Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Discussions about using Linux guests in VirtualBox.

Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby TheSentinel » 15. Jun 2017, 10:29

I have a continuing problem with Fedora 25 on macOS/OS X hosts. Everything works just fine installation-wise, but after installing the guest additions, I get a screen flicker/flash every now and then, usually every 4-6 seconds. Not on the host screen, but in the virtual box window screen. I have tried several installations on different versions of macOS/OSX, but the behaviour is consistent. It does not matter whether I have 3d enabled, full screen or windowed - it keeps flickering/flashing.

Anyone have a fix for this?

Yours Truly
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby TheSentinel » 15. Jun 2017, 10:53

Update: Have tested with Ubuntu, and there was no such problem there.
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby socratis » 15. Jun 2017, 11:15

TheSentinel wrote:I get a screen flicker/flash every now and then, usually every 4-6 seconds.
Any particular application, spot/area, circumstances? Are you running in windowed, seamless, or full screen mode? Are you using Gnome or Gnome classic?

TheSentinel wrote:Not on the host screen, but in the virtual box window screen.
If you were getting flicker on the host, that would be really, "really bad" ™. ;)

TheSentinel wrote:I have tried several installations on different versions of macOS/OSX
Would that be on different hosts/physical computers with different OSX versions, or something that you've been seeing for several versions of OSX through time on the same host/physical computer?

Follow a "start the VM from cold-boot" / "observe error" / "shutdown the VM" cycle. With the VM shut down completely (not paused or saved), right-click on the VM in the VirtualBox Manager and select "Show Log". Save only the first "VBox.log", ZIP it and attach it to your response (see the "Upload attachment" tab below the reply form).
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby TheSentinel » 15. Jun 2017, 12:31

socratis wrote:Any particular application, spot/area, circumstances? Are you running in windowed, seamless, or full screen mode? Are you using Gnome or Gnome classic?

Gnome. And the entire screen. Fullscreen, or full desktop in a window (guess that is windowed).

socratis wrote:Would that be on different hosts/physical computers with different OSX versions, or something that you've been seeing for several versions of OSX through time on the same host/physical computer?

3 different hosts, one with macOS Sierra 10.12.5, one with Sierra 10.12.6 beta, and one older with 10.10.

socratis wrote:Follow a "start the VM from cold-boot" / "observe error" / "shutdown the VM" cycle. With the VM shut down completely (not paused or saved), right-click on the VM in the VirtualBox Manager and select "Show Log". Save only the first "VBox.log", ZIP it and attach it to your response (see the "Upload attachment" tab below the reply form).

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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby socratis » 20. Jun 2017, 04:13

Sorry for the late reply, "tabs" backlog...

  • You do not have 3D acceleration enabled.

  • You are assigning memory to your guest, that you do not have available. Either close some applications on the host, buy more RAM for the host, or reduce the amount of RAM assigned to the guest.
    00:00:01.695877 Host RAM: 8192MB (8.0GB) total, 3539MB (3.4GB) available
    00:00:01.978570 RamSize <integer> = 0x0000000100000000 (4 294 967 296, 4 096 MB, 4 GB)
    00:00:01.979147 VRamSize <integer> = 0x0000000004000000 (67 108 864, 64 MB)

  • I see a lot of messages about screen size but they keep repeating and repeating, with no clear idea as to why. Try to fix the previous two issues and see if you see a difference.
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby McJimmeh » 18. Jul 2017, 02:40

Any progress on this one? I'm getting the same problem. My searches for a cure are coming up empty.

Running VBox 5.1.22 r115126 on OS X 10.11.6 on a MacBook Pro to run a Fedora 25 virtual host (saw it on Fed24 too).

Enabled 3D accelaration, screen still flickered. (Gnome (3.22.2) also throws a Clutter error and cannot log in to desktop while 3D enabled. Can still log in with console.)

Video memory: 24MB of possible 128MB
Memory dedicated to VM...
00:00:00.948180 Host RAM: 8192MB (8.0GB) total, 4293MB (4.1GB) available
00:00:01.067812 RamSize <integer> = 0x0000000080000000 (2 147 483 648, 2 048 MB)


As noted above, my log is also coughing up a Display::handleDisplayResize event frequently (multiple per minute) when VM is idling and I suspect this to be the culprit.

