I'm trying to run ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 in a Windows 7 (32bit) virtual machine. I don't have any native Microsoft Windows available. I'm using VirtualBox from Oracle for virtualization in a native linux environment (Sabayon).

I'm having exactly this issue: ArcGIS Explorer Map Display Issue

The proposed solution is to update video card driver. But in VirtualBox there are driver called "Guest additions" and they are already up-to-date.

I know some of my fellow students are working with ArcGIS in VMs and they seem not to have any kind of issues. What could it be?

the map only renders on right-click

3D- and 2D-Video-acceleration are enabled.

  • It's a native Linux machine, running a virtual Windows 7 machine - 32bit.
  • I'm aware of ESRI's system requirements. I allocated 256MB video RAM and enabled 2D and 3D hardware acceleration - as seen in the screenshot. Anyways, I've been running this analyzation of my system requirements from inside the machine, this is the result:

system requirements test results

Now I got to figure out how to fix it. Video memory is okay, but the rest I've never heard of...

I installed the experiemental WDDM drivers as @scw suggested, now it looks like that:

system requirements test results

I have all recommended attributes now, but it still says:

Unfortunately, your Video Card does not meet this requirement.

In addition, ArcGIS crashs now after adding any layers.

  • you have a linux tag - where does that tie in with Oracle Virtual Box running Windows 7?
    – Mapperz
    Jan 24, 2013 at 14:38
  • is your Windows 7 (32 bit or 64bit?)
    – Mapperz
    Jan 24, 2013 at 14:40
  • @Mapperz, I'm guessing that donschoe is running a native linux box, and has created a Windows 7 VM that is running inside Oracle VirtualBox. Jan 24, 2013 at 15:29
  • 1
    How did you install 3D support? You should try both the WDDM and the experimental Direct3D versions to see if either one works as expected. You'll need to install the driver in safe mode, and make sure you meet the requirements described in the Virtualbox manual: virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#guestadd-3d
    – scw
    Jan 25, 2013 at 17:52
  • 1
    disabling hardware acceleration fixed it :facepalm:
    – q9f
    Feb 5, 2013 at 10:13

3 Answers 3


To solve the rendering-issues in VirtualBox you need to disable 3D-Hardware- and 2D-Video-Acceleration.

This is quite paradox, but I asked friends who used ArcGIS in a VirtualBox session and they simply told me I should try to turn off the acceleration.

It works.

  • qdoe: I have a machine running Ubuntu 11.04 and am very interested in trying ArcGIS through VirtualBox. Before I install VirtualBox, I am wondering if you could give me an update on how this configuration is working out for you. I have successfully run QGIS on this computer, as well as GDAL and GRASS, but I want to be able to run ArcGIS as well. Thanks
    – jencarta
    Nov 7, 2013 at 16:00
  • Just install VirtualBox and set up a Windows 7 virtual machine. Start it, go to Devices > Insert Guest Additions > Install them without 3D support. In VM settings disable 3D- and 2D-acceleration. This works fine for me.
    – q9f
    Nov 8, 2013 at 9:24

disabled 3d Hardware and 2d Video worked for me, Arcgis 10 running on Windows 7 64 bits in a native Linux Ubuntu Machine


ArcGIS Desktop does not require a high end graphics card. It can run with a low end Graphics card or even without one. What it requires is hardware graphics acceleration to draw all the gradients and shading as well as dynamic display.

Have a look at the hardware requirements of Arcgis Desktop?

64 MB RAM minimum, 256 MB RAM or higher recommended. NVIDIA, ATI, and Intel chipsets supported.

It requires atleast 24-bit capable graphics accelerator

OpenGL version 2.0 runtime minimum is required, and Shader Model 3.0 or higher is recommended.

Be sure to use the latest available driver.

There is a big chance that your virtual machine might not meet the requirements, but try running http://cyri.systemrequirementslab.com/1186/10913 to see if your virtual Machine is supported.

The 3D Acceleration Support in VirtualBox is quite limited, according to this thread.

  • +1 for answer, and system requirements. But i don't understand this part of your answer or even without one can you explain can I realy launch arcgis without graphic card? From my expierance: when I tried to install arcgis desktop on virtualbox it worked realy slow. However arcgis server works good.
    – Krystian
    Jan 24, 2013 at 11:04
  • My main development machine does not have a separate graphics card. my display is run off the (motherboard's) onboard display driver. And ArcMap runs fine on it. What I meant was that ArcMap does not require a heavy duty graphics card. It can run fine, as long as Hardware acceleration in enabled (which onboard graphics can do). Virtual box does not have hardware acceleration, and hence arcmap has terrible performance. As an aside, VmPlayer does have 3d acceleration emulation, and I have seen reasonable performance of ArcGIS desktop (even arcGlobe) on it. Jan 24, 2013 at 11:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.