I installed Ubuntu 11.10 (32-bit) in VirtualBox 4.1.8.

I wanted to install Cinnamon, so I did and I have the option to choose it from the login screen, as well as GNOME options.

If I choose Ubuntu I get Unity, which works fine. GNOME also works. But when I choose Cinnamon, the screen goes black and nothing responds and I have to reset the virtual machine.

I have already installed Ubuntu 11.10 (64-bit) onto the PC in a separate partition (currently running 10.10 but trying out 11.10) and in that Cinnamon works perfectly. In VirtualBox I have 3D settings enabled and gave the virtual machine 128 MB graphics RAM, and 1024 MB system RAM.

What settings should I change or what should I do to get Cinnamon working in Ubuntu in VirtualBox?

I have also tried doing it in LinuxMint 12, but I get the same problem, just a black screen when selecting Cinnamon.

So are Cinnamon and VirtualBox incompatible?

  • 1
    what is your host graphics card (lspci | grep VGA) and are you using any graphics drivers? – fossfreedom Feb 14 '12 at 20:03
  • Are you using the FGLRX/AMD/ATI drivers? – MiJyn Feb 15 '12 at 0:33
  • Have you actually installed the Guest Additions? – Uri Herrera Feb 15 '12 at 3:53
  • Since you're working with VirtualBox anyway, wouldn't it be easier to install LinuxMint directly on its own VirtualBox instance? – Ken Kinder Feb 16 '12 at 3:41
  • @kavoura - I note you have edited your question by adding a ?. Please edit your question with the answers above. Thanks. – fossfreedom Feb 17 '12 at 20:55

The forums suggest this isn't possible as of now:

Cinnamon doesn't run inside VirtualBox yet; version 1.5 will, but that is version 1.5

For now, you are stuck with Mate or Gnome Shell (I suggest you to Update Mate to version 1.4; it is way better than Gnome shell) and wait for Mint 13 to come out since Maya will have fixed Cinnamon to work with VirtualBox. Nothing to do until then. Sorry I can't be of more help.


To run Cinnamon in VirtualBox on Windows, I've had to check the PAE/NX in Processor tab in System settings.

  • Brilliant, thanks. Enabling PAE/NX allowed my ISO to boot and then enabling 3D acceleration prevented Cinnamon from crashing see @user65892 's answer below: askubuntu.com/a/162894/85213 – Brett May 30 '14 at 18:16
  • I had the same problem running Linux Mint cinnamon on Linux host and this solved the problem. – Mike Nov 5 '14 at 22:29

Cinnamon works (assuming your hardware isn't the issue). Go to the Display section under Guest OS Settings, and enable 3D Acceleration.

  • still doesn't work for me – niagr Jul 28 '12 at 18:14

I know this is very old but I ran into this issue and fixed it by logging out in terminal $gnome-session-quit and then selecting cinnamon in the log in page.

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