TL;DR use VMWare Pro 16 :)

This is from my perspective of using Linux based distros as the main driver.

I recently upgraded my Workstation to a Windows 10 Pro workstation edition. You only need Pro if you want to get Hyper-V and WSL2 support without hacking around with Windows preview builds. I spent a great deal of time and money on various VM platforms so hopefully i can save you the same time/money.

We have few options when it comes to doing Development or Testing work.

  • Hyper-V based Linux
  • Hyper-V based Windows
  • WSL2 based distros
  • VMWare Pro
  • VirtualBox
  • Docker (not really VM but I am using Docker WSL2 as opposed to Virtualbox)

I am really glad to see WSL2 do so much better so now I can actually stop using MacOS or Ubuntu for most of my work and stick to Win10 which has better support for my CPU/Motherboard. It is not stellar but definitely better than Ubuntu. I have used Ubuntu since 2005 and have no issues with it but it just isnt doing well on AMD Threadripper, quite possible its the kernel level issues.

If on Windows I can use VM right?

Not so fast.

Hyper-V for Linux.

It is really really just laggy for *nix. For desktop its unusable. Sure you could go read a 100-internet-page on performance, but why. I paid for it, make it work for me.

Hyper-V for Windows, have not tried it but at least you have an option now as opposed to Windows Evaluation copy. But more on this.

WSL2

good enough for development work and running bash/zsh so I don't have to remember the difference between ls and dir I can still just launch it from start bar. Its fast, has automatic mount for my drives. So it's pretty much like using Linux shell on windows which has a lot of advantages when doing development. VS Code seems to be able to launch this shell. Ubuntu 2020 works fine and performance is decent.

Docker with WSL 2

It is slow and Docker will warn you about shared drives. It's not too bad but I have had file corruption which never happened on Docker with vbox. Vbox backed, was typical installation on Windows and is still an option. It will improve. Don't run anything like production on it.

Virtual Box

Still pretty usable if you need something free. I have never really liked it too much because, but its free and works better than Hyper-V so...

VMWare Pro

I used to boot windows and just go into my VMWare Ubuntu Desktop for work. That was it for many years. I had hoped I could just use Hyper-V or WSL2 and get by instead of silly annual upgrades.

VMWare is still your best bet if you use the Desktop on any VM, need clipboard copy and can workaround all the file sharing issues. I stopped using it because I needed GPU passthrough which was not available in muggle edition. You need the Enterprise stuff

However, VMWare Pro 16 has just released support for GPU, OpenGL, DirectX11 but only if you are mainstream Intel user. I have to wait for AMD to be supported.

Previously if you enabled VMWare Pro you had to disable Hyper-V. With the latest version, you can use VMWare with all of the above, WSL, Hyper-V etc etc. VMWare is definitely trying hard.

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