Windows 10 on PureOS Boxes poor performance

Hi everybody,

I received my Librem 13v4 a month ago and started immediately setting it up. For my work I need windows, unluckily, so I installed Windows 10 in Boxes.
The first impression was horrible, but then I installed all the Spice Guest Tools and things started to became reasonable.
However I am still disappointed by the overall performance since my laptop is new with excellent hardware.
I guess the problem is the hardware virtualization, but I couldn’t find any hints so far how to solve it.
Does anybody in the community has a solution for this?
Thanks in advance.

Have you tried dual boot? i.e. compare the native Windows 10 performance on the hardware.

Use VMware Workstation. I know it isn’t popular here, but it has the best integration and acceleration I’ve found on Linux. Hands down.


Thanks guys.
I would prefer to avoid the dual boot for several reasons.
VMware Workstation looks interesting, I think I’ll give a try

As would many people but the goal was just for fault isolation i.e. to compare the performance so that you could attribute the poor performance to the virtualisation solution rather than to the underlying hardware - or not, as the case may be.

if you do try WMware workstation make sure to grab a legitimate trial/freeware version but avoid cracked/pirated software in general. otherwise you might open up a another can of worms …

that being said a trial/freeware version might have some “goodies” restricted for good measure …

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Dear all,
thank you for your answers.
@ Kieran: I apologize, got it. I tested, it is the virtualisation. This was also confirmed by Purism support.

Both WMware workstation and Oracle Virtual Box have allegedly better, out of the box virtualisation. However there is the problem that you either need to disable the UEFI secure boot, or to sign their kernel modules.
The first way is not an option when using Librem laptops (if I understood correctly) and the second way is not that simple and has to be re-done after every kernel update.

What worked for me: Virtual Machine Manager!
It"s very simple tu use, a great GUI, the import of the existing guest from Gnome Boxes worked perfectly and I have no further issues with Windows 10 running as guest.
One just has to make sure that the Display is set to Spice server and Video to QXL.

Hope this can help anybody facing the same problems I had.


what is Spice and what is QXL ?

You know there’s this thing called the internet, right? :joy:

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When I installed Win10 on Virtual Machine Manager I just checked that the Display was set to Spice Server and the video driver to QXL. As far as I understood these two lead to the best virtualization of your guest.

:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: i still don’t get what they are. was hoping for a TL;DR but that may not be enough to catch on …

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Just got Win10 installed as a guest on qemu / kvm, instructions below.

The only difference is that when you add the virtio ISO as a storage device, make sure it’s SCSI and not SATA, otherwise the Windows installer won’t find it.

Also, opt for 4 GB RAM, not 8, otherwise the guest creation will error out, letting you know that “pc.ram” couldn’t be allocated.

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Presumably 4 GB RAM.

You are correct … oy vey, long day. I’ll edit.

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Found only on Arrakis.


Yes and SPICE works well with the Distributed and Unified Numerics Environment software.


At the risk of hijacking this thread, I’ve tried to install Win10 on Boxes, pointing to an .iso on my hard drive. I’ve run into this error on setup:

I’ve tried to research solutions, but nothing stuck out. I was curious if you encountered this issue and got past it.


was the .iso on an external storage device that is maybe acting up ?

No, it’s on my local hard drive.

You probably need the virtio drivers

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