VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Discussions related to using VirtualBox on Mac OS X hosts.

Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby Grinsekatze » 21. Jan 2020, 20:20

Guys the solution is quite simple!
Took me less then 5 Minutes with Google...
(I'm using a MacBook Air 2019)
1. Install "Resolution Tab" from the Apple App Store
2. Switch from the standard resolution (For me 1440x1200 HiDPI) to 1440x900 (without HiDPI).

Problem solved! Virtualbox works like a charm! :wink:

Cheers!
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby 63BottlesOfBeer » 26. Feb 2020, 23:44

Any updates that does not require turning off the retina displaymode on the host mac or plugging in an external monitor? Any chance of a fix in the works from VB?

Can confirm I've still got ~1fps on a 2019 MBP 16"
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby 63BottlesOfBeer » 27. Feb 2020, 00:04

Went ahead and gave a suggestion by the community a shot, you can run apps in lowrez mode, instant upgrade to 15fps from 1.

Screen-Shot-2020-02-26-at-5.01.56-PM.gif
Screen-Shot-2020-02-26-at-5.01.56-PM.gif (113.88 KiB) Viewed 3247 times
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby fakerino » 29. Feb 2020, 23:50

Grinsekatze wrote:Guys the solution is quite simple!
Took me less then 5 Minutes with Google...
(I'm using a MacBook Air 2019)
1. Install "Resolution Tab" from the Apple App Store
2. Switch from the standard resolution (For me 1440x1200 HiDPI) to 1440x900 (without HiDPI).

Problem solved! Virtualbox works like a charm! :wink:

Cheers!



Thats a part of the solution. I finally got the solution which works apparently for every platform (linux/windows)

I can confirm the solution of grinsekatze, thats the first step, after that you have to set your graphics controller in vb settings ether to VBoxVGA or VBoxSVGA. I set mine to VBoxVGA cause SVGA was working fine until it had frozen my a key.

1. set your graphic controller
2. switch your resolution

with that, VB works for me like my parallels
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby gscelsi » 9. Mar 2020, 08:03

I am using macOS Catalina 10.15.2 on MacBook Pro 13-inch 2017, VirtualBox 6.0.18 running Ubuntu 19.10

The instructions from 63BottlesOfBeer on 27 Feb. fixed my problems. System is no longer impossibly sluggish and audio no longer crashes even using multiple sources at the same time. No need to install additional apps. No need to lower the resolution of the entire Mac.

Note that the "Open in Low Resolution" flag must be set on the "VirtualBoxVM.app" file, not on the VirtualBox manager. You need to right-click on '/Applications/VirtualBox.app', choose "Show Package Contents" and navigate to the "Resources" folder, as shown in the screen shot posted by 63BottlesOfBeer. I left the VB manager in full resolution.

I also reduced the display scale factor from 200% to 100% and selected the "VBoxSVGA" graphics controller. Now in full-screen mode, with "auto-resize guest display" selected, on my 13-inch MacBook Pro screen the Ubuntu display settings show 1440x900 and everything looks good and works fast. Thank you so much!
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby LostVector » 8. Apr 2020, 21:12

gscelsi wrote:I am using macOS Catalina 10.15.2 on MacBook Pro 13-inch 2017, VirtualBox 6.0.18 running Ubuntu 19.10

The instructions from 63BottlesOfBeer on 27 Feb. fixed my problems. System is no longer impossibly sluggish and audio no longer crashes even using multiple sources at the same time. No need to install additional apps. No need to lower the resolution of the entire Mac.

Note that the "Open in Low Resolution" flag must be set on the "VirtualBoxVM.app" file, not on the VirtualBox manager. You need to right-click on '/Applications/VirtualBox.app', choose "Show Package Contents" and navigate to the "Resources" folder, as shown in the screen shot posted by 63BottlesOfBeer. I left the VB manager in full resolution.

I also reduced the display scale factor from 200% to 100% and selected the "VBoxSVGA" graphics controller. Now in full-screen mode, with "auto-resize guest display" selected, on my 13-inch MacBook Pro screen the Ubuntu display settings show 1440x900 and everything looks good and works fast. Thank you so much!

Dear god, it worked. Use Low resolution on the VirtualBoxVM.app and do not use any scale settings aka keep it at 100%. This has been a problem for YEARS and made Ubuntu on MacOS hosts nearly unusable.

