I am installing Ubuntu right now under VirtualBox in Windows 7. It is going extremely slow and VirtualBox is only using about 128 MB of RAM out of the 1024 MB I set as Base memory to it.

Is it supposed to do this? It might be an off topic question but I try asking here.

  • Windows reports 58% used of physical RAM and I think it could take up more RAM. This is stressing, it takes too long. I have installed it before and it didnt take this long. Installing Ubuntu 12.10. I have 8GB of ram on the computer.
    – Piddien
    Feb 13, 2013 at 14:25
  • Close voters: a question on (virtual) hardware settings to be able to run Ubuntu smoothly should be on topic here IMO
    – Takkat
    Feb 13, 2013 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


Virtualbox uses two separate applications, the actual virtual machine, and the Virtual Box Manager. We can not test this here, but it seems likely that the RAM usage you observed is from the Virtual Box Manager, the GUI to manage all your virtual machines, and not from the VM itself.

To speed up Ubuntu we need to make sure the following is met:

  • enable VT-x or AMD-V in BIOS, and in the VM settings
  • assign enough RAM (1024 is fine but leave at least 512 MB better more for the host)
  • give enough Video RAM (choose 128 MB)
  • enable 3D acceleration in the VM settings
  • install Guest Additions for (limited) hardware 3D acceleration
  • from Ubuntu 12.10 performance is better from 2 CPU cores onward (note that if you have only a dual-core system that this may affect the host operability)
  • Then the VM process should be bigger in physical memory space, but it is not. I sort processes in resource monitoring based on memory usage and the process should take up more than the Virtualbox.exe process?
    – Piddien
    Feb 13, 2013 at 15:38
  • OK. I gave it 2 CPUs and it is much better. EDIT: but still the biggest process related is VirtualBox.exe with its approx 128 mb. The larger processes in windows are such as chrome and outlook and other unrelated stuff :)
    – Piddien
    Feb 13, 2013 at 15:53
  • What does free (issued in a terminal) tell you on your Ubuntu guest?
    – Takkat
    Feb 13, 2013 at 17:25

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