VirtualBox – Enable Graphics Card in VirtualBox


I recently bought a new laptop with following configuration

  • CPU: Intel i5 2450
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR3
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 520 1GB

I've setup a virtual machine using VirtualBox with Windows 7 as guest. I want to use my (host's) graphics card in it but the virtual machine is only showing 128 MB of video memory.

I am using Bumblebee and start the virtual machine using

 $ optirun VBoxManage startvm "Windows 7"

Please suggest me how should I use my graphics card for 3D acceleration in virtual machine.

Best Answer

As with almost everything in a virtual machine, the graphics card is virtual too. You can still access the hardware graphics acceleration, but it is to a limited extent only (one of the limitations is the max of 128 MB RAM.)

To make use of those 3D features available choose 3D acceleration in the Display settings of your virtual machine. In addition you will also need the Guest Additions to provide a driver for the virtual graphics adapter.

For the experimental feature of passing a PCI card to Virtual Box (which may work with few graphic cards only) see:

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