Completely rage inducing ... but now we know what the workaround is. This solution should be stickied until the fix is in.

I'm also frankly shocked a bug of this severity could be left open for so long. Mac's with retina displays have been the standard for years. It's not a mystery to reproduce at all.
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby mpack » 9. Apr 2020, 10:25

LostVector wrote:I'm also frankly shocked a bug of this severity could be left open for so long.

Which bug are you referring to? It sounds to me very much like you had your Mac configured incorrectly, i.e. the bug was you.
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby lsls » 9. Apr 2020, 15:45

mpack wrote:Which bug are you referring to? It sounds to me very much like you had your Mac configured incorrectly, i.e. the bug was you.

Are you serious? Perhaps the fact that you need to set VirtualBox to a low resolution mode so that it can keep up at least a little bit? So that mouse cursor is not lagging as much? So that you can set your resolution to something barely from this decade?

How is it not a bug in VirtualBox when I can set my external monitor to 3840x2160 using Parallels and it works far better than VirtualBox in 1360x768? The workaround mentioned here is really just that - a workaround. The fact that VirtualBox is extremely slow to the point it's not usable still remains.
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby mpack » 9. Apr 2020, 16:48

Ok, so you define "bug" as "failure to perform to my expectations". Thanks, that wasn't a definition I was previously familiar with. The more normal definition is "failure of a documented feature to work as intended".

Personally I don't see the mystery: virtual hardware will always perform worse than physical hardware. And in particular if you stretch the capabilities of the hardware simulation (let's say by using 4K graphics and probably not tuning the graphics and CPU settings properly), then you can expect reduced performance. If you can't accept that then maybe you should be using dual boot instead of a VM.
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby lsls » 9. Apr 2020, 17:07

mpack wrote:Ok, so you define "bug" as "failure to perform to my expectations". Thanks, that wasn't a definition I was previously familiar with. The more normal definition is "failure of a documented feature to work as intended".

If I move a cursor and it lags several seconds behind, if I cannot set a decent resolution because otherwise everything slows down to a crawl, yeah, I call it a bug because VB is doing something stupid behind the scenes while other products do not.

mpack wrote:Personally I don't see the mystery: virtual hardware will always perform worse than physical hardware. And in particular if you stretch the capabilities of the hardware simulation (let's say by using 4K graphics and probably not tuning the graphics and CPU settings properly), then you can expect reduced performance. If you can't accept that then maybe you should be using dual boot instead of a VM.

Other hypervisors do not have this problem. As I said, I can run my VM in 4K on Parallels without many issues. This is VirtualBox's problem. To be clear, I don't actually expect VB to run VMs at 4K, it was more of an example of how much VB is slow compared to others. I'm loving the "it's my fault angle" you keep trying to push here though. You Oracle apologetics continue to amaze me.
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby LostVector » 9. Apr 2020, 21:28

mpack wrote:Ok, so you define "bug" as "failure to perform to my expectations". Thanks, that wasn't a definition I was previously familiar with. The more normal definition is "failure of a documented feature to work as intended".

Personally I don't see the mystery: virtual hardware will always perform worse than physical hardware. And in particular if you stretch the capabilities of the hardware simulation (let's say by using 4K graphics and probably not tuning the graphics and CPU settings properly), then you can expect reduced performance. If you can't accept that then maybe you should be using dual boot instead of a VM.


Yeah see, I expected this response based on what I've seen in this forum. 6 pages of people complaining about a huge legitimate BUG being dismissed as fools and idiots who just need to learn how a computer works.

I've been using virtualization off and on since VMWare in the 90's and have been using PC's since the 8086, so I know what to expect and I'm perfectly tolerant of less than optimal performance. I've never seen dragging a window take multiple seconds be considered normal. 5.x worked much better, so it's clearly a regression ... as if we really needed a reference point.

Ubuntu Desktop aka Linux on any modern Mac host is unusable due to some sort of non-linear scaling in performance and display resolution introducing massive UI lag. What this boils down to from an end user use case is "Linux guest desktops are broken on Mac hosts". Explain to me why that's not a P0 bug?
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby R* » 10. Apr 2020, 09:57

63BottlesOfBeer wrote:Went ahead and gave a suggestion by the community a shot, you can run apps in lowrez mode, instant upgrade to 15fps from 1.

Screen-Shot-2020-02-26-at-5.01.56-PM.gif


This is the solution!

