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Installing ubuntu-13.10-desktop-i386.iso gets me to the graphical login screen but after I enter the password I get a black screen. Ctrl-Alt-F2 brings me to a terminal where I can restart lightdm, enter my password again to see another black screen. The screen saver can actually kick into action there and I was told to update packages, but no unity or other ui, just blackenss.

The host is windows8-x64 and Virtualbox 4.3.2. I tried installing ubuntu-12.04.3-desktop-i386.iso but that hung during setup.

Is there a way to debug? I'm now trying to install Debian to see if that works but wow the network installer takes its sweet time...

Update: Debian does work though it gives me a notification that Gnome 3 failed to load. The visual desktop works though so I don't know if there was a substantive problem.

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Did you try to install the guest additions, which can also be done from command line in case the desktop does not load? – Takkat Nov 4 '13 at 10:03

I had the same problem after updating virtual box to 4.3.4. I think that there is a bug in the 3D acceleration so just disable it and it will work.

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