NAT WinXP under VirtualBox has slow network throughput

I’m currently in the process of building my source repository at home – after well over a decade of neglect i’m importing everything into SVN and organising my little spike projects from various languages, environments, project, you name it.

In any event, my development machine is a virtualised Windows XP running on a Windows XP host (connected using NAT) with VirtualBox. My laptop has a direct cross-over cable connecting it to my server, so the throughput should be at best 100Mbps. When importing content into the repos, i was concerned by how slow the import felt to take. It was transferring 1MB in about 30-40 seconds, which by all right should have been virtually instant.

Fortunately I was able to find the program iperf which runs on both Linux and Windows. Set-up the server on linux and connected to it from the windows client and was shocked to learn I was achieving (get this) less than 90kbps.

Yes, jaw-drop and all that.

I found these two tickets on the VirtualBox support site which identify it as a limitation of running vbox under NAT, which if you ask me is pretty silly considering i can’t run bridged networking over WiFi.

not    happy    jan.

1 comment

  1. If you have a processor with VT extensions (ie. Any of Intel or AMD’s latest, within the last year or so) you can run KVM or even VMWare. These might perform better than VirtualBox in the scenario that you are looking for. Also, yes, VMWare can run with or without VT extensions, but you’ll get way better performance with the VT extensions.

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