I've just got a laptop with Intel GMA X4500HD card (which is said to be DirectX10-compliant, while my previous laptop had Intel 82852/855GM and no chance to play modern 3D games at all). It would be nice if I could play some games (like HalfLife 2, StarCraft 2, Fallout 3) from time to time (while I am ok using lo-fi settings and having low performance) but as I strongly prefer Ubuntu environment and don't need Windows usually I'd like to install Windows inside VirtualBox instead of using a dedicated partition and dual-boot. So the question is if VirtualBox can use 3D acceleration of Intel GMA X4500HD if run on Ubuntu.

  • Just for information: you will have better performance with Wine, but this is not the point of your question.
    – shellholic
    Feb 17, 2011 at 20:10

3 Answers 3


No you can't the 3D Driver that Virtualbox Uses it's not even capable of running the Aero interface in the virtual machines, the 3D it's just basic, and it can't directly access your GPU to provide full 3D support


As far as I know it's not possible.Virtualbox emulated a graphic processor for your VM and you can not use your actual device.

Read more here: 3D Acceleration Support - http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=16&start=0

  • But as far as Google shows, some people run StarCraft 2 with VirtualBox. I just don't know if they run VirtualBox on a Linux or a Windows host. The idea of why would I ask is that I think VirtualBox 3D acceleration may be available only on specific combinations of host and guest OSes and host hardware.
    – Ivan
    Feb 17, 2011 at 19:45
  • I see a Enable 3D acceleration under display settings but I don't think it can be helpful since the video memory is restricted to 128MBs.
    – Pedram
    Feb 17, 2011 at 19:58


...if an application inside your virtual machine uses 3D features through the OpenGL or Direct3D 8/9 programming interfaces, instead of emulating them in software (which would be slow), VirtualBox will attempt to use your host's 3D hardware. This works for all supported host platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris), provided that your host operating system can make use of your accelerated 3D hardware in the first place.

  • Link seems to be broken now. Nov 4, 2012 at 16:07

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