Windows Subsystem For Linux Performance At The End Of 2019

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 11 December 2019. Page 1 of 6. 11 Comments

Recently I wrapped up some benchmarks looking at the performance of Ubuntu on Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux comparing WSL on Windows 10 Build 18362 (May 2019 Update) and then both WSL and WSL2 performance using the Windows 10 Build 19008 Insider's Preview (what will come as Windows 10 20H1 update) for looking at where the WSL performance is heading. Additionally, looking at the bare metal performance of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for which the WSL instances were based plus Ubuntu 19.10. As well, for the Windows-compatible tests also looking at how the Windows performance itself was outside of WSL/WSL2.

This end-of-year comparison ends up being a large look at:

Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS - The latest Ubuntu 18.04 LTS bare metal performance and matching what is found via the Ubuntu WSL images.

Ubuntu 19.10 - The latest Ubuntu Linux release.

Windows 10 18362 - For compatible tests, the Windows/Win32 performance for the programs itself outside of WSL/WSL2 (Windows May 2019 Update).

Windows 10 18362 WSL - The WSL performance on the May 2019 Update (this testing began prior to the November 2019 roll-out, albeit very busy Q4 led to only getting this article out now).

Windows 10 19008 WSL - WSL on the Windows 10 Insider Preview build tracking what will eventually be Windows 10 20H1 update.

Windows 10 19008 WSL2 - Using Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) on the same Insider Preview build for seeing WSL(1) vs. WSL2 performance.

Windows 10 19008 - The bare-metal Windows Insider Preview performance for compatible tests.

All of these Windows/Linux WSL benchmarks were done using an Intel Core i9 7960X with MSI X299 SLI PLUS motherboard, 16GB of RAM, 256GB Intel NVMe SSD, and Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 graphics. All the operating systems / WSL instances were tested in their out-of-the-box configuration. All of these Windows Subsystem for Linux benchmarks were carried out using the Phoronix Test Suite.

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