Windows 10 WSL vs. Linux Performance For Early 2018

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 22 February 2018. Page 2 of 6. 18 Comments

Right up with the Compile Bench test, we see that the WSL I/O performance remains rather slow... While WSL I/O performance has traditionally lagged behind, it does seem to be even slower in this round of tests than in the past -- perhaps due to the Spectre/Meltdown mitigation work. Oracle VM VirtualBox was significantly faster, though note in some cases VirtualBox doesn't properly sync to disk with the same behavior as the other configurations, thus sometimes yielding higher performance but potentially putting your data at risk. Docker on Windows 10 was much faster than VirtualBox and obviously WSL but not nearly as fast as the bare metal openSUSE / Ubuntu / Clear Linux performance. This is one of the benchmarks where Clear Linux was significantly faster than both Ubuntu and openSUSE Leap.

With the Rodinia OpenMP multi-threaded scientific tests, VirtualBox was noticeably slower than Docker and WSL even though there was access to all available CPU cores. Our testing in the past has showed that VirtualBox tends to not perform as well as other options in highly-threaded workloads. Clear Linux was the fastest overall but for all three tested Linux distributions, Docker and WSL weren't far behind the bare metal results.

With the Dolfyn fluid dynamics benchmark, the VirtualBox, WSL, and Docker performance were right in line with each other on Ubuntu and openSUSE while the bare metal performance was slightly faster.

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