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I'm currently working on 32-bit VMware, running Ubuntu. I was thinking of switching to a 64-bit virtual machine, because I’d like to do some cross platform development for the Raspberry PI without switching OSs (my other work require me to use Windows).

I need an image of the card mounted for cross compiling. I usually do this on Ubuntu running on the host, and I was wondering will anything prevent me from mounting a 16GB image (that’s the size of the SD card), on a virtual machine. Will it cause the virtual machine to get too slow? Is this kind of thing feasible?

EDIT: I'm more concerned of having a one large file (16G), not the size of the harddisk. I assume the VM splits files to smaller sizes to store it on disk. I'm not sure.

I’d like to know your thoughts before going down this path. Thanks!

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    Utterly no reason disk size would ever slow down a virtual machine. By that logic a physical machine would be slowed down by larger disk sizes and when has that ever happened. For a virtual machine the main factors that strain a system are CPU, RAM and GPU; much like a real computer. Oct 3 '15 at 7:10
  • I think I didn't address my main concern in the question. I'm more concerned of having a one large file (16G), not the size of the harddisk. I assume the VM splits files to smaller sizes to store it on disk.
    – dev_nut
    Oct 3 '15 at 14:55
  • Nothing you describe makes sense. Why would there be a need to split up the file into different pieces on the image to begin with? It's just a hard disk. It will just store the file the way it has to store it which is as one large file. You're seriously overthinking all of this. Oct 3 '15 at 15:14
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Having a large disk on a VM will make no appreciable difference to its performance.

The only place it could be an issue is if you are doing a lot of reads/writes on a number of VM's, which will cause the OS to bottleneck, but simply having the resource mounted is neither here nor there.

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That's a very general question - what's the image suppose to do? How many resources will it consume? What version are you installing?

I don't think the sheer size should make any difference. It's the use that's gonna crash the VM - and dev work is always chip-intensive. I suggest to give it a go, and come back here with some speed tests for us to optimise.

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