00:04:49.811670 VBVA: InfoScreen: [0] @0,0 1152x864, line 0x1200, BPP 32, flags 0x1
00:04:49.811695 Display::handleDisplayResize: uScreenId=0 pvVRAM=00000001157b0000 w=1152 h=864 bpp=32 cbLine=0x1200 flags=0x1
00:04:49.811728 GUI: UIFrameBufferPrivate::NotifyChange: Screen=0, Origin=0x0, Size=1152x864, Sending to async-handler
00:04:49.811801 GUI: UIMachineView::sltHandleNotifyChange: Screen=0, Size=1152x864
00:04:49.811808 GUI: UIFrameBufferPrivate::handleNotifyChange: Size=1152x864
00:04:49.811819 GUI: UIFrameBufferPrivate::performResize: Size=1152x864, Directly using source bitmap content
00:04:49.817460 GUI: UIMachineView::storeGuestSizeHint: Storing guest-screen size-hint for screen 0 as 1152x864


I've tried switching 'Auto-resize Guest Display' off and setting to default monitor sizes only, but the flicker and log events keep coming. Can the event be suppressed?

Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby socratis » 18. Jul 2017, 04:41

I'm starting to believe that this is not an "OSX Host" issue, but rather a "Linux Guest" one. Moving accordingly...
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby McJimmeh » 21. Jul 2017, 03:59

Could well be a Fedora thing. I can't imagine I'm the only one - but searching hasn't turned up similar.

For the record, the handleDisplayResize events and flicker/flashing stop when the console is activated (cmd-fn[2-7]).
On the GUI (gnome), if there is no keyboard/touchpad/mouse input, the flickering will stop. Touch anything (eg press shift key), the flicker will come 6 times, aprox 5 seconds apart.
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby McJimmeh » 21. Jul 2017, 04:21

Well, there you go, eh? It looks to be Wayland what done it.

Screen flickers/throw display resize events on login screen (gdm) and when logged in (gnome using Wayland).

Quick fix, when on enter password screen of gdm, click the cog, select 'Gnome on Xorg' (X11), and the flicker stops.

Hope it saves someone else's sanity.
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby socratis » 21. Jul 2017, 07:20

McJimmeh wrote:Quick fix, when on enter password screen of gdm, click the cog, select 'Gnome on Xorg' (X11), and the flicker stops.

That's exactly why I asked you a couple of posts back about your Gnome settings. I should have realized that you were using the Wayland one...
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby alphacoorg » 18. Aug 2017, 18:13

McJimmeh wrote:Well, there you go, eh? It looks to be Wayland what done it.

Screen flickers/throw display resize events on login screen (gdm) and when logged in (gnome using Wayland).

Quick fix, when on enter password screen of gdm, click the cog, select 'Gnome on Xorg' (X11), and the flicker stops.

Hope it saves someone else's sanity.



Was struggling with this for hours. This helped. Thank You!
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby janpeter » 29. Aug 2017, 15:28

I just want to say this seems also to have worked for me.
Use macOS Sierra 10.12.6 and Vbox 5.1.26 and Fedora 26.

One remark though.
The other day I upgraded Fedora 25 to Fedora 26 from within Fedora 25.
The Fedora 25 flickered all the time and I used this VM
very little.
Hoped that upgrading Fedora 25 would work.
After upgrading it seemed to actually flicker less.
However, after installing upgraded guest additions the flickering came back...
My observation is not "water tight" since I spend very little time in the system
without guest additions, but I believe now afterwards that it was enough time
to see flickering if there was, and I think not.

So I started to think that the problem is related to guest additions or settings in Fedora related to that.
With your idea to select "Gnome on Xorg" the systems seems not to flicker anymore...
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Re: Screen flicker with Fedora on macOS host

Postby DowNow » 15. Nov 2017, 21:32

Saved my sanity thanks.
cc
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