HAXM stops VirtualBox from working on OS X

HAXM stops VirtualBox from working on OS X

The HAXM kext appears to grab the VT-X extensions and refuses to release it when unloaded. This means that Virtualbox fails when attmempting to run a guest OS. Virtualbox stops working when HAXM is installed and does not work again until the extension is unloaded and the machine is rebooted.While HAXM seems like an excellent solution to speed up Android emulation (although I have yet to acutally try it), I need Virtualbox more.

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Hi, Benabik,

I just tested my ICS in Virtualbox 4.1.8 with HAXM running with State as 4 Running.It workssmoothly.Not know what cause your virtualbox not running. Generallyspeaking Android Emulator is running on simulated ARM instruction set on x86-platform. As a result,the emulator isrunning slowly. Intel HAXM isfor Android SDK emulator and thus can speed up the emulatorquite a lot.Virtualbox is executedbased on x86 instruction set and much faster than Android SDK emulator.Below are some difference:

Virtual Box:

  • Fast: X86 based ( same as iOS or WP7 emulator)
  • Only emulate User-mode

Google AVD in Google Android SDK:

  • Slow- ARM based(ARM-eabi)
  • Full system QEMU: emulate whole guest system.
  • Additional Dalvik VM, need to run bytecodes for Android Apps

Ciao, I can confirm the behavior described by benabik. If the HAXM is installed and loaded VirtualBox can't be used with the VT-X acceleration enabled. I had to uninstall the HAXM kext and reboot my OS in order to have VirtualBox to work again. Unloading the kext was not enough.
MacBook Pro 13" i7, Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3, Intel HAXM rev. 1

Sorry, I missed "OS X" part:-). My test above is on Windows 7. I will check what solution we have for developers who want to use both virtualbox and Android SDK emulator on Mac OS.

Generally speaking, if you are using virtualbox, it is running natural x86 code, and you don't need HAXM.

Tao,Thank you for looking into it. I'm also in with benabik and marco in seeing this on Mac OS X (10.7.3) and HAXM. It works great for accelerating the Android x86 System Image from Intel, but disables Virtualbox (which I need for other things).--Bryan

Hi, All,

Google has compiled a comprehensive page onConfiguring Virtual Machine Acceleration: http://developer.android.com/guide/developing/devices/emulator.html#accel-vm

Check it out. Here are from Google:

  • x86 AVD Only - You must use an AVD that is uses an x86 system image target. AVDs that use ARM-based system images cannot be accelerated using the emulator configurations described here.
  • Not Inside a VM - You cannot run a VM-accelerated emulator inside another virtual machine, such as a VirtualBox or VMWare-hosted virtual machine. You must run the emulator directly on your system hardware.
  • Other VM Drivers - If you are running another virtualization technology on your system such as VirtualBox or VMWare, you may need to unload the driver for that virtual machine hosting software before running an accelerated emulator.
  • OpenGL Graphics - Emulation of OpenGL ES graphics may not perform at the same level as an actual device."

I've had multiple VM programs installed for years, HAXM is the first that prevents any other from ever running. I'm not trying to run them at the same time, I just want to run VirtualBox with HAXM installed. The issue seems to be that the HAXM kext initializes the VT-X extensions and then never releases them, even if it's not in use or unloaded. Uninstalling and rebooting just to use a different virtual machine is not a good solution.I was hoping that the emulator + HAXM would give me both speed and the ease of use of being integrated with the Eclipse ADT. But I'm not going to do that if I have to constantly install, uninstall, and reboot in order to use any other VM.

Really thanks reporint the issue. We have root cause the reason and are investigatigthe best solution for it.


I can confirm I have the same problem with my MacBook pro. I am hoping for a solution soon. Thanks.

I can also confirm this behavior, HAXM occupies the vt-x and VirtualBox (or any other virtualization app for that matter) therefore cannot use it and displays warnings. Win7 x64 here, latest sandy bridgeany updates on this?

Hi all. Thanks for all the reports. We have made changes that address this issue. A public release will be available soon via Android SDK Manager.

Hey. It's now over a month ago that you've announced the new version.The only update i found over SDK Manager is a ICS x86 image, but no HAXM update.When will we get it? I badly need it!Like inemo said, it not only regards to OSX. Win7 x64 too.

I updated my HAXM last week and tested both an accelerated x86 ICS Emulator and Virtualbox running Ubuntu at the same time today. Thank you for the fix!This is Virtualbox 4.1.18, HAXM r2, Emulator 4.0.3 Intel x86, Mac OS X 10.7.4

Thanks for the update yimingb. Good to know!

Hi Domeneuk, its already live. Check this summary:http://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2012/07/10/haxm-r2-speed-up-android-emulation-and-enjoy-new-features/It has been promoted in our home page from a couple of weeks now.http://software.intel.com/en-us/android/(watch the blogs section).

Hi, I suggest you to use vmware software for emulate this.

JudLup Luna

Does it still work for everyone? So now HAXM is at version 1.1.1 released in October 2014, I'm running Windows 8.1 and still have this issue. Virtual Box or Windows Phone emulators won't work until I reboot, install Hyper-V, reboot. And then to run HAXM (that is now mandatory for Android emulator), I need to uninstall Hyper-V again & reboot again. Which defeats the purpose of speeding things up, resets the state of the emulators and they then take forever to cold start after all this messing around and reconfiguring the whole operating system. Sigh.

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