1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Intel Haswell Linux Virtualization: KVM vs. Xen vs. VirtualBox

Michael Larabel

Published on 7 July 2013
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 5 - 31 Comments

The latest chapter to our lengthy Intel Haswell on Linux saga is virtualization benchmarks. From Fedora 19 with the very latest software components for Linux virtualization, the performance of KVM, Xen, and VirtualBox were benchmarked from the Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" CPU.

Since last month's Haswell launch we have published many benchmarks of the new Intel CPUs but not being covered at Phoronix until today is the Linux virtualization performance for Haswell. With Intel hardware virtualization enabled, KVM, Xen, and VirtualBox were compared from a clean Fedora 19 64-bit installation.

Fedora 19 presently has the Linux 3.9.8 kernel with GCC 4.8.1, Mesa 9.2.0-devel, and an EXT4 file-system. All of the virtualization components were obtained from the Fedora 19 repository, including QEMU 1.4.2, Xen 4.2.2, and the libvirt / virt-manager components. Xen and KVM virtualization were setup through virt-manager. VirtualBox 4.2.16 was obtained from VirtualBox.org and installed on Fedora 19.

The Intel Core i7 4770K system had 16GB of RAM and a 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD. During testing, each VM had access to all eight logical cores (four physical cores + Hyper Threading), access to 12GB of the system's 16GB of RAM, and a 16GB virtual disk.

The KVM, Xen, and VirtualBox performance from Fedora 19 Linux 3.9 with the Intel Core i7 "Haswell" processor were also compared to the "bare metal" results when the benchmarks were running on the host without any form of virtualization or other means of abstraction. VMware's products weren't benchmarked in this article since their EULA restricts public benchmarking (though VMware has been okay with us running such benchmarks in the past) and their trial software being limited to running on four CPU cores, but a separate article will look at the Xen/KVM/VMware performance on other hardware in the future.

All of this Linux virtualization benchmarking was handled in a fully automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software and hosting by OpenBenchmarking.org. With using a virtual disk and with Xen/KVM not having a reliable means of shared 3D access to the host's driver/GPU, most of the benchmarks within this article are computational focused to look at the performance overhead for the different Linux virtualization methods.

Latest Linux News
  1. KDE Marks Four Years In Its Process Of Porting To Wayland
  2. Btrfs In Linux 4.2 Brings Quota Updates, Many Fixes
  3. Latest Rumor Pegs Microsoft Wanting To Buy AMD
  4. The Next-Gen Phoronix Site Experience Is Almost Ready
  5. Exciting Features Merged So Far For The Linux 4.2 Kernel
  6. Mesa 10.6.1 Brings A Bug-Fix For Dota 2 Reborn
  7. DragonFlyBSD 4.2 Released: Brings Improved Graphics & New Compiler
  8. Wine-Staging 1.7.46 Improves The OS X Experience
  9. The State & Complications Of Porting The Unity Editor To Linux
  10. Libreboot Now Supports An AMD/ASUS Motherboard
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. How KDE VDG Is Trying To Make Open-Source Software Beautiful
  2. Attempting To Try Out BCache On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  3. CompuLab's Fitlet Is A Very Tiny, Fanless, Linux PC With AMD A10 Micro
  4. AMD A10-7870K Godavari: RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Linux Drivers
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Kubuntu 15.10 Could Be The End Of The Road
  2. Linus Is Looking Forward To Merging KDBUS, But Not Convinced By Performance
  3. NVIDIA Starts Supplying Open-Source Hardware Reference Headers
  4. KDBUS Won't Be Pushed Until The Linux 4.3 Kernel
  5. Linux 4.2 Kernel Gets Port To New Processor Architecture
  6. The Staging Pull For Linux 4.2: "Big, Really Big"
  7. SteamOS "Brewmaster" Is Valve's New Debian 8.1 Based Version
  8. EXT4 Has Many Cleanups & Fixes For Linux 4.2