The latest Gnome 3 shell in Fedora 15 is supported from VirtualBox 4.0.8 and later versions. Gnome 3 is a different and enhanced desktop environment which gives totally new working experience with applications and tools in fedora OS. I had problem in getting this latest shell inside VirtualBox virtual machine, but later found out the reason and managed to get the working Fedora 15 Gnome 3 Shell in VirtualBox.
Of course, you need to install VirtualBox guest additions to get the working GNOME 3 shell, but what I have found is, you need to have good display card in host computer too. I installed Fedora 15 in VirtualBox 4.0.8 with guest additions and all features worked fine, but I could not get GNOME 3 desktop environment. After checking few blogs and forums I found out the manual way to start the GNOME 3 shell in Fedora by a command in terminal. Yes, it changed the desktop appearance, but it was not perfect and almost I could not do anything on the desktop, everything was just breaking. I experienced this issue in my Dell OptiPlex 755 host computer.
You know what? I just exported the same Fedora 15 virtual machine in portable medium and transferred to my home PC. GNOME 3 shell worked perfectly without starting it manually in same virtual machine and the performance was excellent as running on physical computer.
After comparing my office and home PCs, I found out the following differences;
1) Dedicated display card in host (1GB VGA memory).
2) Hardware Virtualization Technology support (I’m not sure whether this factor influences the topic)
Therefore, the host computer must have dedicated display card with display memory and updated display driver to get working Fedora 15 Gnome shell in VirtualBox along with proper installation of guest additions.
What you need to get working Gnome 3 shell in Fedora 15 – VirtualBox
1) Oracle VirtualBox 4.0.8 or later versions.
2) Installation of guest additions – I have already published a step by step guide on installing guest additions in Fedora 15 which conformed by many of the users.
3) Dedicated display card and updated driver in host computer.
4) Select ‘Enable 3D Acceleration’ and maximize the video memory size under display settings of virtual machine.
Here is the working Fedora 15 GNOME 3 in VirtualBox, the host is Windows 7 32Bit.
This example clearly indicates that host computer’s display card also should support for Fedora 15 gnome 3 rendering in VirtualBox.
Let me know your thoughts and experience on this.