a few lines to the .vmx file for the vm in question.  That link is the first hit (for me) when googling ‘vmware+player+slic+passthrough’.

        I seem to recall seeing that being unable to run multiple vms simultaneously is a limitation of the free vmware player, but my google-fu wasn’t good enough to turn up a definitive answer.  Opinions seem to vary, based on a superficial scan of the results.

        I’m not in a position to test any of the above, being a virtualbox user myself.  Slic passthrough works in virtualbox, but is much more difficult to set up, involving much more than adding a few lines to a config file.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #233413 Reply

          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody MVP

          That looks like exactly what I need.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #231663 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      … btw, which VM system are you using?

      Because, there’s supposed to be a working “balloon memory” driver for Windows guests on qemu/kvm, which might in some situations help with running two VMs simultaneously.

      Would have to scrounge up some more Windows non-OEM licenses to test that myself…

      • #231734 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody MVP

        VMWare Workstation Player.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #231853 Reply

      johnf
      AskWoody Lounger

      Ram and an SSD make a world of difference when running VM’s. It also helps when you dedicate your VM to a certain size, vs the type of VM that expands it’s size when you need more virtual disk space (at least in Virtual Box).

      • #232977 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody MVP

        The ultimate for running a VM would be (1) lots of memory and (2) storing your VM profile on an NvME SSD (the fast one). In this way, not only would the VM run very fast (because of the abundance of memory), but disk reads and writes would be extremely fast (because of the NvME SSD).

        I’m thinking that a fast video card, with lots of video memory onboard, would help as well, if you could get your VM to use the video card, rather than the VM software itself, to process video. The problem is, it is a virtual machine, which means that the video would likely be managed by the simulated machine, i.e, the virtual machine, i.e. the VM software.

        The reason that lots of memory would help is because you can allocate as much memory as you want to the VM; the reason that a fast SSD would help is because there are lots of disk reads and writes with a VM. But I’m not sure if it is possible to configure the VM profile to incorporate a video card’s functionality and capabilities into the VM.

        Update: upon researching the question, I am finding that there is something called “GPU Passthrough”, which allows the virtual machine to use the GPU rather than the CPU for video processing. Not sure if it’s available in the free VMWare Workstation Player, or if you would have to upgrade to the paid version. I haven’t checked what is available for Oracle Virtual Box.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM

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