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Thread: Virtualbox Ubuntu Guest is randomly extremely slow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    3

    Virtualbox Ubuntu Guest is randomly extremely slow

    Machine: HP Laptop with intel i5 cpu
    Virtualization Software: Virtualbox 4.2.10
    Host OS: Windows 7
    Guest OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (64 bit)
    Virtual machine parameters: 8 GB fixed size hd, 2 GB memory, 128 GB video memory. 3D acceleration enabled, all other settings default.


    Installing Ubuntu works fine. No problems during install, and it works flawlessly afterwards. Internet worked fine, I could apt-get without issues, etc. It took me a while to get the guest additions up and running, but that also worked. I was busy trying to mount my shared folder and then ... things just slowed down. When typing on the console it suddenly took up to a minute for the text to appear. Everything else is slow as molasses as well. There doesn't seem to be a reason for this, I have plenty of memory and my cpu is sitting at 12% usage.

    I've played around with different settings in virtualbox. I've reinstalled ubuntu several times with different parameters (64 bits or not, IO APIC enabled or not), but the pattern is always the same: It works nice for a few minutes after installing and then slows the hell down.

    Perhaps it's some package that breaks the system, but I certainly don't know enough about linux to figure out exactly which one. So I'm hoping someone here recognizes this problem and can help fix it. I did some googling, and I don't seem to be the only one having trouble with a slow ubuntu in virtualbox, but I couldn't really find any solutions. I did install the guest editions each time, but I don't think those cause the problem, since it worked fine for a while with those enabled. Also, not using them is not really an option, since I do need their functionality.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Metro Boston
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    8,754
    Distro
    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Virtualbox Ubuntu Guest is randomly extremely slow

    One possibility is that the physical machine is starved for memory and needs to put things into swap while the VM is running. I've had that happen on Windows 7 machines with 2 GB of memory. During the period when the swapping is taking place, the whole machine slows to a crawl. One obvious symptom of this problem is that the disk activity light will start flashing for a while while the swapping occurs.

    I wouldn't allocate more than 768 MB for the Ubuntu guest on a Win7 box with only 2 GB of physical memory.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    104
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Virtualbox Ubuntu Guest is randomly extremely slow

    Just to add youre not alone. Though 12.04 ran better than 12.10 for me. I transferred and fired up a mint Nadia VM I had and it runs much smoother. When I get chance I'll try out 13.04

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ulm, Germany
    Beans
    13
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Virtualbox Ubuntu Guest is randomly extremely slow

    I have the same problem with 13.04. It's not starved for resources - I'm running on intel i7 cpu and 16GB of ram, Windows 7 64 host. Assigned for the vbox 2GB memory and 256MB for video, and enabled 3D support. Increasing and decreasing those doesn't seem to make any difference. Still it's very choppy and has occasional couple-seconds-long complete freezes. That didn't happen with 12.04 or 12.10.

    Edit: Reinstalled unity-guest-utils, updated virtualbox to 4.2.12, enabled IO-APCI and increased number of cpu's to 2. Runs much better now. Still not as smooth as native installation, but as long as I don't get those freezes anymore I can live with it.
    Last edited by stabby; May 15th, 2013 at 10:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Beans
    9

    Re: Virtualbox Ubuntu Guest is randomly extremely slow

    Anyone try Tor or anything like that? VMs, in my opinion. run like Tor. You're basically layering up the insides of your computer, so what I'd do is connect your VM to a wired internet connection alongside a wireless one to boost the download speeds of the iso boots, and try cleaning up Ubuntu once you use it. This guy called Jason Graham wrote a few articles about making this stuff faster:
    http://techod.com/how-to-make-ubuntu-faster/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Beans
    6

    Re: Virtualbox Ubuntu Guest is randomly extremely slow

    Having very slow perform when running Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04 in virtualbox? It’s because Ubuntu can’t use graphics card for acceleration, ubuntu uses CPU for rendering graphics trough LLVMpipe. It makes running ubuntu in virualbox really slow.

    To check if your Ubuntu 12.10 or 13.04 guest is using 3D acceleration
    Code:
    /usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p
    You should see something like this
    Code:
    Not software rendered: no
    Not blacklisted: yes
    GLX fbconfig: yes
    GLX texture from pixmap: yes
    GL npot or rect textures: yes
    GL vertex program: yes
    GL fragment program: yes
    GL vertex buffer object: yes
    GL framebuffer object: yes
    GL version is 1.4+: yes
    Unity 3D supported: no
    If you see “Not software rendered” and “Unity 3D supported” both say no. This means Unity is using slow LLVMpipe.

    To enable 3D supported, fist you will need to update linux-headers
    Code:
    uname -r
    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
    sudo apt-get autoremove
    sudo apt-get install build-essential
    Now insert vitualbox guest iso from devices and to install manually
    Code:
    cd /media
    ls
    cd username
    ls
    cd VBOX*
    ls
    sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
    Insert vboxvideo to /etc/modules
    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/modules
    Add “vboxvideo” at the end of the file
    Code:
    loop
    lp
    vboxvideo
    Reboot the machine
    Code:
    sudo reboot
    source: http://namhuy.net/951/how-to-fix-slo...irtualbox.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Iowa
    Beans
    87
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Virtualbox Ubuntu Guest is randomly extremely slow

    I have 5 different VM's that I use for evaluations. I am using VMWare player for my environment.
    I've not had any issues with them being excessively slow. Granted they are a LITTLE slower than if they were on the physical hardware as I would expect.
    I setup each "machine" with 20Gb single drive, 2 processor cores, 1G ram, auto video settings with NO 3D acceleration(3D caused problems).
    I have both 32bit and 64bit guests. My host is Win7 64bit, 4core i3, 4G ram.

    Other than my VMWare setup, I am dual booted with 12.10 32bit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Metro-ATL
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Lubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Virtualbox Ubuntu Guest is randomly extremely slow

    If the LLVM stuff doesn't solve the slow performance, here's http://blog.jdpfu.com/2012/09/14/sol...-in-virtualbox a detailed virtualbox setup for performance article that has worked well for many, many people.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    St. Louis Metro
    Beans
    19
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Virtualbox Ubuntu Guest is randomly extremely slow

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    If the LLVM stuff doesn't solve the slow performance, here's http://blog.jdpfu.com/2012/09/14/sol...-in-virtualbox a detailed virtualbox setup for performance article that has worked well for many, many people.
    I tried that link, and it did absolutely nothing for me. Now I'm trying the LLVMPipe stuff.

    FWIW my host is a Win7 x64 16GB Ram, 120GB SSD, 1 TB HDD in Raid, Radeon 7970, i7 2500k. It's no slouch.

    If 13.10 guest won't work, my next step is to try 12.04.

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