VirtualBox stuck on "Starting Virtual Machine"

I just got a new work laptop but I am having a lot of difficulty getting VirtualBox to run on it. It basically fails to start the virtual machine when I try boot it and remains stuck on "Starting Virtual Machine"

Looking at dmesg is proving very cryptic for me:

$ dmesg | grep vbox
[Tue Feb  3 16:53:49 2015] vboxdrv: module verification failed: signature and/or  required key missing - tainting kernel
[Tue Feb  3 16:53:49 2015] vboxdrv: Found 4 processor cores.
[Tue Feb  3 16:53:49 2015] vboxdrv: fAsync=0 offMin=0xcf offMax=0xff9
[Tue Feb  3 16:53:49 2015] vboxdrv: TSC mode is 'synchronous', kernel timer mode is 'normal'.
[Tue Feb  3 16:53:49 2015] vboxdrv: Successfully loaded version 4.3.20 (interface 0x001a0008).
[Tue Feb  3 16:53:49 2015] vboxpci: IOMMU not found (not registered)
[Tue Feb  3 17:08:22 2015] vboxdrv: Found 4 processor cores.
[Tue Feb  3 17:08:22 2015] vboxdrv: fAsync=0 offMin=0xd8 offMax=0x1d31
[Tue Feb  3 17:08:22 2015] vboxdrv: TSC mode is 'synchronous', kernel timer mode is 'normal'.
[Tue Feb  3 17:08:22 2015] vboxdrv: Successfully loaded version 4.3.18_Ubuntu (interface 0x001a0008).
[Tue Feb  3 17:08:22 2015] vboxpci: IOMMU not found (not registered)
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:18 2015] vboxdrv: Found 4 processor cores.
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:18 2015] vboxdrv: fAsync=0 offMin=0xdb offMax=0x2436
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:18 2015] vboxdrv: TSC mode is 'synchronous', kernel timer mode is 'normal'.
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:18 2015] vboxdrv: Successfully loaded version 4.3.18_Ubuntu (interface 0x001a0008).
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:18 2015] vboxpci: IOMMU not found (not registered)
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:22 2015] vboxdrv: Found 4 processor cores.
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:22 2015] vboxdrv: fAsync=0 offMin=0xd8 offMax=0xc60
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:22 2015] vboxdrv: TSC mode is 'synchronous', kernel timer mode is 'normal'.
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:22 2015] vboxdrv: Successfully loaded version 4.3.18_Ubuntu (interface 0x001a0008).
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:22 2015] vboxpci: IOMMU not found (not registered)
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:46 2015] Modules linked in: vboxpci(OE) vboxnetadp(OE) vboxnetflt(OE) vboxdrv(OE) ctr ccm pci_stub uvcvideo videobuf2_vmalloc videobuf2_memops videobuf2_core v4l2_common videodev arc4 media intel_rapl x86_pkg_temp_thermal intel_powerclamp coretemp kvm_intel cdc_mbim cdc_wdm kvm cdc_ncm cdc_acm usbnet mii btusb iwlmvm mac80211 joydev snd_hda_codec_realtek serio_raw snd_hda_codec_hdmi snd_hda_codec_generic iwlwifi lpc_ich snd_hda_intel snd_hda_controller snd_hda_codec rfcomm bnep snd_hwdep cfg80211 snd_seq_midi bluetooth snd_seq_midi_event snd_pcm 6lowpan_iphc mei_me mei shpchp snd_rawmidi snd_seq snd_seq_device snd_timer nvram snd mac_hid soundcore parport_pc ppdev nls_iso8859_1 lp parport uas usb_storage hid_generic usbhid hid dm_crypt crct10dif_pclmul crc32_pclmul ghash_clmulni_intel aesni_intel
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:46 2015]  i915 aes_x86_64 lrw gf128mul glue_helper ablk_helper cryptd i2c_algo_bit psmouse drm_kms_helper ahci e1000e libahci drm ptp pps_core wmi video [last unloaded: vboxdrv]
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:46 2015]  [<ffffffffc08d3b97>] ? supdrvIOCtl+0x1437/0x2d30 [vboxdrv]
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:46 2015]  [<ffffffffc08dbf99>] ? rtR0MemAllocEx+0x1a9/0x290 [vboxdrv]
[Tue Feb  3 17:09:46 2015]  [<ffffffffc08cd544>] ? VBoxDrvLinuxIOCtl_4_3_18+0x124/0x230 [vboxdrv]

I have installed virtualbox on many different work laptops (including the same model laptop from a previous generation) and never had any issues.

I have enabled virtualization from setup so that is not the issue. I have also rebuilt virtualbox several times in case it failed to compile against the current kernel correctly.

Is there something from dmesg that points to a fundamental flaw or something that I am completely overlooking?

Any help would be appreciated as it’s prevented me from getting any work done which is extremely frustrating.

  • VirtualBox: 4.3.18

  • Laptop Model: Thinkpad X1 Carbon (3rd Generation)

  • Ubuntu Version: 14.10

  • uname -a:

      Linux Arturis 3.16.0-30-generic #40-Ubuntu SMP Mon Jan 12 22:06:37 UTC 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
    
Asked By: Michael Aquilina

||

This is a complete shot-in-the-dark, but possibly try turning off IOMMU in GRUB?

In /etc/default/grub, change the line beginning GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT to this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="intel_iommu=off"

Found on this VirtualBox forums topic

Answered By: Byron Smith

Please check if the VBoxSVC service is still running when you try to start the VM with VBox 4.3.18.

Make sure that you have the use I/O APIC, and the Use host I/O cache options are checked.

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Also you may want to upgrade to 4.3.20, since it have a lot of fixes over 4.3.18.

Answered By: Mitch

This is a missing feature in VirtualBox and will be fixed in future releases. Please add nosmap to the kernel parameters of the host kernel. To follow this problem, see VirtualBox ticket 13820.

Answered By: Frank Mehnert

I landed here while experiencing a similar problem.

In my case, I had these lines in journal logs when the VM got stuck:

Jun 15 10:59:42 fedora-desktop kernel: SUPR0GipMap: fGetGipCpu=0x1b
Jun 15 10:59:43 fedora-desktop gnome-shell[10050]: syntax error: line 1 of stdin
Jun 15 10:59:43 fedora-desktop gnome-shell[10050]: Errors encountered in stdin; not compiled.
Jun 15 10:59:43 fedora-desktop kernel: traps: Missing ENDBR: 0xffffab45219b24a0
Jun 15 10:59:43 fedora-desktop kernel: ------------[ cut here ]------------
Jun 15 10:59:43 fedora-desktop kernel: kernel BUG at arch/x86/kernel/traps.c:255!
Jun 15 10:59:43 fedora-desktop kernel: invalid opcode: 0000 [#1] PREEMPT SMP NOPTI

This is due to a bug being tracked in https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/21435

The solution in this case is to add a ibt=off arg to the kernel boot args, which disables the "indirect branch tracking" feature of some Intel CPUs.

Note that the "indirect branch tracking" is a security feature from Intel, so you may want to take a better look before disabling it: https://lwn.net/Articles/889475/

But this was the only way I could run VMs again with Virtualbox on Fedora 38 (On Ubuntu the same solution should work).

On Fedora, what I did to add this arg to the kernel boot was running this:

sudo grubby --args=ibt=off --update-kernel /boot/vmlinuz-6.3.7-200.fc38.x86_64
Answered By: luislhl
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