Virtualbox and Linux Mint high CPU

I use VirtualBox a lot. Mostly on Windows 10 host and Linux Mint guest (Ubuntu, Linux Mint 18). And it was always horribly slow no matter what cpu/memory/video acceleration settings I used. If using without “3d hardware acceleration” it was just generally slow but using the hardware acceleration was sometimes glitchy and most of the time very high CPU usage reported in htop. Today I finally found a solution – install MATE desktop interface in the linux virtual machine! Turns out Cinnamon interface that comes default with Linux Mint heavily depends on graphics acceleration and Virtualbox just cant do that even with the Guest Additions Iso. Mate desktop interface uses only CPU and in a very efficient way – finally the Virtualbox virtual machine feels like real OS and is real fast, CPU usage went from 10-80% to 0-1% idling.
To switch Linux Mint from Cinnamon to Mate:
1. open terminal, type “sudp apt-get install mate-desktop”
2. log out of cinnamon
3. on login screen click the upper right corner of login box and choose Mate
4. log in and enjoy!

change ubuntu linux mint from cinnamon to mate
change ubuntu linux mint from cinnamon to mate

Install Windows XP/Vista/7 from USB memory stick

Today I got myself a new desktop PC. Since I had a lot of hard drives and a few CD/DVD roms, I ordered a PC setup with smallest HDD available and skipped DVD/RW drive. Once I got the PC I found out the Gigabyte motherboard had no IDE ports. So I searched for alternate installation methods of Windows. I had tried installing from uSB flash drive before but didn’t succeed, the methods were too complicated and with lots of issues. Today I found a nice utility – Novicorp WinToFlash – and it works like a charm!
Dowload here:
Install WinToFlash, select folder or CD drive where your windows installation files are and create thumb drive with a few clicks. Plug your USB drive in the destination PC, choose “Text mode” on first attempt, install, then choose “GUI mode / continue setup / 1st start” on two next boots. Done!

UPDATE: It’s been a few years and I’ve found even easier tool – Rufus. It comes in portable package as well (just download and run) and while i had no success with another software to install live cd on micro-sd card (inside usb sd adapter), Rufus installed linux (Mint and kubuntu) fast and easy!