Ubuntu 20.04 vs. Windows 10 WSL/WSL2 Performance In 170+ Benchmarks

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 24 June 2020 at 09:16 AM EDT.
Threadripper 3970X Ubuntu 20.04 LTS vs. Windows WSL/WSL2

When breaking it down to a per-test-profile basis, here is a look from the tests with the largest spread to the least spread.

Threadripper 3970X Ubuntu 20.04 LTS vs. Windows WSL/WSL2

Of the 172 tests, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS bare metal was in first place 61% of the time to WSL2 coming in first 20% of the time and WSL in first 18% of the time.

Threadripper 3970X Ubuntu 20.04 LTS vs. Windows WSL/WSL2

If taking the geometric mean of all 172 tests on this AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X workstation, using WSL2 yielded about 87% of the performance of running bare metal Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on the same hardware. WSL2 overall is in much better shape than WSL due to addressing the I/O bottleneck but as shown with these tests there are some cases where the former is faster than WSL2. WSL2 overall though was about 24% faster than WSL1.

While many more tests were run in this article compared to last week's WSL/WSL2 benchmark comparison with the Intel Core i9 10900K, the outcome is fairly similar. In that article last week with just 69 benchmarks, Ubuntu 20.04 did win 60% of the tests. But more importantly on the geometric mean it showed WSL2 about 21% faster than WSL1 while WSL2 was running at around 92% the speed of bare metal Ubuntu. This jives with additional testing I have done as well where roughly on the latest Windows 10 builds generally I would sum it up as WSL2 offering roughly 90% the performance of Ubuntu itself. But depending upon the workloads most important to you it can be almost the same performance or in select cases even faster with Windows Subsystem for Linux. Thus check out all the results on OpenBenchmarking.org for digging deeper into the workloads most important for your purposes.

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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.