Need some setup advice for computer

As many of you know, scientific computing and numerical analysis are my two main use cases for my computer. I typically like to use a windows pc and boot from an external hard drive because I don’t typically like dual booting, but perhaps things have changed over the years.

On my new computer, booting up Ubuntu 22.04 from an external drive takes far too long, so I am tempted to instead pursue alternative options. The two most obvious options to me are to use docker containers or a full-on VM. I suspect that docker will have far less overhead, so that will probably be the route I end up travelling; however, I was wondering if there were alternative options I had not considered. Has Windows Subsystem for Linux gotten better over time, for example?

As a side note, I am looking for high quality cooling options for my laptop. Does anyone have any strong recommendations? Thanks!

You can try VirtualBox for free and see how a guest VM performs. There may even be pre-packaged VMs available for your use cases.

Windows WSL2 is an improvement but still is lacking in some areas. Seems like file access/manipulation is still slow. Pulling a git repo or building code is still 10x slower than running natively. Is the external drive particularly slow (hard disk)? Do you have access to a USB C port and an external SSD?

I would second this :point_up_2:t4:. If you boot from external drive then you need the fastest drive (SSD) connected to the fastest bus. Even which port you connect to can slow down the process.