Remove running in software rendering mode in Linux Mint Virtualbox

After a fresh install of Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” on Virtualbox the software rendering mode error box appears. This is confusing because the actual resizing of Linux Mint inside of Virtualbox works like charm.

The solution is rather simple. Some but not all parts of the virtualbox guest additions are installed by default. You have to remove the default installation with this command:

Then you have to mount the Virtualbox Guest additions CD image and open up a terminal. Get to the VBOXADDITIONS path:

yourUser should be replaced by the user you are currently using on Linux Mint and VBOXADDITIONS_version should be the name of the guest additions CD image. In my case it looks like this:

Now start the installation by running

After a restart of you virtual machine the error should be gone.

There is also a youtube video

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20 years of coding and working as software engineer but I am still eager to learn more. I am very passionate when it comes to open source, Linux and Java. But I made my peace with Windows long ago to fully enjoy my PC gaming hobby. I have a soft spot for 90s electronic music and Babylon 5. In the evenings you will find me roaming the endless space in Warframe (IGN k05h).

9 thoughts on “Remove running in software rendering mode in Linux Mint Virtualbox

  1. Nick

    Well, when I try to Insert Guest Additions CD Image I get ” Unable to Insert Optical Disk C”
    and I have to Force Unmount. Yet Still if I do nothing happens…

    *Dumb Linux User*
    *Best Regards*

    1. lars.haendler

      Bei mir hat es inzwischen auch mit 18.1 funktioniert. Aber es bedurfte erst einer neueren Version von Virtualbox mit aktualisierten Guest Additions.

  2. Ed


    Thank you for the Youtube video. I was having this exact problem and your instruction was useful – but it did not 100% solve my issue. After removing and reinstalling the guest additions, I still received the software rendering warning.

    I did some guest-side checking and found that by default, the Virtualbox guest setting does not have the ‘Enable 3D Acceleration’ box checked.

    Ticking the box and booting the guest removed the software rendering warning.

    1. Lars Händler

      Hi Ed, thank you for that info. For my PCs the “enable 3d acceleration” did not do anything to help. But it is good to know that it is something related to this issue. If I make an update of this video I will mention it.

    2. GavinSpaceFace

      The “Enable 3D Acceleration” box resolved my issue too. May be worth moving this solution to the top of the blog article. One simple checkbox is much easier than uninstalling guest additions, shutting down VM, finding then downloading a virtualbox ISO, mounting ISO, starting VM, reinstalling guest additions, restarting VM


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