Using Windows XP in VirtualBox on Linux


As a person who uses Linux regularly, often I am asked about my opinions about other operating systems, especially those coming from large companies located in Redmond, Washington. Here's the deal. Operating systems are tools. We use them to do jobs. It is always a good idea to think critically about what tools you are using, and verify if other tools can do the same job in a more efficient or flexible manner.

Having said that, using Linux as a Host OS for VirtualBox, I will show you how to create a Windows virtual machine that can interact with shared network folders in a Windows network as if it were an actual machine instead of a virtual one. In this article, I will also show you how to mount local Linux directories as network drives within your Windows Guest OS.

I'll start by assuming that you already have VirtualBox installed (available here).

Installing Windows XP as a Guest OS

This tip assumes that you have legitimate installation media for Windows XP. Start by selecting "New" to create a new virtual machine.


Indicate the Virtual Appliance name, and select the type of Operating System. In this case, it will be Windows XP.


Select the amount of RAM that you want the virtual machine to use. I chose 1024 megabytes, as my system machine has 4GB of RAM.


Choose an exisiting virtual hard disk, or create a new one. I will assume that you wish to create a new virtual disk image (VDI).


Choose either a dynamically expanding or fixed size virtual disk. I'm a fan of dynamically expanding storage, as it takes up less room on your hard drive if the virtual hard disk is not full.


Choose the size of your hard disk. In VirtualBox, expanding the size of virtual disk is a relatively time-consuming endeavor, so give yourself some breathing room here.


Verify your hard disk choices and choose "Finish".


Verify the rest of your choices, and click "Finish" again,


Your Guest OS should now be in your VirtualBox menu. Before installing, we need to change some of settings, so highlight your virtual machine and click on "Settings".


If you wish to install XP from an actual disk, the you need to enable the drive through the host OS. Under "Storage", select the CD icon under IDE controller, and select "Host Drive" under "CD/DVD Device".


Insert the OS disk, start the virtual machine, and install Windows XP as if it were a normal machine.

Installing Guest Additions to the Windows XP Guest

After installing the OS, I would recommend installing Guest Additions to your Windows XP machine. There is an entire chapter of the VirtualBox Manual dedicated to Guest Additions, and I encourage you to read it, but here is the manual's description of what Guest Additions can do.

The Guest Additions offer the following features:

  • Mouse pointer integration - To overcome the limitations for mouse support that were described in the section called "Capturing and releasing keyboard and mouse", this provides you with seamless mouse support. You will only have one mouse pointer and pressing the Host key is no longer required to "free" the mouse from being captured by the guest OS. To make this work, a special mouse driver is installed in the guest that communicates with the "real" mouse driver on your host and moves the guest mouse pointer accordingly.
  • Better video support - While the virtual graphics card which VirtualBox emulates for any guest operating system provides all the basic features, the custom video drivers that are installed with the Guest Additions provide you with extra high and non-standard video modes as well as accelerated video performance.

    In addition, with Windows and recent Linux, Solaris and OpenSolaris guests, if the Guest Additions are installed, you can resize the virtual machine's window, and the video resolution in the guest will be automatically adjusted (as if you had manually entered an arbitrary resolution in the guest's display settings).

    For Linux and Solaris guests, the Xorg server version 1.3 or later is required for automatic resizing (the feature has been disabled on Fedora 9 guests due to a bug in the X server they supply). The server version can be checked with Xorg -version.

    Finally, if the Guest Additions are installed, 3D graphics for guest applications can be accelerated; see the section called "Hardware 3D acceleration (OpenGL and Direct3D 8/9)".

  • Time synchronization - With the Guest Additions installed, VirtualBox can ensure that the guest's system time is better synchronized. This fixes the problem that an operating system normally expects to have 100% of a computer's time for itself without interference, which is no longer the case when your VM runs together with your host operating system and possibly other applications on your host. As a result, your guest operating system's timing will soon be off significantly. The Guest Additions will re-synchronize the time regularly. See the section called "Tuning the guest time synchronization parameters" for how to configure the parameters of the time synchronization mechanism.
  • Shared folders - These provide an easy way to exchange files between the host and the guest. Much like ordinary Windows network shares, you can tell VirtualBox to treat a certain host directory as a shared folder, and VirtualBox will make it available to the guest operating system as a network share. For details, please refer to the section called "Folder sharing".
  • Seamless windows - With this feature, the individual windows that are displayed on the desktop of the virtual machine can be mapped on the host's desktop, as if the underlying application was actually running on the host. See the section called "Seamless windows" for details.
  • Shared clipboard - With the Guest Additions installed, the clipboard of the guest operating system can optionally be shared with your host operating system; see the section called "General settings".

