Is KVM/Qemu any faster then Virtualbox withouth GPU passthrough?

I am looking to run an Ubuntu VM that I install W.I.N.E in to run a few windows specific games, and am curious if setting up a KVM would provide any better performance then setting up an Ubuntu VM in Virtualbox. I won’t be running anything intensive mostly 2d games, and the occasional visual novel.

Before anyone ask why I don’t install W.I.N.E on my host I prefer to keep my host Arch setup pretty light and for anyone curious why I don’t set up a Windows VM instead of Ubuntu with W.I.N.E is due to my distaste/distrust for Windows even within a VM

Well, Virtualbox uses KVM on the backend, when it’s running on Linux.

qemu is definitely more resource efficient and is libre, so if you’re concerned about that, those are positives.

I’m more familiar with qemu setup, so if you need help optimizing, I can help better there. The most important thing when setting up virtualization for performance is going to be matching your host cpu to the cpu that’s emulated. After that, there’s a few tuning params that can be set to optimize things, but for the most part, you’ll be within 5% of native.

I know this isn’t what you asked for, but have you considered containers? A docker or lxc/lxd container would be able to provide you with the separation to keep your main install base light, but eliminate the overhead of virtualization. (what little there is)


I don’t know much about containers, and honestly thought dockers was meant to do something else up until this post. When it comes to Qemu being more resource heavy I’m not to worried as its virtualizing a Linux distro instead of something resource intensive such as Windows. My main two things with qemu is how to set up dynamic allocation for disk space, and what settings yield alright performance.

Docker is not the only container hypervisor.

There are many container hypervisors and all of them utilize the same kernel mechanisms.

I remember that I’ve been playing with the same idea as you want - installing games in a container because I didn’t feel like letting steam delete everything from /

There’s an option in virt-manager to do that.

But once the sector has been written, it’s hard to get that space back, so eventually your disk will take up the full X GB

I’m most likely going to stick to Virtualbox. Now its more deciding whether or not I trust Windows enough to be in a Virtual Machine or is I should just go the W.I.N.E route

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What are you worried about? You could set up a very strong firewall, or not give it network access at all.

(I’m assuming you’re concerned about the phone-home stuff)

Since Windows 10 is one giant piece of malware I am the paranoid type to think it will attempt to tamper with my Arch Host via virtualbox