Disable PAE in ESX Server 2.x Guest Operating Systems for Better Performance (2020)
- A bigmem kernel installed on my Linux guest operating system.
- The /PAE switch enabled in boot.ini on my Windows guest operating system.
Bigmem kernels in Linux have PAE extensions. Linux installations for SMP virtual machines may install bigmem kernels.
Although ESX Server 2.x virtual machines are compatible with PAE, they are not optimized for it. As a result, guest operating systems with PAE enabled may experience poor performance. For best performance, we recommend you disable PAE in guest operating systems.
To disable PAE:
- On Linux guests, install the non-bigmem kernel.
- On Windows guests, remove the /PAE switch in boot.ini. For more information, see the Microsoft knowledge base article at support.microsoft.com/?kbid=283037.