My host OS is Windows Vista x64, with 8gb ram, quad core cpu. I'm running Virtual Box 3.0, with a virtual machine running Ubuntu 9.04 x64.

Everyone once in a while my vm seems to freeze. VirtualBox CPU usage on the host machine goes to 100%, and the entire UI (gnome) on the virtual machine is unresponsive. My only options is to close the virtual machine (hard) and restart it.

Is this a VirtualBox issue? Or Ubuntu? Or something else?

I'm using Eclipse-CDT when these issues occur.

  • Alex
  • Just happening to have Eclipse open when your problem occurs does not make it programming related. Even if it happened only when Eclipse was open (which you do not specify), it still wouldn't really be programming related.
    – rmeador
    Jul 7, 2009 at 17:53
  • Ah, is your point that stackoverflow is only for programming related questions? I apologise, I'll post elsewhere.
    – Alex Black
    Jul 7, 2009 at 17:54
  • there do seem to be a lot of virtualization questions on stackoverflow already...
    – Alex Black
    Jul 7, 2009 at 17:58

4 Answers 4


VirtualBox 3 is extremely unstable on my Vista x64 installation. I'm considering to go back to something stable (like 2.2) which always worked fine.

  • 2.2 is working much better, thx.
    – user12259
    Jul 9, 2009 at 13:03

Eclipse is a known resource hog, and can generate extremely high loads at times; I've experienced this particularly when using the stock Java engine. On a native install of Ubuntu 9.04, I see a lot of "lockups" (that go away after a couple of minutes).

I've had better success using Sun's JRE. To set which engine you're using, try:

sudo update-alternatives --config java

Hope this helps.

Edit: So, I found out there's a bug in the current Eclipse package in that it doesn't respect the JVM choices made OS-wide. There's a great thread on the Ubuntu forums about this, and instead of just duplicating I'm linking. I'd be surprised if you don't find Eclipse working far, far better under Virtualbox3 with these instructions.

  • Thanks, I'll try out those instructions to hopefully getting eclipse running faster, it does seem slow.
    – user12259
    Jul 9, 2009 at 13:04

What kind of disk IO hardware do you have? When VMs seem to hang and CPU goes to 100% its usually related to disk IO usage. While its hanging, to 'iostat -mdx 3' and see what the utilization is.

  • A striped RAID array of 2 SATA disks.
    – user12259
    Jul 9, 2009 at 13:34

Upgrading from 2.2.4 to 3 on a 32bit Vista host caused the same freezing issue with Ubuntu, XP would BSOD, and Win7 would spike CPU and kill the host. Downgrading back to 2.2.4 didn't save the guests I ran in 3 (they wouldn't even start) but guests I hadn't run in 3 still worked fine.

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