OK, Now you should be convinced that installing Guest Additions is a good idea. Luckily, installing Guest Additions is easy! While your virtual machine is running, click the "Devices" menu and select "Install Guest Additions."


A setup wizard should begin shortly. Choose to continue.


Twice during the install, Windows will freak out and warn you that the drivers that are being installed haven't passed "Windows Logo testing". It's OK. Choose to "Continue Anyway".


Windows will ask you to reboot your (virtual) machine. Do it.


Congratulations. VirtualBox Guest Additions have now been installed.

Mapping a directory from the Linux Host OS as a Network Drive in your Windows XP Guest OS

Now that Guest Additions have been installed, let's take advantage of the feature that allows you to mount a Linux directory as a network share. Select your Virtual Machine from the menu, and select "Settings"


Under "Shared Folders", click the


Add Shared Folder icon on the right side of the window.


Under "Folder Path", select "Other".


Browse to the directory that you wish to share, and select "Open".


Verify your selection, choose the name of the shared folder, choose whether or not to have "read-only" access, and click "OK".


Start your virtual machine, click the start menu, right click "My Computer" and select "Map Network Drive".


Choose the drive letter of your network drive, and click "Browse" to find your directory.


Your share should be listed under:

Entire Network
----VirtualBox Shared Folders

Select "OK", then select "Finish"


Marvel at your new "Network Drive" shared folder. This is one way to get around resizing your virtual machine if you are running out of virtual hard drive space.


Configuring Windows file sharing within the Guest OS

If you wish that your Guest OS can access and share files on your Windows file sharing network, you will need to change the way that your virtual machine interacts with the Internet. Under "Settings"/"Network", change "NAT" to "Bridged Adapter".


Please understand, the choice to use Bridged Networking does have security repercussions. The VirtualBox Manual explains the benefits and limitations of the different networking modes that are available, but this statement from the VirtualBox manual sums it up rather well:

In bridged networking mode, all traffic goes through a physical interface of the host system. It is therefore possible to attach a packet sniffer (such as Wireshark) to the host interface and log all traffic that goes over it. If, for any reason, you prefer two or more VMs on the same machine to communicate privately, hiding their data from both the host system and the user, bridged networking therefore is not an option.

I will assume that you are willing to accept the security risks that go with using this networking mode, as well as the additional risks of allowing file sharing within Windows.

Choose the directory that you wish to share, right-click it, and select "Sharing and Security"


You may have to complete the Network setup wizard to enable File and Printer Sharing.


Check "Share this folder on the network", the click "OK". It may ask you to reboot your (virtual) machine again.


When you restart the computer, you will notice that your directory is listed as a shared directory, and it will be accessible as a Samba share on your Linux host machine, as well as all other machines on your network. Enjoy!

vbox1.jpg79.96 KB
vbox2.jpg95.75 KB
vbox3.jpg80.96 KB
vbox4.jpg100.6 KB
vbox5.jpg109.75 KB
vbox6.jpg95.35 KB
vbox7.jpg85.18 KB
vbox8.jpg85.85 KB
vbox9.jpg78.2 KB
vbox10.jpg124.39 KB
vbox11.jpg88.39 KB
vbox12.jpg72.21 KB
vbox13.jpg92.93 KB
vbox14.jpg91.26 KB
vbox15.jpg94.21 KB
vbox16.jpg116.04 KB
vbox17.jpg121.76 KB
vbox18.jpg121.76 KB
vbox19.jpg121.96 KB
vbox20.jpg125.64 KB
vbox21.jpg119.72 KB
vbox22.jpg109.57 KB
vbox23.jpg117.8 KB
vbox24.jpg89.82 KB
vbox25.jpg94.22 KB
vbox26.jpg120.51 KB
vbox27.jpg998 bytes
vbox28.jpg134.58 KB

Linux rocks! Personal blog:


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

This is an outstanding tutorial! Thank You Ross!

Oscar's picture

I am a Ubuntu (linux) newbie and I am really fascinated on how the performance of the computers improved since I installed the new OS. The only missed link was that I needed in my work a windows oriented software that is not available for linux. My solution has been this tutorial and finally I managed to install it and it runs very well. Now I can migrate the rest of the computers to a linux OS and continue using the inventory and invoicing tool!

