I'm trying out arch linux on my win7 host on a VB and I have it installed just fine, the problem is that when I try to use gnome-shell it goes back to fallback mode because it detects that my video drivers aren't capable of rendering it. Since it's a VM I know it's not detecting my actual video card but I'd like to know if it's possible to get full 2d/3d video support so I can test the OS properly in the VM. I installed the virtualbox-archlinux-additions package and I added the vboxguest vboxsf vboxvideo modules to my rc.conf file and it's working fine I believe.

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    Have you enabled 2d and 3d acceleration for that virtual machine in virtual box settings for that machine? Oct 28, 2011 at 9:42

2 Answers 2


When I try to enable 2d video acceleration I get this warning:

On the Display page, you have 2D Video Acceleration enabled. As 2D Video Acceleration is supported for Windows guests only, this feature will be disabled.

So it seems 2d acceleration is not available if you run virtual Linux machines.


You need to go into your VM's display settings and enable 3D acceleration for your VM. This feature is still marked as experimental (which is why it isn't enabled by default), so you might want to avoid it if your VM is doing anything really important. If you have all the guest additions installed, everything should just work from there. As Alex Jones pointed out, "2D video acceleration" isn't supported for Linux VMs, but I think that's a less important feature than it sounds. According to http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#guestadd-2d:

With this feature, if an application (e.g. a video player) inside your Windows VM uses 2D video overlays to play a movie clip, then VirtualBox will attempt to use your host's video acceleration hardware instead of performing overlay stretching and color conversion in software (which would be slow).

It doesn't sound like that's related to your regular desktop effects. My Arch and Ubuntu VMs seem to have good desktop performance with just the 3D support.

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