Just spent a bit of time installing the latest Linux Mint (14.1) on VirtualBox and struggling to get the VirtualBox 3D acceleration to work correctly. This causes the window manager to fall back to software rendering (yuk); to see if your machine is currently using software rendering run inxi -G and check for Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 0x300).

To get the full 3D acceleration from VirtualBox ensure that 3D acceleration has been enabled from the settings menu and a decent amount of video RAM is available, I have it running quite well with 56MB of RAM. Load up Linux Mint and install the VirtualBox additions from the devices menu. Ignore the warnings about it already being installed and carry on. Reboot the virtual box and run inxi -G again, it should now show something similar to this –

Graphics: Card: InnoTek Systemberatung VirtualBox Graphics Adapter
X.Org: 1.13.0 drivers: ati,vboxvideo (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1920×1200@60.0hz
GLX Renderer: Chromium GLX Version: 2.1 Chromium 1.9

I only get this problem on a fresh install of Linux Mint. It’s supposed to be bundled with the VirtualBox guest additions but I guess they don’t always work as they should.