Getting Ubuntu Unity to work in VirtualBox
I was disappointed after installing Ubuntu Desktop 11.04 (Natty) because the new Unity interface didn't load when booting the fresh install in VirtualBox. On first logging in Ubuntu raised a notification that my hardware was not compatible with Unity. Reading a few Ubuntu forums it seemed like a common problem and there were quite a few different solutions being thrown around.
After a couple of tries, here are the steps that worked for me:
- Update VirtualBox to the latest version (currently 4.0.8)
- Install the latest version of Guest Additions. You can verify that GA is installed correctly by checking (System Settings -> Hardware -> Additional Drivers) where you should see the "Oracle VM VirtualBox Guest Additions for Linux Module" shown. The first install didn't seem to complete properly but running it a second time worked.
- Enable 3D Video Acceleration in the configuration of VirtualBox (General -> Display -> Enable 3D Acceleration)
Having done that and restarted Ubuntu, after logging in again I was greeted by the new interface rather than the classic interface I had been seeing previously.