Ticket #20513 (closed defect: fixed)

Opened 14 months ago

Last modified 10 months ago

Linux Mint "white screen of death" or initial black screen

Reported by: wellitisspeedy Owned by:
Component: guest additions/x11/graphics Version: VirtualBox 6.1.26
Keywords: Cc: evgueni@…
Guest type: Linux Host type: Mac OS X


Runtime conditions:

  • Macbook Pro with Mojave latest updates as a host
  • Linux Mint latest as a guest
  • Graphics adapter chosen - default VMSVGA

Issue 1 - initial total black screen in X11 mode: Once the guest OS starts up in graphical environment with automatic login (I don't really need login screens for my VMs) and brings up Cinnamon, the whole desktop is black. Figured a workaround - switch between Full Screen mode and Windowed mode shows the desktop. Note: This used to happen in all 6.0 and 6.1 versions.

Issue 2 - "white screen of death": Once the workaround is applied, the desktop comes as completely white and the only visible area is the bottom panel. The while seems to be a top in the Z-order and all Windows are like under it. I can only stop the VM by issuing poweroff from CLI or with the graphical interface only by pressing Enter as per the default choice to power off.

Workaround for both is to select VBoxVGA or VBoxSVGA adapters, but then I get a warning about 3D acceleration not going to be working.


TotalBlack.png Download (3.8 KB) - added by wellitisspeedy 14 months ago.
TotalBlack.2.png Download (3.8 KB) - added by wellitisspeedy 14 months ago.
WhiteScreenOfDeath.png Download (13.3 KB) - added by wellitisspeedy 14 months ago.
VBox.log.1 Download (216.6 KB) - added by wellitisspeedy 14 months ago.

Change History

Changed 14 months ago by wellitisspeedy

Changed 14 months ago by wellitisspeedy

Changed 14 months ago by wellitisspeedy

Changed 14 months ago by wellitisspeedy

comment:1 Changed 14 months ago by fth0

The "White screen of death" probably occurs only with the Cinnamon desktop environment, and only after the Linux Mint / Ubuntu Mesa packages have been updated from version 20.2.6 to 21.0.3. There's an extensive discussion about this issue in the Linux Mint Forums:  3D acceleration Virtualbox no longer working.

I can confirm that the "White screen of death" is easily reproducible. The host OS probably doesn't matter, since it occurs on my Linux and Windows hosts. My Linux host uses nearly the same software setup as the Linux guest, but doesn't exhibit the white screen itself.

Last edited 14 months ago by fth0 (previous) (diff)

comment:2 Changed 13 months ago by klaus

This sounds like Mesa in the guest stopped supporting the relatively old VMSVGA 3D flavor which VirtualBox offers currently. If that's really the cause then the only way to use such VMs at the moment is disabling 3D (which is what picking the other graphics adapter types is doing implicitly) until the revamped 3D functionality (which is being worked on, but it's a huge task) is in working shape. This will not materialize in the next few weeks, and I can pretty much guarantee that it will not show up in any VirtualBox 6.1.x release anytime soon. It will be part of the next major release.

comment:3 Changed 13 months ago by klaus

In the mean time we have a little more data from the problem analysis (there's trouble with setting up some pixel shaders). We don't have the whole picture yet, but it appears that there's more hope for getting this fixed than what I hinted at in comment:2.

comment:4 Changed 13 months ago by klaus

It's an issue with incorrect translation of texture formats (used by the compositing window manager) in Mesa 21. Guess no one tested the latest code with vbox (which implements VMSVGA/3D at VGPU9 feature level currently which is where the buggy code is - I guess other implementations are already at VGPU10 level which uses pretty much a completely different code path).

We can't truly fix this but the latest test builds have a workaround which make a reasonable guess from the resulting "unknown" value.

comment:5 Changed 13 months ago by fth0

VirtualBox 6.1.27r146688 fixed the problem for me, running a Linux Mint 20 guest with Mesa 21.0.3 on a Linux Mint 20 host.

comment:6 Changed 12 months ago by fth0

The VirtualBox 6.1.28r147628 release update fixes the problem as well.

comment:7 Changed 10 months ago by klaus

  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to fixed
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