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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Virtual Box 3.2.10 Breaks 3D Acceleration in Ubuntu 10.04

     So this morning I found out that Virtual Box was updated to Version 3.2.10 and being the perpetual upgrader that I am, I downloaded the update and applied it to my installation of 3.2.8.

     Everything installed correctly without errors but after applying the new Guest Additions in my Ubuntu 10.04 Guest my 3D acceleration no longer worked. I re-applied the "Extra" setting under Visual Effects but it would no longer enable and I was stuck with no 3D effects.

     After trolling the message boards for a while I saw many posts relating to the fact that the latest Guest Additions for 3.2.10 weren't creating the Video Driver properly for Virtual Box in Ubuntu. Several posts suggested manually creating the driver using the Make command but I didn't want to mess around with that. As I read on there was another discussion that it couldn't "make" the video driver because "DKMS" wasn't installed. DKMS or Dynamic Kernel Module Support reportedly should be installed by default in Ubuntu but when I checked on this install it wasn't.

     Well, I went to the Synaptic Package Manager, searched for DKMS and selected the Package for installation. I immediately re-installed the Virtual Box Guest Additions but it didn't work. The following however did:

     In Synaptic Package Manager Search for DKMS and Install it.
     Reboot the Guest Ubuntu OS.
     Log back in.
     Re-Install the Virtual Box Guest Additions.
     Reboot the Guest Ubuntu OS.
     Log back in.
     Right click on your Background and select Change Desktop Background.
     Select the Tab called "Visual Effects".
     Click on the "Extra" option to enable Advance Desktop Effects.
     3D Desktop Accelerated effects Miraculously Returned.

     I don't know how DKMS got uninstalled in the First place as many things I've read have indicated that it should be installed in Ubuntu by default.

     For me this was a far simpler fix for this issue than manually creating the 3d Accelerated Video driver using "make". It also creates a long term solution that will allow the Script from Virtual Box to make the Video Driver itself as it should be doing.

     I hope this tip helped you solve your issue. If you found it useful, leave a comment and let me know.


  1. Thank you very much! I had the same problem. Visual effects are not very important for me, but playing videos through OpenGL output driver was imposible too.

  2. You're welcome. Glad I could help.