Higher screen resolution for VirtualBox?

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This article was originally posted on the forum.

On my test installations of Ubuntu 14.04 in VirtualBox, I had to figure out how to deal with a situation where the highest screen resolution I could get was 640 x 480. And it was not just with Ubuntu 14.04, but also with Kubuntu 14.04.

UPDATE: This also applies to Ubuntu 14.10.

This image shows the output of the xrandx command.

Here’s what it looks like from the Display module of System Settings. That’s not good. I found that there are two solutions to the problem.

1. Use Xdiagnose From the Dash, search for and launch Xdiagnose, then enable all the options under the Debug section. Click the Apply button, then close the window and restart the system. You’ll have to restart. Logging out, then in won’t do.

2. Additional Drivers Also from the Dash, search for and start Software Updates. Click on the Additional Drivers tab, then click on the Using x86 virtualization solution…....

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Higher screen resolution virtualbox? - ubuntu, I've just installed ubuntu 10.04 into virtualbox on windows 7. unfortunately the only options showing for screen resolution are 640x480 and 800x600 and the monitor is. Screen resolution problem ubuntu 14.04 virtualbox, Environment: lenovo t530 running windows 7. have installed ubuntu 14.04 on a virtual machine using vm virtual box. have installed all the updates from both virtual. Virtualbox - switch android x86 screen resolution - stack, Verified the following on virtualbox-5.0.24, android_x86-4.4-r5. you get a screen similar to an 8" table. you can play around with the xxx in dpi=xxx, to change the. How increase screen resolution ubuntu virtualbox, How to increase screen resolution for ubuntu in virtualbox. virtualbox includes full support for a variety of linux operating systems, including ubuntu.. Virtualbox/ubuntu full screen mode resolution - super user, The window size is controlled by the...

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This might work on other systems too, I tried it on Ubuntu 14.04.1.

In VirtualBox the screen for Ubuntu was very small and it was difficult to see what’s on the screen. To fix this issue, you need to install the following packages on the guest (VM) box:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-x11

If you get this error:

The following packages have unmet dependencies. virtualbox-guest-x11 : Depends: xorg-video-abi-15

You will need to remove this package (note: I am not sure what all this removes, it was a lot – use caution):

sudo apt-get remove libcheese-gtk23

Then install these

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-core-lts-trusty


sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-core

Then try to install the virtualbox packages, as the first step:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-x11

Once they install properly, restart the VM and the screen should be normal size. You might need to increase the Display...

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Using Windows as host and VM target I have managed to achieve this the following way:

Close VirtualBox if open. Open a command prompt and cd to the virtualbox installation dir Run: VBoxManage.exe setextradata "NAME OF VM" CustomVideoMode1 WxHxD

Where "NAME OF VM" is the name of the virtual machine, W is width, H is height, D is depth.

e.g. To make 2560x1600 available for my VM with the name "Windows 8 VM" i would:

..VirtualBox> VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Windows 8 VM" CustomVideoMode1 2560x1600x32

The next time I boot up the "Windows 8 VM" I'm able to see the new custom resolution in the list together with the default resolutions (i.e. right click on desktop->Screen resolution).

Not sure if this method works on other hosts/targets than...

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If you install Ubuntu 14.04 inside a Hyper-V virtual machine – you automatically get all the integration components and virtualized drivers. Including the Hyper-V video driver. However, if you try to change the screen resolution inside your virtual machine you will notice something odd:

There is only one choice!

Luckily, you can change the screen resolution. Just not here. What you need to do is:

Open Terminal Type: sudo vi /etc/default/grub Find the line starting with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT, and add video=hyperv_fb:[the resolution you want]. The resolution I want is 1280x720. So my line ends up looking like this: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash video=hyperv_fb:1280x720" Write the changes and quit vi. Run: sudo update-grub Reboot the virtual machine

Now you will get the resolution that you want!


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VirtualBox includes full support for a variety of Linux operating systems, including Ubuntu. Once Ubuntu is installed, the default resolution won't increase past 1024 by 768 without additional tools. The VirtualBox Guest Additions add functionality to the installation. The guest tools let you increase the resolution dynamically by resizing the virtual machine window, share a clipboard with the host operating system and share files and folder with the host system. The guest tools are included in the Ubuntu package repository.

Step 01

Open VirtualBox and run the Ubuntu virtual machine. Log in with a user name that has administrative rights.

Step 11

Click the "Dash" icon at the top of the menu on the left side of the screen. Type "Terminal" in the search box. Run the "Terminal" application from the search results.

Step 21

Type "sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms" without the quotes and press "Enter." Wait for the installation to...

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Originally Posted by


Nothing happens when I click "Install Guest Additions..."

I don't know if you simply want to play at full screen, or if you want to increase the display resolution, but I do think you need to install Guest Additions properly (either way).

