Atom now shows a black screen on startup


Running Ubuntu 14.04, was working fine until a ran a update/upgrade. I think it’s related to the hardware acceleration (I’m running this inside Virtualbox). From some reading around the web I think there’s a setting to disable hardware acceleration in the app settings, but unfortunately I cannot get to the settings page being that the whole app screen is just black.

Is it possible to disable this from the command line while starting the app? I was able to resolve the same issue with chrome using a command line flag and then disabling hardware acceleration in the settings.

Bug with linuxmint 18.1? SOLVED

This appears to be a duplicate of this previous topic:

In any case, the solution is almost guaranteed to be the same as I mention there.


Boom. Thanks!


The aforementioned solution is to disable 3D acceleration for the VM.


Guys – disabling 3D acceleration is not a solution – it’s a work around. I have the exact same atom rendering issue which is remedied by disabling 3D accel for the guest.

The trade off is guest is now very sluggish and has poor performance. I’ll have to switch back to sublime if I can’t find a real solution. Please advise if there’s an atom setting or config that will allow normal virtualbox guest functionality.

many thanks in advance.


Good point. Here’s an issue on github that addresses this:

Preserve --disable-gpu flag on Atom restart:

That also references this, which was mistakingly closed (imho):

Atom 1.9.8 Crashes in Ubuntu in VirtualBox:

They both reference “atom --disable-gpu” as a workaround.


a huge thank you, Philip. I found the --disable-gpu switch via another post in this forum as well. Works and allows use of 3D accel enabled for virtualbox.


It is a workaround, but it is working around what we believe are bugs in VirtualBox. See,,