Virtualbox | Ubuntu | Chrome – Rendering Issue

I’ve been having crazy problems with Chrome hanging on my Virtualbox build.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why Chrome was causing Ubuntu’s rendering to crash.  All of a sudden when visiting a random site such as https://chrome.google.com/webstore, the virtual machine would turn all black or all white or rendering would be all sorts of crazy where I can’t click on anything ( objects are there, I can move windows around and what not, but they wouldn’t render as they really are ). I am at that point forced to hit alt+f2 and sudo poweroff as a sudo reboot would sometimes bring Ubuntu back up with the same rendering issues.

After much digging, I came across http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1974800 with a suggestion of starting Chrome with the following command:

google-chrome --blacklist-accelerated-compositing

I’ve come to find out that this may have resolved my rending issue!  It seems to be more related to Virtualbox and how it’s handling 3D acceleration.

To update the desktop/launcher icons you can run:

locate google-chrome.desktop

Which will probably give you the following:

/opt/google/chrome/google-chrome.desktop
/usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop

Really, the only one you need to edit is the one in your /usr/share/applications/.  You can also copy that file to ~/.local/share/applications/ and add

--blacklist-accelerated-compositing to the end of any "Exec=" line ( should be three -- one for first opening Chrome, one

9 thoughts on “Virtualbox | Ubuntu | Chrome – Rendering Issue

    1. Thanks Beshoy! I had this same issue w/ the screen turning all white using a gnome-ubuntu 13.10 build. When I hit the windows key, it will let me out of the all white screen as gnome will take over and show it’s launcher and such when you push windows key – temporary fix if you need it.
      Disabling 3d acceleration for chrome works! Thanks!

  1. Thanks – I’ll give this a try. I’m hitting a similar issue with 64-bit Debian and Kubuntu distros (both KDE desktop) and Chrome executing inside a VirtualBox host. VirtualBox 4.3.4, Latest stable Debian, Kubuntu (KDE 4.11.2)

  2. I’m having the same problem with the Atom editor and Ubuntu 16.04 on VirtualBox. Whenever I launch Atom, its window floats on top of everything else and I’m unable to ALT+TAB to other apps, or get rid of the Atom window, without force quitting the app.

    Disabling 3D Acceleration in VirtualBox settings cures it but, for some reason trying this tip to disable individually for just Atom by editing Atom.desktop doesn’t

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