Using W10Privacy To Boost Ubuntu WSL Performance On Windows 10
While Microsoft is working on low-level improvement to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to yield better I/O performance, it is possible to dramatically increase some disk workloads by removing a number of running Windows services via the independent W10Privacy application. Here are some benchmarks of W10Privacy on the overall performance impact to Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64 itself and of Ubuntu 18.04 running on the Windows 10 installation via WSL.
You may be asking yourself what is W10Privacy... I myself hadn't heard of it until a few days ago either when a Phoronix reader pointed it out to me and asked for showing off some benchmarks of it and backed it up with a gracious tip to run such tests (thanks Qaridarium). W10Privacy is an independent-developed application for being able to easily turn off many unnecessary Windows services, particularly those that might infringe on your privacy. W10Privacy makes it very trivial to disable a lot of unneeded Windows 10 features and to also remove some unnecessary bundled applications like Skype and different apps, improve the security of the Edge web browser, etc. Those wishing to learn more about W10Privacy can do so at WinPrivacy.de.
So for the first of these tests with W10Privacy, here are some benchmarks on Windows and with WSL for seeing how making use of W10Privacy to disable all unnecessary services and features impacted the performance. Among the services disabled were Windows Defender, although that alone hasn't yielded much of a performance impact as shown in some past benchmarks when wondering about the overhead of Windows Defender. Keep in mind disabling some of these features may make your PC more vulnerable to exploit or disable some functionality of the system; these tests are just for seeing primarily how it helps WSL speed.
All of these benchmarks were run from the same Intel Core i9 7980XE system with ASUS PRIME X299-A motherboard, 16GB RAM, and 256GB Intel NVMe SSD with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card. Windows 10 Pro was updated prior to testing and cleanly installed and then run the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and bare metal tests followed by toggling all of the performance-related W10Privacy settings, rebooting, and firing off the benchmarks again. All of these benchmarks were run in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. As of the recent Phoronix Test Suite 8.0-Aremark release was completely rewritten Windows support to allow for much better testing capabilities and to take it on-par with our Linux/BSD/macOS benchmarking support.