Debugging Virtual Machines#

Error message: Hardware acceleration not available#

This error pop-up message may be raised by VirtualBox (or other hypervisors) because of a setting in the BIOS of the host system. To fix the error:

  • Reboot the computer.

  • Enter the boot menu during start-up: At the very beginning of the system start, typically press the F2 or DEL key. Depending on the computer, other keys might apply (e.g., F12 - watch the screen for information on how to access Setup).

  • The boot manager opens. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the Advanced settings, hit enter, and go to CPU Configuration.

  • In the CPU Configuration, go to Secure Virtual Machine. If there is a [Disabled] flag, hit the enter key to switch to [Enabled].

  • Press Esc, go to Exit > Save changes and exit (or just hit the F10 key). Confirm. The system will reboot now.

  • Back in Windows re-run VirtualBox and start a VM. The error message should no longer appear.

Graphical User Interfaces crashing#

Using OpenGL with virtual machines on VirtualBox is still in an experimental phase and may fails, in particular with nvidia graphic cards. To install nvidia drivers, enable non-free packages and install nvidia-detect to retrieve a suitable driver:

  • Open etc/apt/sources.list and change the busterrepository definition (example for server in Germany):

    • original: deb buster main

    • to: deb-src buster main non-free

  • In Terminal update repositories and install nvidia-detect

sudo apt update
sudo apt -y install nvidia-detect

Then, install the nvidia driver (or whatever the previous command recommended):

sudo apt install nvidia-driver

Reboot Debian to finalize:

systemctl reboot