Fix – Ubuntu freezing in Virtual Machine

Virtual Machines are quite useful when you want to explore the different operating system and their features on your PC. Mostly, they work effectively and let you run the installed OS without any glitches. The same is the scenario when you install the latest version of Ubuntu on your computer. However, a few users reported getting an error – “Ubuntu freezing in Virtual Machine” when they tried starting it. 

Since you are here, you must be encountering such issues as well. You need not worry as in this guide, we will discuss what probably could have caused this issue and five potential solutions. Let’s explore the fixes in detail –

Fix - Ubuntu freezing in VirtualBox

What causes Ubuntu to crash or freeze when opening it?

Ubuntu may freeze inside VirtualBox due to different reasons like lacking sufficient RAM, storage spaces, or even CPU. If you don’t want your operating system to stutter, check for the following issues and try to nullify their effects.

The most prominent reasons behind Ubuntu freezing in VirtualBox are as follows – 

How to resolve the Ubuntu freezing in Virtual Machine

When you launch Ubuntu in VirtualBox and it freezes instead of opening normally, you better go through the below fixes and see if any resolve this issue. 

1] Close Apps running in the background and restart your PC

A virtual machine consumes huge system resources. So, it becomes essential to check whether there are any apps running in the background or not. In case you do know of any app that is running in the background, stop that first. After then, check if Ubuntu starts opening normally now. 

The Ubuntu operating system fails to start or even crashes sometimes if you hadn’t rebooted your device for a long time. As a workaround, restart your PC and try to launch the VM again. 

2] Disable 3D Acceleration

By default, 3D acceleration is enabled when you are using Ubuntu on a virtual machine. This feature of Windows, when enabled, is known to cause issues while opening an operating system in VM. The best way to overcome this issue is by disabling 3D acceleration. To do so, use these steps – 

  • First of all, launch your VirtualBox.
  • Right-click anywhere inside your VM and select Settings.
  • Go to Display and then Screen.
  • Here, you will find the 3D acceleration checkbox. Untick this box and hit OK.
  • Restart your VirtualBox so that changes come into effect from the next VM start. 

3] Allocate more CPUs to Ubuntu

When you were installing Ubuntu in a VirtualBox, the CPU allocation is done automatically and is kept near around 2GB. For most cases, this is considered good as you are there to try a few things on your console. However, if you are willing to keep Ubuntu installed and add new software to it, make sure to allot more CPUs. 

Allocating more CPUs to the Virtual Machine will let you use Ubuntu extensively and the OS won’t freeze or crash all of a sudden. Here’s how to perform this task –

  • Launch VirtualBox by double-clicking on its icon. 
  • Make a right-click on the Ubuntu and select Settings.
  • Select System and then Processor. 
  • Here, you may see a slider that can either increase or decrease the Processor capability. 
  • To increase its power, simply slide the slider to the right and hit OK.

Note: Since you are here, head over to the Motherboard tab next and increase your Base Memory as well. This will improve any issue persisting with the system memory. 

  • Restart your VM and check if the problem resolves. 

What if Ubuntu is still freezing while starting it? 

Generally speaking, allocating more CPUs and disabling 3D acceleration resolve this issue for almost all users. However, if the problem persists even after this, you may take up these two solutions discussed below –

4] Update VirtualBox

I hope the Ubuntu freezing issue in VirtualBox resolves by now. In case it isn’t, the problem may within the Virtual Manager itself. To fix this issue then, you must visit VM’s official site, and download the latest patch update. Double-click on the downloaded setup file to update your VirtualBox. 

5] Fresh Install Ubuntu

In case updating VirtualBox also fails to resolve the Ubuntu freezing issue, you better uninstall the currently installed Virtual Machine. Doing so will remove the Ubuntu operating system as well. Restart your PC and fresh install Ubuntu on a VirtualBox in Windows 11/10. 

What makes Ubuntu run slow in VirtualBox?

When you fresh install an operating system on a computer, the installed OS is able to access all system resources and use them as it likes. However, installing Ubuntu in VirtualBox is a partial installation. The resource allocation to it is limited and hence it can’t use as much as it needs. 

You may configure settings to increase the processor or memory base. We will look into it while discussing the five fixes for it. 

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Soni Aryan

Soni Aryan

Soni Kumari is a tech enthusiast known for her expertise in how-to type topics and Windows troubleshooting articles. She loves exploring how to do things or tweaks in Android, iPhone, and other operating systems.