I am trying to install and run Redhat 5.2 on a VirtualBox VM. This is NOT RHEL; This is the old Redhat 5.2 from before the Fedora project and was first released in 1997. While going through the installation steps, I am continually failing to pick the proper Video Card for it. When it goes to probe for resolutions, it just freezes...

Does anyone know what Video Card VirtualBox emulates? Is there any way to get a specific video card presented to the installation wizard? Are there any tips for troubleshoot this further and finding extra information that may be useful?

Redhat 5.2 XConfiguration

  • The X video configuration is stored in /etc/X11/XF86config. Another way to set its contents is with xf86config. With some trial and error, I was able to get a 320x200 display working with a ps/2 mouse, but it needed a bigger display to do anything really useful. Using Qemu might produce better results. – mwfearnley Mar 21 '17 at 0:14
  • Is there is a third party X server that works on Red Hat 5.x and supports VESA BIOS Extensions? The beta of SDD for Linux web.archive.org/web/20011031030638/http://… is about the right vintage, but when I tried it on RH 5.0 in VirtualBox it detected the 80EE:BEEF device and tried but failed to load vbeaf.drv according to its /usr/lib/nucleus/config/nucleus.log – rakslice Jan 1 '18 at 22:32

From the virtualbox manual

Graphics. The VirtualBox graphics device (sometimes referred to as VGA device) is, unlike nearly all other emulated devices, not based on any physical counterpart. It is a simple, synthetic device which provides compatibility with standard VGA and several extended registers used by the VESA BIOS Extensions (VBE).

RH 5.2 uses an older kernel and compatibility isn't assured even if you could build the video card driver yourself.

In short, you're likely to be out of luck.


You could try plain VESA. I recently used that to install Mandrake 9.1. Granted, that's a little later than Red Hat 5.2. If you get it to work, you're likely to be limited to 1024x768.


You can get a basic VGA driver to work(640x480 with 16 colours). NOTE: some programs will not work in this mode.

Here is how you do it:

  1. As root type 'setup'. The dailogs here use the same controls as the ones used when installing RedHat 5.2.
  2. Select Xconfigurator
  3. Hit 'ok'
  4. Choose 'Unsupported VGA compatible'(you can push 'page down to make it a lot easier).
  5. Select 'custom' for a monitor
  6. Hit 'ok' on the next screen.
  7. I don't think the monitor setting matter to much. I choose "monitor that can do 1280x1024@76Hz"
  8. Choose '50-70' on the next screen.
  9. Choose 'Don't Probe'
  10. Choose '8 meg' for memory
  11. For clockchip choose 'IBM RGB 51x/52x(autodected)'
  12. Hit 'ok' on the last screen and then hit 'quit'
  13. You can now run X by typing startx.(though running X as root is not recommended).
  • If I had an old SVGA X-server I could probably get SVGA. – jamie Apr 13 '17 at 14:05

protected by JakeGould Jan 22 '17 at 1:56

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.