Ross this effort of yours is really outstanding and I am very thankful for such contribution. This information is so clear, comprehensive and very well documented.

The reader does not have to be an expert to do it and receive the benefits of using VirtualBox.

Best Regards,

Using Windows XP in VirtualBox on Linux

Ned's picture

What a complete and detailed description of the Virtual Box installation process for Ubuntu ( my current ver.9.10) you have offered. The emphasis on "installing Guest Additions to your Windows XP machine" is of the greatest importance for first time installers of Virtual Box. Thanks for spending the time to create this most useful page of information. Kind regards, Ned E.

where to download

uhh's picture

jwhere to download the iso from windows xp?

Author's Comment

Ross Larson's picture

If you are looking to download a pirated ISO version of Windows, let me make this clear:
Although I am not a huge fan of Microsoft, I do NOT advocate software piracy of operating systems in virtual machines.

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:

Thanks Ross

Mike Stafford's picture


Thanks for a great article. I ran a separate XP box for several years next to my primary 2 core AMD64 Xubuntu Jaunty box. Recently, the XP motherboard died, and instead of investing money and time in the separate platform, I just installed XP fresh into VB on Jaunty. (For one, I needed to run building solar panels) Connected the old C drive via USB and sucked the files I needed into XP.

Now I have Raid 1 underneath VB and XP, and can easily backup the XP system anytime I want to. Also boots faster! Planning on upgrading to an X4 MB soon, and the virtual XP should remain blissfully unaware of any hardware changes. Take that M$!


XP in VB

Keith Parker's picture

Running XP in VBox even though I have serial ports selected in the details setup (COM1 as host device /dev/ttyS0) When checking the Device Manager in XP it doesn't show the COM port. Any one?

Re: Serial Port issues.

Ross Larson's picture

Unfortunately, I have not used serial ports in my Virtual machines.

For more help, I'd suggest the VirtualBox mailing lists:

Another option would be to check the VirtualBox public bug tracker:

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:

other users

Jtrud's picture

I have installed xp as a guest on my linux box and it works perfectly. However the rest of the family also want access to xp via their own linux logins on the same computer but although VB is there, when trying to run it, there is no xp - vb wants to go through the whole xp installation process again. any ideas?

Author's Reply

Ross Larson's picture

Check the location and permissions of your virtual machine files. It could be that the file is being stored in your login without access being available for other users on your computer. I think the default storage location is ~/.Virtualbox/

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:

USB Setup: Port Issues

esotericx10's picture

Great tutorial, was very helpful!

I just finished installing the latest PUEL version of virtual box because the OSE version I had installed did not support USB. I've followed all of the instructions for setting up USB except I'm getting the error message: "The value of the Server Port field on the display page is not complete". I'm not understanding what information it wants or where to find it.

Do you have the solution for this?

I'm running Mandriva 2010.0 PWP 64 bit for the host, and Win XP Pro 64 bit as the guest.

Also, I run the Paltalk Scene chat client, and although I can hear sound, I can't get any audio to come out of my mic for voice chat. I've tried using the Pulse Audio, Alsa, and OSS drivers and switching from the AC'97 to the soundblaster option without success. I'm using a microphone/headset plugged into RCA ports on my front AC'97 panel.

Any ideas you might have for solving these issues would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Author's Comment

Ross Larson's picture

Unfortunately, I have never encountered this error before. I would suggest addressing this question to the VirtualBox forums at

Other options:
The VirtualBox mailing lists:

VirtualBox IRC channels:

The VirtualBox public bugtracker:

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:

Windows XP Pro in VirtualBox on Linux

Rick's picture

Great tutorial!
I was a little "nervous" about setting this up but your step by step approach worked out really a point! I reached the part of the XP install where it asks for the product keeps telling me it's invalid! I've got the packaging, the certificate of authenticity, even have the sticker! I've triple checked my typing to make sure I didn't just make a typo. I am stuck! Any thoughts, theories or help would certainly be appreciated!
I'm using Mepis 8.5 & VirtualBox 3.1.6

Isn't it because you may have

Anonymous's picture

Isn't it because you may have it already running in another machine?
You know that MS keeps track of that. Just guessing.

I don't understand it, I came

Rick's picture

I don't understand it, I came out this morning and clicked the "Next" button and it worked! It's good to be lucky every now & then!

