Disable Hugepages on Linux yields huge speed improvements for VMWare Workstation

I recently have found a solution to very nasty bug. On my Ubuntu Linux development laptop, I run several virtual machines. I had to use VMWare Workstation for a project for one client of mine. I use quite heavy applications like IntelliJ IDEA (for Java Backend development), VMWare, Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird for E-Mail and everything runs simultaneously.

After a couple of hours of work, I found my machine constantly getting slower and slower up to the point that a single click in Chrome would take a few seconds to complete. CPU load was spiking but the processes which took all CPU was either VMWare or JAVA. Restarting those applications didn’t do any good – only a reboot would work for a couple of hours and then the slowdown would occur again…. Very nasty!

After several days, I found a solution: disable support for hugepages! I guess somehow the system tried to defrag the hugepages and this process was eating up all CPU cycles. I wrote a little script which will allow you to disable hugepage support and defrag during runtime. See if this speeds up your WMWare experience on Linux hosts. The script should work on Debian / Ubuntu / Linux Mint and derivates.


I’ve uploaded the script on github: https://github.com/maknesium/disable-hugepages


Good luck!

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