Developing Lisp in Ubuntu Linux with VMWare Fusion May 27th, 2009
Patrick Stein

I am working on some lisp software that I would like to run under Linux, MacOSX, and Windows.

I have a PC that I can boot into either Ubuntu Linux or Windows Vista. Of course, I have a variety of services running under Ubuntu Linux on that box that the rest of my network would rather have around. As such, I would rather never boot that machine into Windows. So, I thought I’d give VMWare Fusion a try.

Actually, I thought I would try both VMWare Fusion and Parallels. Alas, Parallels lets me get my virtual machine set up, but will not let me run it without a license. VMWare Fusion lets me play for 30 days before buying a license. From what I’m seeing from VMWare Fusion’s performance, I can’t imagine dropping $80 on Parallels just to see if its virtual machine can outperform what I’m seeing from Fusion.

Right now, I am in the process of moving over the PC’s Windows stuff to my laptop so I can try running Vista through Fusion. While I was waiting for that, however, I installed Ubuntu under Fusion, updated a ton of packages, installed emacs, sbcl, slime, etc.

For comparison, I took some lisp code that runs in just under 11 seconds on my laptop. I ran the same code under Ubuntu in Fusion on the same laptop. It ran in just under 12 seconds. Some of that may also be that I am using an older version of SBCL under Ubuntu than I am native.

I have some more testing to do to make sure that cl-opengl will perform as well. But, I am quite pleased.