I have Mojave 10.14.3, running VirtualBox 6.0.4 and with Debian 9 (with XFCE) as the guest OS.

I have installed the guest additions, no errors. I can verify that the usual vbox modules are running:

vboxvideo vboxsf vboxguest

Everything works fine in Debian, except that the system is extremely slow.

Even the mouse cursor lags when moved around, on a clean system with nothing running. Moving around applications take seconds.

Interestingly, glxgears runs seemingly fine, but again, moving the window itself takes seconds and is extremely sluggish.

It seems like "Enable Nested VT-x/AMD-V" is not possible to select in the options for the guest. The option is grayed out.

I have four CPUs enabled, plenty of RAM. I have enabled 3D acceleration. VirtualBox claims 2D acceleration only works for a Windows guest, so it is disabled.

I have never experienced this slow performance before in VirtualBox, something is clearly wrong, but what is it? And how can I fix it?

This problem is not related to misconfiguration of the number of cores or memory for the guest. I have tried having 1, 2, and 4 cores enabled for the guest. I have tried having 4 GiB and 8 GiB allocated for the guest.

However, if anyone is curious, these are the specifications for my host hardware:

  Processor Name:   Intel Core i7
  Processor Speed:  2,6 GHz
  Number of Processors: 1
  Total Number of Cores:    4
  L2 Cache (per Core):  256 KB
  L3 Cache: 6 MB
  Memory:   16 GB
  • You left out what resources your Mac has. If you over allocate CPU to the guests, that’s a trivial way to kill performance.
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 2:20
  • @bmike Thanks, this isn't the problem in this case though. Nothing is even using CPU at all, barely any memory is used. I've also tried different configurations. I updated my question to reflect this. Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 16:14
  • @AlphaCentauri Please include details on which Mac you're using (i.e. model and model year and configuration)
    – jksoegaard
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 17:27
  • Good edits +1 from me
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 20:41
  • This seems to be a general issue. Ever since I upgraded to Mojave, my Windows machine has also become incredibly slow (with the same resources).
    – n1000
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 8:32

1 Answer 1


Are you sure it isn't a graphics configuration issue?

You mentioned both that the GLXGears window moves slowly and that the mouse cursor lags.

Try disabling all forms of graphics acceleration.

Is the "guest" running slowly or just the graphics?

  • It seems to be mostly graphical operations associated with work performed by the window manager, moving around windows, but typing in a terminal is also slow. Glxgears ITSELF runs fine (decent frame rate), but the window within which it runs is extremely slow to move around. Commented Mar 30, 2019 at 15:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .