[CentOS-virt] High CPU usage when running a CentOS guest in VirtualBox
sagi at boom.org.il
Mon Jul 6 16:31:47 UTC 2009
I am running CentOS 5.3 32bit as a VirtualBox 3.0.0 guest running on Windows XP.
The Windows host CPU usage is constantly at 50% although the CentOS
guest is completely idle (i.e. 0.00 load average).
I know this is a common problem related to the 1000Hz frequency that
the CentOS kernel runs at. With previous versions of CentOS, I used
the kernel-vm package  and it solved my problem. However, according
to the README  this isn't necessary as of CentOS 5.3 and therefore
these packages are not maintained anymore (the latest released
kernel-vm is 2.6.18-92.1.22).
>From what I understand, as of CentOS 5.3 it is possible to use the
"divider=10 clocksource=acpi_pm" to reduce the frequency to 100Hz. I
tried this setting, and it made no difference at all. I also tried to
install the VirtualBox guest extensions, and still, the host CPU never
goes below 50%.
Is there any way to solve this issue without resorting to a custom kernel build?
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