Awesome...used it for Vista

Paul C.'s picture


What a great job. Thanks so much for doing this. I used your tutorial for installing 32-bit Vista in VirtualBox on a 64-bit MEPIS Linux host. It worked flawlessly. Especially appreciated the bits on file sharing at the end. The last time I did an install, I really messed that up. Your XP instructions were perfectly translatable to Vista as a guest OS.

-Paul C.

virtual, yah baby!

rj45's picture


Thanks for a great article. I ran a separate XP box for several years next to my primary 2 core AMD64 Xubuntu Jaunty box. Recently, the XP motherboard died, and instead of investing money and time in the separate platform, I just installed XP fresh into VB on Jaunty. (For one, I needed to run TurboTax!) Connected the old C drive via USB and sucked the files I needed into XP.

Now I have Raid 1 underneath VB and XP, and can easily backup the XP system anytime I want to. Also boots faster! Planning on upgrading to an X4 MB soon, and the virtual XP should remain blissfully unaware of any hardware changes. Take that M$!


Another option for a Virtual Machine

Bob King's picture

I have been toying with the idea of using a VM to host my web browser. I use Firefox with NoScript and AdBlockPlus installed, but figure why not go the next step and create a virtual appliance?

I can use Xmarks (formerly Foxmarks) to store my bookmarks in the cloud, and so just save a version of the VM with my Xmarks info already entered and then use that to browse. If I find something interesting, I bookmark it and then just remember to sync my bookmarks at the end of my session. Now I don't have to worry about anything I come across on the Interwebs, because once I shut the VM down, any infection is forgotten :)

Nice job

Ivan Mafija's picture

I just say awesome to you :)

Big Thanks

Mike K9FE's picture

I am the leader of a Linux Users Group for Ham Radio and have found your explanations very complete and easy to follow for the members. Many of them are computer literate, but came from a Windows only world. Your examples and descriptions have made a world of difference. We just touched on virtualization, but next month we dive right in and set up some 10 machines. I am sure they will appreciate how simple you make it to learn.

73 de K9FE

Author's Comment

Ross Larson's picture

Feel free to discuss your experiences with VirtualBox and Windows XP virtualization here!

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:

Great Article

Lambchopper's picture

I use VirtualBox to run XP on my Ubuntu 9.10 laptop. The only reason I need XP is to use my Garmin GPS. I did run in to one issue, for some reason my Garmin gets detected by the Windows Guest, but the software won't connect. I found that I had to restart the Hardware typically done through Device manager. Which was a royal pain in the a$$. I suspect this had to do with the Virtual Machine not starting the GPS USB device fast enough. Anyway, I corrected this by using microsoft's Devcon utility ( To script a new shortcut that would restart the hardware when I launched the GPS software.

Incidentally, I also had problems connecting to the Network once or twice for a similar reason via the VitualBox Guest OS. The above command placed in a batch file corrected that issue too.

I've only had this problem with WinXP as a Guest in VirtualBox, so I figured I'd post this in case any of your readers experience a similar issue.


Running already Win-XP and linux in multyboot

Michiel Visch's picture

I am running already a Linux Ubuntu, Vista and Win-XP in a multyboot, my question is can I use the already installed Win-XP in the VirtualBox?
I do not want to experiment because of the difficult instalation process, it took me over two weeks to install this TrippleBoot because of the hardware problems, and the fact that I only have a repair installation DVD for the Vista.
If I can use the already installed version of XP it saves me also a lot of support programs to install, which I already have done in the XP installation.
I hope you can help me on this issue.

Author's Comment

Ross Larson's picture

If you are looking to migrate an existing installation to a virtual machine, be warned that moving from actual hardware to virtualized hardware might require you to repair the operating system before being able to use it. Having said that, VirtualBox does have a help document concerning migrating a physical machine to a virtual machine. VMWare also has a conversion tool available, though I'm not sure if that converted image can be directly imported into VirtualBox. VirtualBox does support several different image formats (VMDK, OVF, and VDI). See importing and exporting virtual machines in the VirtualBox manual for more info.If you like living on the wild side, VirtualBox does also support using a raw host hard disk or partition as a virtual machine, but it comes with the warning that incorrect use or configuration could result in a total loss of data. If you choose to try this method, make sure you are thoroughly backed up before you begin experimenting.

