Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

Fixing VirtualBox Mouse Issues in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 11

VirtualBox is a powerful and versatile virtualization software, but like any complex tool, it can sometimes behave erratically. One common issue that users encounter when running Ubuntu as a guest operating system in VirtualBox is mouse-related problems. This article provides a detailed guide on how to troubleshoot and fix these issues.

Quick Answer

To fix VirtualBox mouse issues in Ubuntu, you can try killing the VirtualBox drag&drop processes, changing VirtualBox settings, switching from Wayland to XOrg, or using a script available on GitHub. These solutions should help resolve most mouse-related problems in VirtualBox.

Understanding the Issue

The mouse issue in Ubuntu on VirtualBox can manifest in several ways. You might find that the mouse pointer is not visible, or the mouse click is not working inside windows but working outside. Sometimes, the mouse may work fine in windowed mode but cause problems in full-screen mode. Understanding the specific issue you’re facing is the first step towards troubleshooting it.

Solution 1: Killing the VirtualBox Drag&Drop Processes

One of the most common solutions to fix the mouse issue in Ubuntu on VirtualBox is to kill the VirtualBox drag&drop processes. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open a terminal in Ubuntu.
  2. Type the command ps -ax | grep VBoxClient and press Enter. This command lists all the processes related to VirtualBox. The ps -ax command shows all the running processes, and grep VBoxClient filters out the processes that contain the text VBoxClient.
  3. Look for the processes that contain the text VBoxClient --draganddrop.
  4. To kill these processes, use the kill command followed by the process ID. For example, if the process ID is 1234, you would type kill 1234 and press Enter.

Solution 2: Changing VirtualBox Settings

Another solution is to tweak the settings in VirtualBox. Here are a few things you can try:

  • Disable Drag and Drop: In the VirtualBox Manager, select your Ubuntu virtual machine and click on Settings. Under the General tab, go to the Advanced tab and set Drag’n’Drop to Disabled.
  • Turn Off Mini Toolbar in Fullscreen Mode: If your mouse issue occurs in fullscreen mode, try turning off the mini toolbar. You can find this setting under the User Interface section of the Display settings.
  • Disable Auto Capture Keyboard: This setting can be found in the Input settings of VirtualBox Manager. Uncheck the box that says “Auto Capture Keyboard”.
  • Change Graphics Controller to VMSVGA: In the Display settings, change the Graphics Controller to VMSVGA.

Solution 3: Switching from Wayland to XOrg

Ubuntu 17.10 and later versions use Wayland as the default display server, but VirtualBox works better with the older XOrg server. To switch to XOrg, log out of Ubuntu, click on the gear icon on the login screen, and select “Ubuntu on Xorg”.

Solution 4: Using a Script to Fix the Issue

If none of the above solutions work, you can try using a script available on GitHub that can potentially fix the issue. You can find the script at this link.


While the mouse issue in Ubuntu on VirtualBox can be frustrating, it’s usually not too difficult to fix. The solutions outlined above should help you get your mouse working properly again. If you’re still having trouble, consider reaching out to the VirtualBox community or Ubuntu forums for further assistance. Remember, the key to successful troubleshooting is patience and a systematic approach. Good luck!

How do I open a terminal in Ubuntu?

To open a terminal in Ubuntu, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T. Alternatively, you can also search for "Terminal" in the applications menu and click on it to open.

How do I access the VirtualBox Manager?

To access the VirtualBox Manager, open VirtualBox and click on the "Machine" tab in the top menu bar. From there, you can select "Show the Manager" to open the VirtualBox Manager window.

How do I change VirtualBox settings?

To change VirtualBox settings, open the VirtualBox Manager and select your Ubuntu virtual machine. Click on the "Settings" button in the top menu bar. This will open a new window where you can modify various settings for your virtual machine.

How do I log out of Ubuntu?

To log out of Ubuntu, click on the system menu located in the top-right corner of the screen. From there, click on the power button icon and select "Log Out" from the dropdown menu.

How can I contribute to the script on GitHub?

If you want to contribute to the script on GitHub, you can fork the repository, make your changes, and then submit a pull request. You should follow the guidelines provided by the project maintainer for contributing to the script.

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