Fixing Display Bug in Chrome on Virtualized Ubuntu

I was having a rather large problem with Chrome in my virtualized Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop build causing a glitch with the virtualized graphics driver that would crash not just Chrome, not just my VM, but my entire OSX session. I wouldn’t be able to break out of fullscreen/mouse/keyboard capture and therefore couldn’t force-close the VM, and I would have to reboot my entire system. The display glitch seemed to only happen on sites with somewhat advanced layouts, and might be related to either Z-indexing or transparent 24-bit or 32-bit PNGs.

One notable example was the Chrome Web Store – I knew something was amiss when the display wouldn’t redraw on an action (such as a link click) without switching to a different tab and switching back. Other things were happening as well – sometimes my mouse wouldn’t be visible inside the Chrome window that was affected, or tabbing to another window to put it on top of the Chrome window would show the affected area of the Chrome window on top of the program that should have been visible. Sometimes the VM would crash of its own accord, and sometimes it was tied to doing certain things – clicking, switching tabs, closing tabs, etc.

After a bit of Googling, I discovered a post about a related issue that I think has fixed my problem. Edit both /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome.desktop and /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop and modify all lines that begin with Exec= to include the following flag at the end:

–blacklist-accelerated-compositing

It appears that the problem is caused by the virtualized graphics acceleration not playing nicely with some of the code in Chrome. I haven’t had this problem with Firefox, but I did have it with Chromium, so I would imagine that a similar execution flag for Chromium would solve the problem for those users as well. I debated about just using Firefox, but I use the Chrome Inspector heavily in my development, and prefer it to Firebug / Firefox Inspector.

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1 Comment

  1. I just noticed today that updates to Chrome will overwrite the changes to those files. When you update Chrome, just remember to update those files again.

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