VBoxHeadless using 100%+ CPU


I’ve been using Local for a week or so now. I’ve noticed when working on my website that editing, updating etc. start getting super slow and my computer fan starts running. In the Activity Monitor, I see VBoxHeadless using more than 100% CPU. This ramps up and down depending on my editing activity.

I had a similar issue using Desktop Server with many Apache httpd services using high CPU and causing super slow editing. I’d hoped switching to Local would resolve this. I’ve searched online and found references to the issue with Virtual Box in other environments.

Do you have any idea how to track the problem down? I’m using the Divi theme.


Hi Jeff,

Very sorry for the trouble!

Does this happen only when using Divi or is this happening on all of your Local sites?

Hi Clay,

I only have the one site so I’m not sure. I did a quick test and switched to 2015 theme, made a new page and added text and images. When I added 20 or so images, the CPU usage went to 120% very briefly but not like the extended periods with Divi editing.


Hi Clay,

I tracked the problem to CPU use issues between Yoast SEO and Divi Builder. Switched SEO plugins and seems good now.


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I’m having this same issue. I have tried disabling plugins to no avail. Thoughts?

Hi @dasbatman,

Sorry for the trouble!

Are you on Windows or macOS?

Likewise - cpu fan going berserk and 100+% on CPU

this software mine bitcoins without consent causing impressive cpu load?

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Local does not and will never mine any type of cryptocurrency. VBoxHeadless is a binary that’s included in VirtualBox.

@raison & @sermalefico,

Are either of you using Faster Docker Volumes? If so, you may try toggling it on/off depending on the current state.

I’m having the same problem, and it seems to be a more recent issue, as I’ve never observed this happening before.

I tried disabling “faster docker volumes,” but not response. Also tried Help > Restart Local Machine, but no dice there either.

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What version of VirtualBox are you running?

Also, how many sites are you running at one time?

Local 2.1.2, with 8 sites running.

Got it. Can you check the VirtualBox version under VirtualBox » About VirtualBox?

I know this isn’t ideal, but have you tried stopping some of the running sites to see if that helps?

Just updated VirtualBox to 5.2.6 thinking that it might help, but it was doing it on the version before that as well.

I stopped 2 sites, and only have 6 running now. That reduced the VBoxHeadless weight from 120% to around 5-6% CPU. Looks like there’s something going on there?

That’s interesting. Is one of them a large site in terms of files or database? Or, does it have intensive database queries?

All my sites are pretty average in size, if not super small.

I stopped all sites and started one by one, and I can see the CPU usage increase along the way. It hits 100%+ when there’s 7-8 sites running. Quantity related?


That makes sense. Thanks for the info!

I’ve opened a ticket in our issue tracker to take a closer look into this.

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I have only one site running and when I start editing, VBoxHeadless goes right up towards 100% CPU.


Can you try the following?

  1. Right-click on the running site in Local
  2. Go to “Open Site SSH”
  3. Enter and run top
  4. Take a screenshot and reply back with it

That’ll give us a better idea of the processes running in the site’s container and the resources being used.

While editing with the fan running hard. It fluctuates quickly:

This one is when not editing:

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