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My MacBook Pro is generally a fast machine (3.06 Ghz Core 2 Duo, 8GB of RAM, 7200RPM hard drive) but VirtualBox 3.2.6 running Ubuntu 10.04 is just too slow compared to VMWare. What can I fiddle with to improve this? Within Ubuntu, I use Eclipse mostly but even booting and GNOME desktop accessories are slow...

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Why not run Eclipse on OS X itself? –  Chealion Aug 7 '10 at 0:10
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Chealion, for a number of reasons including: different key mappings, no desire to install all required software off of MacPorts (e.g. Fuse to use sshfs and file:/// based SVN, some Java libraries with native invocations, etc.) keeping productivity/development systems separate, etc.. –  Maroloccio Aug 7 '10 at 0:14
    
blog.jdpfu.com/2012/09/14/… –  ecbrodie Feb 2 '13 at 1:09
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3 Answers

The performance will become normal if you disable VTx and set it to use only one core of CPU. See the thread at http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=39368

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made a huuuuge difference, thank you –  jlarson May 11 '11 at 15:34
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This is more of a work-around than an answer. I was in the same boat, the Oracle-branded version 3.2.6 was bringing my Ubuntu VM to a crawl. So I just deleted 3.2.6 and installed version 3.1.8 and everything was fine. If you're just running Ubuntu I don't think there's much of a difference between 3.1 and 3.2.

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Just throwing this up here as it may help others significantly.

I had Ubuntu VMs (guests) that i created on a Linux host install of Virtualbox, they ran fine on the Linux machine and were very slow once I moved them to my top of the line MacBook air 2012 (2ghz, 8gb ram) . I found i could make them extremely fast by increasing the cpu count (in the vm's settings) from 1 to 2. It made approximately a factor of 10 difference (a suite of phpunit tests went from 5 minutes to about 30 seconds). I'm not sure if the slowness had anything to do with the migration from Linux to OSX 10.8.2 or if the slowness would have been there even with guests that were created on an OSX install.

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