To do that select Guest Addtions from the "Devices" menu in your VM. It nothing happens when you do that, then go to "My Computer" and double-click on the CD icon. This should launch the wizard to install some additional drivers. Follow the wizard, accept the license, ignore the unsigned driver warnings, etc. At the end, reboot the virtual machine. Now you can go in and out of the VM with your mouse without it being trapped inside the VM. You can also resize the window, and the VM will automatically adjust the...

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Lecture Details :

This worked for me and I am running VirtualBox and Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11 virtualbox-guest-dkms

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I've just installed Ubuntu 10.04 into VirtualBox on Windows 7.

Unfortunately the only options showing for screen resolution are 640x480 and 800x600 and the monitor is showing as 'Unknown'.

How would I go about upping the resolution to 1280x1024 (I'm on a 1600x1200 monitor)?

I tried mounting the VirtualBox 'Guest Additions' ISO (from the VBox 'Devices' menu) and doing sudo sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run from the mounted drive, which gave 2 new listed resolutions after a reboot (1024x768 and the 16:9 version of that resolution). These worked when I selected them but disappeared when I switched back to another resolution. I tried rebooting and running VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run again but onlu the 2 low res options listed this time.
I think I'm going to reinstall...

Seems to be a VBox problem rather than an Ubuntu problem as after reinstalling 10.4 overwriting the original virtual partition, sudo sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run now has no...

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With Ubuntu 12.04 as host and guest I followed wfudge answer.

This requires other packages to be installed:

sudo apt-get xserver-xorg-core

After that, executed this modified line from wfudge hinted by apt-get:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-ose-guest-utils virtualbox-ose-guest-x11 virtualbox-ose-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-x11

After that Ubuntu guest didn't boot into GUI, so with Ctrl+Alt+F1, logged in a console and executed:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

Reboot and done. Now I can get higher resolutions up to 1600x1200. Still not 1920x1080 (host), so it's not full screen, but at least is much better than what I had before.

I guess is a VirtualBox problem, but when used a Windows host didn't have this...

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The window size is controlled by the VM's screen resolution. If you manually resize the window on the host you'll only zoom on the image returned by the VM, so of course this gives a very bad image quality.

Change the screen's resolution in the VM's configuration, either via the GUI, or directly via the command line with xrandr.

First run xrandr with no arguments, it'll display all outputs (in this case they're just the virtual outputs emulated by VirtualBox).

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1024 x 768, maximum 8192 x 8192 VGA1 connected 1024x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm ...

Now run xrandr --output --size and replace "output" and "size" with the connected output that you got from the previous command (in this case VGA1) and the resolution you want to set, I recommend setting it just a bit lower than your actual monitor to leave space for the taskbar and Virtualbox window title bar.

Example : xrandr --output VGA1...

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After having first tried installing the Guest additions, which didn't work, I found another solution elsewhere: linuxbsdos.com.

Use Xdiagnose from the Dashboard. Search for and launch Xdiagnose, then enable all the options under the Debug section. Click the Apply button, then close the window and restart the system.

That's what finally did the trick! Now I get 1024 x 768 resolution instead of 640 x 480.

I never uninstalled the Guest additions, so it might be I needed to take both these measures.

---------- EDIT ---------

I have come to realize that the solution described above is just a fallback, in case installing the Guest Additions failed for some reason. I have finally managed to successfully install them, and can now choose from a bigger range of resolutions in the display settings. Here is how I did it, after having tried all of the above.

One thing I had already tried earlier was

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms...
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You say that you can't resize. Do you actually mean that you


resize, but you can't go larger than 1280x1024?

If yes, then I had that problem with VirtualBox 4.3.12, so really this is not a VBox version issue.

Though you have not said so, I'm going to guess that your host PC has a widescreen monitor. It would be nice to know its display size. I'm guessing that 1024 is close to the full height of your display.

The problem is that your Windows guests think that the virtual monitor is 4:3, so they are helpfully disallowing any display modes that use a widescreen ratio. This constraint is now stored in the windows registry somewhere, so you need to go through a few hoops to get around it.

First, make sure you are not in fullscreen mode: i.e. switch to your windowed 1280x1024 mode (or whatever windowed mode suits you). IMPORTANT. Make sure that View|Auto resize guest display is enabled (checked). Make sure that the Guest Additions are installed, not...
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Whereas Chapter 1, First steps gave you a quick introduction to VirtualBox and how to get your first virtual machine running, the following chapter describes in detail how to configure virtual machines.

You have considerable latitude in deciding what virtual hardware will be provided to the guest. The virtual hardware can be used for communicating with the host system or with other guests. For instance, if you provide VirtualBox with the image of a CD-ROM in an ISO file, VirtualBox can present this image to a guest system as if it were a physical CD-ROM. Similarly, you can give a guest system access to the real network via its virtual network card, and, if you so choose, give the host system, other guests, or computers on the Internet access to the guest system.

Since VirtualBox is designed to provide a generic virtualization environment for x86 systems, it may run operating systems of any kind, even those not listed here. However, the focus is to...

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