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:

Virtualbox 3.1 Teleportation

gtkfreak's picture

The new feature in Virtualbox 3.1. Need to try this one out. Looks promising as it could mean that we can teleport a running Virtual box virtual machine from one hardware to another without disrupting operations. Too good a feature for system administrators.

Author's Comment

Ross Larson's picture

I agree. It's a very exciting development. For those that are interested, read the VirtualBox manual entry for teleporting.

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:

legitimate WinXP assumption

Steve D.'s picture

Thanks, this article is a very helpful tutorial, but it falls short in one aspect: the cost of doing this (i.e. the cost of procuring Windows XP for those of us that don't have it). Please hear me out...

I have been running a non-Windows laptop for over a year now, but occasionally I would like to run Windows software. I have tried Wine and React OS, but neither is good enough for prime time use (as far as I can tell).

I have been considering using VirtualBox, but my problem is that I don't have a copy of Windows. My most recent copy purchased was pre-installed on a laptop, and was customized by Toshiba (and didn't include install media, only wipe and re-image software).

Since I am a student and am trying to find inexpensive solutions first (this is why I tried Wine and React OS), I don't want to buy a full retail copy of Windows 7 or something like that. Is there an easy, cheap, but legal way to get Windows XP? Newegg seems to charge $100 (for the OEM) and Amazon $80 (for the upgrade). Will those both work? Are those the best prices? If so, then I guess I will have to bite the bullet.

I believe many readers will have Windows XP lying around, but some of us actually don't. If Linux and other non-Windows Operating Systems are gaining momentum, then we will have the increasing (happy?) problem that some people won't actually have unused copies of windows for their PCs. So it would be great if you addressed this, even briefly, in the article.


Author's Comment

Ross Larson's picture

As a student, you may have access to discounted Windows operating systems through your school. Check with your school's IT department or bookstore to see. At this point, they may no longer be selling Windows XP, though, so you may have to go for Windows 7 in order to get a discount.

Keep in mind that there are some confusing license terms and license modifications for running Windows in a virtual machine enviroment, stemming from Microsoft's interests in becoming a powerhouse in the virtualization field, as well as having a vested interest in per seat licensing.

Also, "XP mode" (in essence, a licensed XP virtual machine inside of the OS) is only available for Windows 7 Professional and higher versions. See the wikipedia entry for some of the differences between Win 7 versions.

I'm sorry that I can't give you better news. Windows licensing is confusing, expensive, and can be a huge hassle. It's one of the reasons I really like Linux.

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:

great article & detail

Matt's picture

Thanks for the details. I haven't had the time to figure virtualbox out, but now I will. And if I get netflix to work - sweet. Make sure you call/email netflix and request linux support.

Too Cool!

Sassinak's picture

Haha! What a coincidence! I have been on Ubuntu (well now Mint, but that's a GRUB2 story) for about 2 years. Now going back to school to finish my degree, I find I have to go back to Windows. Well, I put it in it's own Little Virtual Box (playpen? sandbox?) and that's that. At least when it crashes, or gets worms, it wont take my whole system down with it.

Alternative to bridged networking

carlfink's picture

Instead of bridging, I just use Samba to mount the Windows volumes under Linux, then share them with the guest OS (as described in the article).

Author's Comment

Ross Larson's picture

The reason that I went for bridged networking in this article is that a client that I have been consulting wanted me to replace an XP machine with an XP machine, so I decided to up the ante by providing them with a Linux server that could host any number of XP machines, along with the ability to assign each virtual machine to a different interface, if they desired. The new server has four different ethernet ports, and virtual machines can be assigned to each port using bridged interfaces.

I agree that Samba is an easier option in many cases, though.

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:


Snapper's picture

Great article! Please do not forget about the "Snapshot" and "Cloning" functionality. I find this invaluable testing new applications and general browsing. Simply create a known good base image from original media then browse away reverting to the snapshot when done

virtualbox and hardware detection

Pitra's picture

I've been using virtualbox for mac os X and winxp mainly for audio visual projects which are quite difficult to work with in ubuntu (currently 9.04). This has been going on for almost two years but unfortunately until now I couldn't access the cd/dvd drive. Anyone with similar experience?

I've looked at tutorials but people seem to be ok with their hardwares. Thanks for bringing up the topic again!

Very Useful Tutorial

Captain_Tux's picture

I've just recently come to realize the potential of VirtualBox and this tutorial is the icing on the cake... thank you very much!

