OS X (Mountain Lion) Guest (on macOS Monterey host) is VERY VERY laggy and slow

Discussions about using Mac OS X guests (on Apple hardware) in VirtualBox.

OS X (Mountain Lion) Guest (on macOS Monterey host) is VERY VERY laggy and slow

Postby mba08mc » 17. Jan 2022, 21:09

I created a vm in virtualbox for OS X Mountain Lion. It initially started at Snow Leopard and upgraded (it was also very very laggy and slow on Snow Leopard and Lion) to Mountain Lion. It boots and connects to the internet and shuts down perfectly fine but the OS is SO PAINFULLY laggy and slow, the mouse pointer is laggy, the animations are choppy etc.
Here is my log:
osx-2022-01-17-18-50-19.log.zip
(32.89 KiB) Downloaded 6 times


I have attached a video to see how laggy it is. If I give the vm more than 1 processor it kernel panics with uptime in nanoseconds message. 4 GB is engough for ML. Any help is appreciated,
MBA08MC.

Edit: I know you don't like to links to other sites but the video won't upload to the website, even in .zip form. Here is an unlisted YT clip I made: youtu.be/RZJUzsG1sAM. (Skip to 0:30 for the content, and sorry for blurry quality, I don't know why youtube compressed it so much.)
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Re: OS X (Mountain Lion) Guest (on macOS Monterey host) is VERY VERY laggy and slow

Postby granada29 » 17. Jan 2022, 21:51

No obvious answer that I can see, but the slowness is most likely the result of only having a single CPU. Things you might try to be able to increase the CPU count:

1. Uninstall Intel Power Gadget if you have it installed. This is known to conflict with VirtualBox.
2. Disable Audio in your VM settings.
3. Enable USB 2.0. I'm not sure that USB 3 is supported on Mt Lion. You will need the VirtualBox Extensions Pack installed in your host for this.
4. Change the Guest Type of the VM to Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (64-bit)
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Re: OS X (Mountain Lion) Guest (on macOS Monterey host) is VERY VERY laggy and slow

Postby mba08mc » 17. Jan 2022, 23:05

Hi, thanks for the reply. So these are what happened.

1. I don't have Power Gadget installed on my VM (I'm not sure what it is exactly)
2. I diabled audio
3. I enabled USB 2.0 & 3.0 (both worked)
4. I changed the huest type to ML 64 bit.

I managed to change the cpu amount without the kernel panic to 6 (the max I was allowed). However, it made no difference. These are all my settings, (images in google drive because file limit. There are no viruses, just .pngs): drive.google.com/file/d/1aFTCvzeZ48T30dbPy3VI2TJ3M_KurZdx/view?usp=sharing
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Re: OS X (Mountain Lion) Guest (on macOS Monterey host) is VERY VERY laggy and slow

Postby granada29 » 17. Jan 2022, 23:58

Try reducing CPUs to 4 - you should leave some headroom for the host OS
Use USB 2.0 - That's what I use with Mt Lion and it works
Disable 3D Acceleration - I think it's probably not doing anything when enabled, but remove for now.

You may want to read: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=64346&hilit=AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement

Specifically the comment from @Socratis to remove: /System/Library/Extensions/AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement.kext

I'm not sure that this is applicable to Mt Lion, but I would suggest running with a single CPU, move that kext to your desktop (so you can put it back if required) then try again with 4 CPUs
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Re: OS X (Mountain Lion) Guest (on macOS Monterey host) is VERY VERY laggy and slow

Postby mba08mc » 22. Jan 2022, 14:23

Hi, I tested the things it said in that thread. However, I realised it was laggy because I increased the vm's screen resolution. I can only use the vm on the smallest scale (100%) without lag. How do I fix this?
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Re: OS X (Mountain Lion) Guest (on macOS Monterey host) is VERY VERY laggy and slow

Postby granada29 » 23. Jan 2022, 02:22

I have found the best way for me to use a macOS guest VM is to enable screen sharing in the guest and then connect to the VM over the network from my host. I hide the main VM window while doing this. This does seem to help with the slower interface in the VM.
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Re: OS X (Mountain Lion) Guest (on macOS Monterey host) is VERY VERY laggy and slow

Postby mpack » 23. Jan 2022, 13:10

mba08mc wrote:I can only use the vm on the smallest scale (100%) without lag. How do I fix this?

You can't fix it, because MacOS guests have never been officially supported and hence there is no graphics acceleration for them. You can only work around the performance issues by either choosing a lower display resolution and scaling to a working size (however CPU use will still be higher than normal), or you can remote into the guest per Granada29's suggestion. If MacOS's remote desktop feature is as good as Windows RDP then this would be my preferred solution too.

(*) If you go to the Guest Additions - Installation section of the manual you will notice that MacOS guests are not mentioned at all.
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