Chris Umbel

Solutions to Common VirtualBox Problems

My favorite free, desktop-class virtualization system by far is Sun's VirtualBox. It reminds me a good bit of VMWare Workstation but, well... Free!

It's not perfect, however. How could you expect it to be? The number of combinations of physical hardware, virtual hardware, and guest/host operating systems are grand indeed.

I'd like to share a few solutions to common problems I came across lately while working with it. From what I can tell these problems are widespread and cause many people headaches. In the same spirit of my previous tools post I'll keep adding to it as time goes by.

Problem: Linux installs freeze when booting at:
NET: Registered protocol family 2
Host: At least Windows 7, 64-bit
Guest: Many linux distros.
Solution: Add the following kernel parameters:
noapic nolapic noacpi

Problem: Even with Guest Additions I can't get a resolution better than 1024x768 .
Host: Any
Guest: Various Linux's
Solution: Add a "Modes" line to the Screen/Display section of your /etc/X11/xorg.cfg as follows:

Section "Screen"
	Identifier "Screen0"
	Device     "Videocard0"
	DefaultDepth     24
	SubSection "Display"
		Viewport   0 0
		Depth     24
		Modes "1440x900" "1280x800" "1024x768" "800x600"
	EndSubSection
EndSection

Problem: Guest operating system freezes upon any significant network traffic.
Host: At least Windows 7, 64-bit
Guest: Many linux distros.
Solution: Use one of the Intel virtual network cards rather than the PCnet Fast III default.

Sun Dec 20 2009 21:30:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)

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