So I am super new, not only to ubuntu, but also to VirtualBox. I have Linux/Unix experience, though I would not call it particularly strong experience. I have recently installed ubuntu using VirtualBox on my windows 8 home machine. I used all of the default download settings. It unfortunately runs supppper slowly.

While trying to figure out my problem, I am reading a lot of similar posts that offer that the problem is a game engine called Unity 2D/Unity 3D, but most of the time, when someone mentions that it is the cause of the problem the person asking the question says "OF COURSE, good answer." Which isn't particularly helpful to me, as a new user. Otherwise I have read that it could be my graphics card, VGA driver, memory allocation or something to do with guest admissions AND Unity. I really have no clue which of these could actually be causing me trouble so I was hoping someone could walk me through common problem solving tasks.

I installed Ubuntu through VirtualBox. Base memory 512 MB, video memory 12 MB. My computer: Surface Pro 4 GB of installed mem, 64 bit operating.

Note: Changing base mem to 1000MB did not allow for much faster speeds. Can anyone guide me through some steps to solve this matter?

  • Unity is Ubuntu's graphic interface. Ubuntu has 3 current versions: 12.04 (supported until 2017), 12.10, 13.04. Ubuntu <= 12.04 has Unity 2D, which is fine in VMs. Ubuntu >= 12.10 have Unity 3D, which is slow if you don't have enough video memory, OR hardware 3D acceleration (it falls back to software 3D which is slower). You may also want to try flavors of Ubuntu that have different graphics: Xubuntu has XFCE, Lubuntu has LXDE, etc. They are the same operating system with different graphics. – ignis Jun 5 '13 at 11:03

Take a look at the minimal requirements for ubuntu: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements

You are running your VM at the minimum. Try to increase the RAM and Video Memory. How fast is your CPU? (Is it a Tablet-PC?)

You can try to use xubuntu instead of ubuntu. It runs faster on hardware with minmal ressources.


I'm assuming you're running Ubuntu 12.10 or newer. Try installing 12.04. I had the same problem as you, but I had given it 4GB ram on a very fast computer. It was still slower than molasses. 12.04 fixed all the speed issues.

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