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I am running Ubuntu 16.04 via Virtual Box on my MacBook Pro 2017 w/ TouchBar (3.3Ghz i7, 16 GB 2133 MHZ) and I am getting a very laggy and unpleasant experience on the machine. I have gone through the suggested changes from 7 years ago here: https://superuser.com/questions/172989/virtualbox-running-ubuntu-is-slow-mac-os-x-host

But it does not seem to make a difference. Even when I change the resolution to 720p the performance is still quite poor. Here are the settings for the vm:

 <Hardware>
  <CPU>
    <PAE enabled="true"/>
    <LongMode enabled="true"/>
    <X2APIC enabled="true"/>
    <HardwareVirtExLargePages enabled="true"/>
  </CPU>
  <Memory RAMSize="8192"/>
  <HID Pointing="USBTablet"/>
  <Chipset type="ICH9"/>
  <Display VRAMSize="128"/>
  <VideoCapture fps="25" options="ac_enabled=false"/>
  <RemoteDisplay>
    <VRDEProperties>
      <Property name="TCP/Ports" value="3389"/>
    </VRDEProperties>
  </RemoteDisplay>
  <BIOS>
    <IOAPIC enabled="true"/>
  </BIOS>
  <USB>
    <Controllers>
      <Controller name="OHCI" type="OHCI"/>
    </Controllers>
  </USB>
  <StorageController name="IDE" type="PIIX4" PortCount="2" useHostIOCache="true" Bootable="true">

Any thoughts on the settings? I feel like I should be able to get some decent performance out of this machine. (I have tried smaller RAMsizes with no success either). Alternative solutions if this a common Virtual Box issue?

1

The problem is Retina itself. If you use other monitor with other resolution (no retina) you'll see much better performance. I think it's an issue with OSX and Retina/HiDPI Resolutions.

0

Using the second monitor for VM definitely will improve performance.

Another workaround could be using a remote connection to VM.

I installed XRDP on Ubuntu VM on my MBP and using RDP client for access, no issues with performance.

Please check this link. There is another suggestion to use tool for Mac to use an additional range of screen resolution, so your VM instance can run smoothly on retina display

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