Speed up slow console in VirtualBox

February 19th, 2011

This is one of those geeky posts that is here for the benefit of (a) my failing memory – so I can search for it later – and for (b) anyone who happens to Google for the right keywords.

At Camvine, most of our development is done on Linux, but many of us have Macs as our preferred desktop machines. So we regularly install Ubuntu Linux Server as a virtual machine using VirtualBox. We’re not interested in a graphical interface to the VM – the console is fine. Unfortunately, the default video driver that Ubuntu uses when running under VirtualBox is painfully slow, to the extent that we usually minimize the window and SSH into the machine.

Fortunately, the guys on this thread found a solution – thanks everyone!

On the VM, edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer.conf and add a line:

blacklist vga16fb

Reboot the VM and speedy scrolling should be yours again.

(Of course, you may still want to ssh in to get more convenient cut & paste, etc., but it’s nice to have a speedy console anyway, and you may not always have network access to the VM.)

Posted on Saturday, February 19th, 2011 at 7:36 pm and filed under Apple, Linux, Open Source.

One Response to “Speed up slow console in VirtualBox”

  1. Gaelan Lloyd Says:

    Excellent post! I was looking for a way to speed up the console text speed for an Ubuntu server VM running under VirtualBox, this did the trick! Thanks!

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