[Invalid] Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Discussions about using Linux guests in VirtualBox.

[Invalid] Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby wroot » 8. Feb 2019, 15:24

I think it started after i have updated my VM to Ubuntu 18.10. Was using VirtualBox 5.x at that point probably. Still the same with 6.0.4. When i start VM it shows desktop ok, but when i run any app, nothing appears. Then i start moving mouse cursor and GUI elements start to appear under it. I'm installing all Ubuntu updates and updating VirtualBox additions every time, but the issue is still present. Windows 7 x64 host. Xubuntu 18.10 works fine.
Last edited by socratis on 19. Apr 2019, 17:03, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Marked as [Invalid].
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby socratis » 8. Feb 2019, 17:56

Most probably a weird interaction with your GPU and the graphics that *buntu is trying to access. If you could bisect the versions and come up with more specific details like "it started happening at version A.B.C, but not in X.Y.Z", that could help the developers.

A log might help as well...
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby wroot » 8. Feb 2019, 20:23

I don't remember what version of VirtualBox was in use at the moment when it started, but i think it started with Ubuntu update. So, maybe this issue is not related to specific VirtualBox update. I have attached VM's log. My GPU is Nvidia GTX 550 Ti. Pretty old one. Using latest available Forceware drivers (Nvidia stopped releasing new versions) - 391.35.
Attachments
VBox.zip
(28.41 KiB) Downloaded 13 times
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby socratis » 10. Feb 2019, 00:21

00:00:01.220103   3DEnabled        <integer> = 0x0000000000000000 (0)
00:00:01.220109 VRamSize <integer> = 0x0000000001000000 (16 777 216, 16 MB)
You might want to take the VRAM to 32/64 MB or even better max it out. And try toggling the 3D acceleration for the VM which is currently off.

00:00:01.050800 VirtualBox VM 6.0.4 r128413 win.amd64 (Jan 25 2019 18:13:23) release log
00:00:19.522230 VMMDev: Guest Additions information report: Version 6.0.2 r128162 '6.0.2'
00:07:34.243952 VMMDev: Guest Additions information report: Version 5.2.18 r123745 '5.2.18_KernelUbuntu'
You have VirtualBox 6.0.4. You started with the 6.0.2 GAs, which you uninstalled(?) and left with the Ubuntu forked 5.2.18 ones! Instead the only thing that you should have done was to update the GAs to 6.0.4 and be done with it.
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby wroot » 10. Feb 2019, 09:42

I have enabled 3D and tried to add up to 128 MB, but haven't noticed positive changes.

I have probably tried to install GAs from Ubuntu packages or let Ubuntu install it with regular software updates long time ago and something was left over. How can i remove those? If i try to remove it with apt-get, it can't find anything.

When i install new VirtualBox version, i go to Ubuntu VM, open mounted CD and press Run software, it shows that it uninstalls older GAs (6.0.2) and installs new ones. If i run it again now, it shows that it uninstalls 6.0.4 and installs 6.0.4 again. Not sure how 6.0.2 is still there. How can i remove/purge it to install latest again?
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby socratis » 10. Feb 2019, 09:58

You can't have multiple GAs installed, only one version. So, if you try to reinstall them and it tells you that it uninstalls 6.0.4, then you had already 6.0.4. There are a couple of way to check:
  1. Do a complete run (startup/login/shutdown) and search the VBox.log for "additions". That will tell you the version.
  2. From within the guest run the command:
      VBoxControl -version
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby wroot » 10. Feb 2019, 11:32

That command showed 6.0.4r128413
I have deleted the log and did a full run. Searching for "additions" in the log shows only 6.0.4 version.

I might try to start from a scratch with 18.10. I only need this VM to test a few software pieces. Have noticed that after a few major updates Ubuntu/Xubuntu tend to have various issues (mostly Ubuntu). Not a first clean reinstall for me.
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby wroot » 12. Feb 2019, 23:41

I have tried fresh 18.10 install - same problem.
18.04.1 fresh install - still the same. I think it was ok when 18.04.1 was just released. So it's probably some VirtualBox incompatibility with something on my system. Xubuntu works fine though (also Fedora, Mint, Slax, etc.). Maybe something about Gnome, but Fedora uses it also.
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby socratis » 12. Feb 2019, 23:53

So, let me see if I have this correctly...
Fails
  • Ubuntu 18.04
  • Ubuntu 18.10
Works
  • Xubuntu 18.10
  • Fedora
  • Mint
  • Slax
  • etc
If you're on 6.0.x and you've created the VM in 6.0.x can you try to switch the vGPU from VMSVGA to VBoxVGA under the VM Settings » Display » Screen? Don't even think about the VBoxSVGA, that's Win guests only.
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby wroot » 13. Feb 2019, 11:02

I have installed fresh Ubuntu 18.10 and 18.04 VMs using VboxVGA this time. Still have the same issue. Btw, all my original Linux VMs use VboxVGA. Only new VMs use VMSVGA when i create them. I have already tried VMSVGA before on my original Ubuntu VM and new ones.

But i have found what exactly is causing this issue. For some reason it's the resolutions using 768. When i originally install Ubuntu it uses 800x600 and it works fine. I set all my VMs to 1024x768 as this is the most comfortable size for me to work with and they don't take too much space on my screen. But when i set it to 1024x768, it starts showing the issue. No matter if GAs are installed or not. On both 18.10 and 18.04. If i set it to 1280x720, then it is ok again. BUT. 1280x768 has the issue again. And setting it to 1280x800 fixes the issue. I have tested this on my original VM and it behaves the same. Not sure what's the problem with vertical 768 size and why it only affects Ubuntu.

I can leave it at 1280x800 i guess. But would be interesting to find out why it behaves like that.
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby socratis » 13. Feb 2019, 11:12

wroot wrote:For some reason it's the resolutions using 768

That's got to be one of the weirdest things I've heard in a long time!!! I honestly don't have the slightest idea what may be causing that, but I would attack it from the Ubuntu side as well. It's the only one that seems to have an issue to begin with.
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby PonJar » 14. Feb 2019, 23:54

Hey wroot.

Thank you so much for posting your workaround. I have had exactly the same issue crop up recently and have spent a lot of time trying to fix it. Even a new install of Ubuntu 18.04.02 had this problem. I am now on VB 6.0.4 with the matching guest additions. Like you I can work around this by moving away from the 768 resolutions.

I think I first saw the issue in a recent VB 5.something. I moved to VB 6.0.4 to solve a sound problem. The issue does not crop-up in Lubuntu 18.10, Antix 17.3, Bunsenlabs, Mate or KDE Neon. I'm guessing it's a Gnome thing.
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby socratis » 15. Feb 2019, 07:06

Can anyone post a screenshot of the guest so that we know what we're talking about? Just a scaled one, doesn't have to be 100% in size... PNG please...
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby wroot » 15. Feb 2019, 09:47

PonJar wrote:I'm guessing it's a Gnome thing.

This works fine for me in Fedora 29, which also uses Gnome. So it is Gnome+Ubuntu thing. Btw, are you using Windows host? What version of OS? Do you use Nvidia card? What model and driver version?
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Re: Ubuntu - invisible windows until mouse is moving

Postby wroot » 15. Feb 2019, 09:57

Screnshoot - https://imgur.com/a/N9GfuXj. I have opened a site, then pressed New tab and nothing happened. Then i started moving my mouse in the middle and new tab started to appear there (top sites links) in the middle of the previous page content. This happens with all windows (LibreOffice, Settings, File Manager).
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