Really not easy to spot unless someone (like 63BottlesOfBeer, who deserves all of them) nice enough enlightens us...
Should be a way to point directly to his post, or mark it as the solution-master!
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby BigBomber » 24. Apr 2020, 03:54

I have not read every post in this thread. However, I have read many and find two common themes: 1) Multiple people all reporting essentailly the same issue, and 2) someone or more replying that the problem is not repeatable, and, to me blaming the use for the problem.

I reported the same problem on two separate Apple products -- an iMac and MacBook Pro. No solution from the forum monitors or those who did find a fix or at least something to help make the problem marginally acceptiable. I tried several recommendations to no avail. My last straw was a moderator essentially saying to bad, so sad, sucks to be you, we cannot duplicate the problem.

Well, I would gladly use VirtualBox but when VirtualBox turns it back on its end users, I chose to go elsewhere to find vm software that works even though it will cost me money. Sorry I have to say goodbye VirtualBox. I enjoyed using the product for years, but when you turn your back on your customers, it is time for me to say goodbye.

P.S. The other straw breaking the proverbial camel's back is the lack of support for Linux guests:

Linux Favor Supported Version Current Desktop Version
Ubunttu 6.10 20.04
Debian 8 10
SUSE 9/10.0 Leap OpenSUSE 15.1
Mandrake 10.1 10.1
However, it appears Mandrake is now Mandriva and that is not listed on VirtualBox site. Current Mandriva version is 4.1. Assuming this means Mandrake/Mandriva is for major releases behind.
Fedora 7-23 13
Oracle 8 8
RHEL 7 8.1
Red Hat Linux 9 9 (believe this is correct--may not be)
Xandros 4 4.1 from DistroWatch. Date 2006-11-28. Probably discontinued.
ArchLinux No version listed. Last DistroWatch info is 2012. ArchLinux site didn't help me locate current version.
Appears to still be developed. Note from ArchLinux website follows:

The Future of the Arch Linux Project Leader
2020-02-24
Hello everyone,
Some of you may know me from the days when I was much more involved in Arch, but most of you probably just know me as a name on the website. I’ve been with Arch for some time, taking the leadership of this beast over from Judd back in 2007. But, as these things often go, my involvement has slid down to minimal levels over time. It’s high time that changes.
Arch Linux needs involved leadership to make hard decisions and direct the project where it needs to go. And I am not in a position to do …


Bottom line is seems VirtualBox cannont keep pace with mainstream Linux bistro releases. I am being critical? Yes and no. Yes in that current versions are not supported, and in some, or many cases, supported versions are no longer available and not supported by the developer. The answer is also "No" since I have no insight into how difficult the tasks to test and verify a Linux distro are to ensure compatiblity with VirtualBox. So lets just call it an observation.
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby andeh » 12. May 2020, 20:11

Hey there, I unfortunately don't have much to contribute to this discussion other than to echo a lot of the problems being described in this thread.

The performance on RHEL/Fedora and Arch based distros on VirtualBox has been unusable on my MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018). I've not had these problems when trying VMWare and Parallels, and as you can tell from the screencap below, limited system resources are not the issue.

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
# I'm not able to post links but this should do the trick

imgur[dot]com/a/M5kRF6s


Is it fair to assume the choppy performance in the screencap above reflects what others are experiencing?
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Re: VirtualBox runs slow on MacBook Pro 2018 (screen refreshes slow)

Postby purple_rw » 24. Jul 2020, 02:43

63BottlesOfBeer wrote:Went ahead and gave a suggestion by the community a shot, you can run apps in lowrez mode, instant upgrade to 15fps from 1.

Screen-Shot-2020-02-26-at-5.01.56-PM.gif


I've been running Kubuntu 20.04 using VirtualBox 6.1 on a MacBook Pro 2017. Screen is displayed on an external monitor only at 1920x1080. No issue until I upgraded my monitor to 3840x2160. It has become very slow; even typing in Terminal is painful. Text is being displayed with 0.5 to 1s lag time, and often with repeated characters (e.g. "charaaaaaaacterrrs are repeeeeatinggg"). Switching from Terminal to Remmina would take 10s or more. I have tried changing the scaling in VirtualBox, or scaling in Catalina's Display settings, but got no improvement.

Once I checked the "Open in Low Resolution" box for VirtualBox.app, issue resolved! I now have 120% scaled (in Catalina) without slowness.
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