Linux Workstation Build for virtualization / PCI passthrough

Hi friends
I’m about to build a new workstation with the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04, which I’m going to use for mainly these tasks:

  • Virtualization with Virtual Box and KVM/Qemu and Vagrant
  • Docker containers
  • Building images with Packer
  • Web Development
  • Infrastructure development with Ansible and Terraform

My workload is usually CPU intensive as I do many parallel builds within VMs (When using Notebooks for that, their fan usually scream).

In addition to that, for Gaming I’d like to setup a VM where I can install a Windows machine and pass an RX 460 I have laying around to it. Also I’d like to pass the second NVME drive to the Windows guest as well. For that, I’ve selected following hardware so far and I’d love to get some input:

  • AMD Threadripper 1900X (TR4, 3.80GHz, Unlocked)
  • AsRock X399 Taichi (TR4, AMD X399, ATX)
  • Corsair RM650x (650W)
  • Fractal Define R6 Black (Midi Tower)
  • HyperX Fury (4x, 8GB, DDR4-2133, DIMM 288)
  • Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 (16.50cm)
  • PNY Quadro P400, 2GB GDDR5 (2GB, Professional) - This is purely to Plug three monitors. How is the compatibly with Linux?
  • 2x Samsung 960 EVO (500GB, M.2 2280) - Is it possible to pass the second NVME drive to Windows?
  • Radeon RX 460 - GPU Passthrough to Windows

I’m looking for as pain free experience as possible especially when it comes to hardware compatibility with Linux and iommu groups of the motherboard.

1 Like

That will be a very nice build without a doubt! As far as compatibility I can’t tell you for sure but I imagine with the newer version of Ubuntu with the up to date kernel most things should work out pretty well out of the box.

I did a Ryzen 7 1700 build for a friend a couple months back using the x370 Taichi with a 960 evo and had very little issues. He runs Debian 9 and the only thing he had a little trouble with was getting trim to work properly on the M.2 but he was able to solve the issue in no time.

He’s a programmer and was more then impressed with the performance when it came to compiling code while still running other tasks along side it.

It’s been about 4 months and he hasn’t had any other issues!

Just to follow up on this, just finished building the rig and installing 18.04. Fedora 27 and Anthergos failed me, but not due to the hardware.