[GTALUG] VM decisions for school laptop..

D. Hugh Redelmeier hugh at mimosa.com
Thu Apr 12 15:58:35 EDT 2018

| From: Michael Galea via talk <talk at gtalug.org>

| On 04/11/18 22:27, D. Hugh Redelmeier via talk wrote:

| > Do you have a good example of why he would bother firing up Linux?
| I imagine he will want to run the Linux instance in the background so he can
| get access to a personal git server.

I would *guess* that git could run natively under Windows.  Googling
gets hits but I haven't read any of them.

If not, I'd expect that it could run on the Windows Subsystem for
Linux.  That should incur less overhead (hardware resources and
sysadmin resources) than a VM.

Are there other examples?

| The course he is taken is in game design and it is mixed Windows/Linux, so
| what he actually uses the Linux for will be mandated by the school.

That changes things a lot.  The schools guidance should provide
baseline requirements.

I'm impressed that the school even considers Linux relevant.  I wonder

For serious gaming, I imagine you need a notebook with a dedicated
GPU.  Generally that's annoying to support under Linux.  Not an area I
know much about.

Gaming notebooks have developed into a different breed.

| I myself would push him completely to Linux but for:
| 1) Some game design systems have sole support or better support under Windows
| (according to him),

Sure looks that way to me, from a distance.

| 2) Windows seems to be his preferred development target,
| 3) He plays a lot (too many really) games on Windows.

Those two go hand-in-hand.

| > I now think that an ultrabook is better for students: easy to carry,
| > long battery life.  256G of SSD and 8G of RAM is fine now, I think.  I
| > love having a great screen.
| > 

| Good point, but I suspect that the laptop should be meaty enough to play the
| things he develops on it.  He uses unity and recommendations for building a
| dev machine range from 8-32 GB.

The ultrabook is probably not appropriate for what he needs to do.
Using the minimum amount of memory might turn out to be a problem.
On no basis, I'd recommend 16G (RAM is very expensive these days).

I'd aim for a notebook with some open memory slots that you can
populate after purchase.  That gets tricky: you'd prefer that the
slots each be occupied with high density cards so as to leave room for
expansion without having to evict the original cards.

| 2) Make sure the processor support Intel's VT-x for 64 bit development.

I think that all modern chips that would be offered to you would have
VT-X.  Perhaps VT-D would be useful too, but I don't know.

| 3) Consider an SSD.

I imagine that gaming notebooks would allow both to be installed.

These days, M.2 connector with NVMe is great for SSD.  Much faster
than SATA.

And then you want a separate 2.5" bay for a SATA HDD.

Don't get me wrong.  Linux offers wide horizons.  Lots of amazing
systems.  More than are available on Windows.

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