Tag Archive: Virtualbox

VirtualBox High CPU Usage on OSX

I noticed the fan was constantly making a lot of racket in my MacBook Air lately (running Yosemite 10.10). VirtualBox appears to be the culprit, even when my Windows 7 guest is idling (showing as 100%+ in Activity Monitor).

After reducing the number of assigned processors to 2 (was previously 4) everything seems to be back to normal. I also set the max usage to 75% (although this had no impact when set to 4 processors, so i’m not sure if it actually helps).

Looking forward to the increased battery life more than anything.

I powered up a new ESX host and enabled passthrough. This got me a bit further:

I thought it had hung here but patience paid off and the installer booted:

Damn- the keyboard/mouse doesn’t work (the pointer was moving around but I couldn’t click anything). Again- patience paid off and eventually it automatically moved on to the next step:

No target disks were listed when I chose to "Reinstall OS X". I went in to Disk Utility to investigate:

Damn. I tried using both IDE and SCSI disks in ESX but neither appear.

No doubt I’ll try some other ideas at a later date. I have a feeling I need to replace a .kext file on the install disc.


No success unfortunately- although I’m not overly fussed about getting it to work- just fancied a try.

ESX 5:


Again, getting stuck on "Still waiting for root device".

This was mounting the iso or trying client dvd drive. I can’t take ESX offline at the moment to reboot and enable USB passthrough.

If I get an opportunity to bring my other ESX host up sometime I’ll give it another go.


Lots of wasted time today trying to get into X in Debian Wheezy- only to find out there’s a bug with the installer which ignores the fact that I have ticked the "desktop" option. Doh!

Adding the wheezy repository:

deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian wheezy main contrib non-free


nano /etc/apt/sources.list


apt-get update

Then installing task-gnome-desktop:

apt-get install task-gnome-desktop

Fixes this!

As I am running in VirtualBox I then had to install virtualbox-guest-additions, but before doing so we need to know which headers to download:

uname –r

We can then install the virtualbox-guest-additions dependencies (the 3.2.0-2-amd64 is the output from the uname command above):

apt-get install make gcc linux-headers-3.2.0-2-amd64

Now you can mount the guest additions installation disk (devices, install guest additions) then:

mount –t iso9660 /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom

Now run /media/cdrom/VBoxLinuxAdditions.run and reboot :)

Getting gambas3 installed was a piece of cake- I chose to use the synaptic package manager and didn’t need to do anything special. I checked out DomotiGa and DomitiGaServer3 compiled/executed first time:


Fresh OSX Lion Installation

I’ve just got a new SSD for my MacBook Pro (official apple- toshiba 256GB) and decided to install OS X Lion and all my apps from scratch. This is basically a list of said apps for me to reflect on at a later date :)

OS X Lion
Citrix Receiver
Photoshop CS5
Office 2011

Not noticed many differences in Lion yet… other than the scrolling works in the opposite direction to previous version (two-finger down scrolls up and two-finger up scrolls down… seemed odd at first but got used to it before i even bothered finding the setting to change it!).


…Well- just over :)

Check it out:

This is on my MacBook Pro running VirtualBox.


Further to my earlier post https://tickett.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/virtualbox-issue-in-osx-on-new-macbook-pro-i7-2011/ it sounds like the bug is fixed in VirtualBox 4.0.7 (see http://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/8474)

However, I’m currently running my MacBook Pro with the 32bit kernel because of the issues I described here https://tickett.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/macbook-pro-2011-freeze-crash-issue/ and pre-4.0.7 works fine in the 32bit kernel.

Fingers crossed- this will fix for any of you running 64bit kernel.


I have recently started using Time Machine to backup my Mac and love knowing that I can, not only do a full system restore, but a full system restore to almost any point in time!

Time Machine fairly intelligently takes a full copy of your system the first time you perform a backup and then incrementally adds new/modified files on each subsequent run.

The first thing I noticed was my incremental backups were rather large 20GB+. Which, over wireless takes a really long time and will soon fill up my fileserver. Surely I’ve not added/modified 20GB worth of data in an hour? Well, no- I haven’t but I run VirtualBox which reads/writes to a virtual hard disk image of roughly 20GB- so even a single 1KB file modification will cause Time Machine to backup the entire virtual hard disk.

This is easily fixed- by opening up Time Machine preferences, clicking options and adding ~/VirtualBox Vms to the exclusions list. I also chose to exclude a few more paths after a little more research:

My incremental backups are now normally under 100MB and I use a different backup tool on my virtual machines.

I may decide to add my outlook mailbox to the exclusion list going forward as I’m connected to an exchange server (all the data is stored on the server). Time Machine backs up the entire mailbox every time as it is stored in a single file.

And finally, the default behaviour of Time Machine backing up once every hour seems a little excessive (although I’m often travelling and not connected to my network so the backups are skipped anyway). I was quite surprised not to find any configuration options within the Time Machine preferences but google showed plenty of tutorials- I used http://blog.fosketts.net/2010/05/28/tune-apple-time-machine-frequently/

The article explains how to alter the desired /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.backupd-auto.plist using Vi but I’m more familiar with nano:

  1. Open Terminal
  2. sudo nano /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.backupd-auto.plist
  3. Locate <key>StartInterval</key> (you will see the value below 3600 (this is in seconds which equates to 1hour)
  4. Enter the new value in seconds- say 36000 for every 10hours
  5. Press Ctrl-X to exit
  6. When prompted to save changes press Y and enter


*Update* This is now fixed in VirtualBox 4.0.7 and above: https://tickett.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/virtualbox-issue-in-osx-on-new-macbook-pro-i7-2011-update/

Finally having got round to migrating my virtual machines over from my old MacBook Pro to find they’re running like a dog!

I messed around for ages- even tried creating a new VM but no joy!

A bit of googling turned out a bug which has only today been flagged as critical: http://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/8474

Let’s hope it’s fixed ASAP!


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