Definitely the way to go.

gafir777's picture

Definitely the way to go. It's been a year and a half I have WinXP on VirtualBox in Ubuntu, and I mainly use it for:

- Cross-browser checks for web design & development, especially for IE.
- Connecting to Windows-Based Remote Access (requires ActiveX, and so IE).
- Using proprietary windows-only software from time to time.

If only it could work and was legal to have a Mac OS X guest on a PC/Ubuntu host, ...

Porting VB Install

The Doctor's picture

An excellent tutorial!

Now all you you have to tell them is how to port your Windows VB install from one computer to another --

Author's Comment

Ross Larson's picture

It looks like you beat me to the punch! The large file size is only an issue in certain filesystems- FAT32 being one of the the most common flash drive filesystems but having a 4 GB file size limit. To transfer my VDI files, I just copied them over to my FreeNAS system (UFS filesystem) and didn't have to split them at all. It's another reason to choose dynamically expanding disks- the file size isn't ridiculously large on a fresh install. Nonetheless, the splitting utility is a useful one.

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:

For Blackberry Users

Stu's picture

I started using VirtualBox because when I switched to linux 18 months ago I was just not satisfied with the iTunes alternatives for managing my iPod, nevermind the lame options for buying digital music in Canada. I was also wanting to use it to manage my blackberry (sync, load software, backup, etc.). This proved to be problematic for a long time, but I have a somewhat workable solution now. Follow the discussion at this thread for tips on how to get the BB workable:

its currently the 2nd last post in the thread.

I'm now able to properly backup my BB, and also manage all the music on my media card by way of the iTunes / MediaSync / BlackBerry Desktop Manager mechanism. Its not full proof, but it gets me by just fine.

If only RIM and Apple would release linux versions of their software

BlackBerry and Linux Without Windows

carlfink's picture

You can back up and sync your BlackBerry without any Windows software, as I wrote about for LJ back in 2008: The BlackBerry in a World Without Windows.


cmd's picture

I use virtualbox all the time on ubuntu 9.10 (64 bit) with Debian Lenny, WinXP, Win 7 guests at the moment. i find it quicker and easier than VMWare. The only problem I've had is seamless mode doesn't work very well with compiz enabled, couldn't get back to none seamless mode.

Virtualbox is awesome, try it today!

apexwm's picture

I love using Virtualbox on the Linux platform. First off, Linux is so efficient that it makes sense to use it as the primary OS, then run the bloated OSes (Windows) inside of it. Hence why you see enterprise virtualization products like VMWare ESX using Linux as its main platform. Virtualbox does a great job for running Win XP for instance. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it does with USB devices, especially proprietary cameras and scanners. And the Seamless Mode feature is also very nice, so that the virtual apps can run in their own windows. Virtualbox is a must if you need to retain Windows in any way.

I use VirtualBox to watch

Schalken's picture

I use VirtualBox to watch Netflix on Linux. That alone makes it well worth installing.

Netflix on Virtual Box

Eric Rabinowitz's picture

I too wanted to use view Netflix but I experienced significant video refresh problems with the video. The movie would simply hold an image for a 1/2-second at a time, but the audio streamed fine. I am using a Dual-Core with plenty of memory and Fedora 11 and Windows XP. Did you need to change any settings to get yours to work properly?

- Eric

Author's Comment- Video Settings

Ross Larson's picture

In the virtual machine "Settings" window, look under "Display". Two of the extended features of VirtualBox are enabling 2D Video Acceleration and enabling 3D Acceleration. If you haven't already, try enabling the 2D Video acceleration to see if that helps.

Acceleration in Guest OSes is something that they're continuing to develop, so you should continue to see improvements as newer versions of VirtualBox come out.

Linux rocks!
Personal blog:

VirtualBox Addons

justanothertechie's picture

Its normally recommended to install the VirtualBox Addons in safe mode, IF you want to use the latest experimental DirectX available for VirtualBox. (this is due to windows protective methods, and VirtualBox copying certain dx files over).

its in the documentations somewhere... always forgetting where.

just heads up ;)

Author's Comment

Ross Larson's picture

Good catch!
Here is a link to the Installing Guest Additions portion of the VirtualBox manual. It does indeed include the warning:
"For Direct 3D acceleration to work in a Windows Guest, you must install the Guest Additions in "Safe Mode"; see Chapter 13, Known limitations for details."

Linux rocks!
Personal blog: