I have a Ubuntu-Linux-VM running on my MacBookPro and everything is sluggish to a point it's unusable from the GUI of the VM. There is even a latency while typing. I have the guest-additions installed. I had a similar setup running on a much weaker mac and the GUI was

Any Idea what part of my config is the problem?

Setup Details

  • Virtual Box 6.1
  • Host OS: macos Monterey 12.3
  • Host RAM: 32 GB
  • Host CPU: 8-Core Intel Core i9

The VM has the following resources allocated to it, following VirtualBox Manager views structure so it's easy to compare: System

  • Base Memory: 5120 MB RAM
  • Processors: 1
  • Boot Order: Hard Disk
  • Acceleration: VT-x/AMD-v, Nestedf Paging, PAE/NX, KVM Paravirtualisation


  • Video Memory: 128MB
  • Scale-factor: 2.00
  • Graphics COntroller: VMSVGA
  • Acceleration: 3D
  • Remote Desktop Server: Disabled
  • Recording: Disabled
  • What does activity monitor show?> How much RAM do you have?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 13:53
  • VB is known as the slowest of the VMs. VMWare is faster & there's a personal use version for free. Parallels is fastest, but not cheap.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 14:05
  • I am not doing anything performance-hungry. This has to be a configuration problem. I know for a fact that VB can run Linux in an acceptable fashion.
    – Human
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 14:40
  • Did you insert the Guest Additions CD image and install the software? Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 16:39
  • Yes, sure did .
    – Human
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


The problem seems to be the setting Scale Factor under

VirtualBox 'Settings' -> 'Display' which was set to 200%.

Setting it to 100% wil shrink whats shown on the VM-Display to the native Retina-Display resolution, but everything gets faster. Ubuntus GUI can deal with High DPI displays, just log in to your VM and right click on the desktop and open Display Settings. When you change the resolution to a big enough number (in my case 3484x2092) a setting called 'Scale' will become visible. Choose 200% and you will get the same scaling result when choosing 200% in VB. Only this time the performance is much better. Maybe only this way the 3D acceleration kicks in.

  • I'm facing the same problem, Ubuntu (kubuntu, xubuntu) graphics is super slow, even you can see how windows are repainted, and it happens on MacBookPro2021 (i7-9750H, Radeon Pro 5300M, 32GB RAM). On Windows system (host) with lower configuration (i7-10510), everything works quite smooth. no, changing scale factor doesn't improve/change anything.
    – razor
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 10:29

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