How do I get a larger screen resolution in VirtualBox on Mac OS X?

  • I am running the new Mac Air 13" with OS X 10.8.2. I then downloaded the latest VirtualBox 4.2.6. Then, I installed Ubuntu 10.04 into the VM.

    First off, after I installed the VirtualBox Guest Additions and restarted the VM, the Ubuntu desktop froze after the GDM login and I had to delete the VBoxGuestAdditions folders out of /opt and /usr/lib to get back to normal again.

    Second, I go to Ubuntu's System > Preferences > Monitors and try to change the settings, and there's nothing higher than 800x600. I then tried the VirtualBox various View menu settings and tried again in Ubuntu's System > Preferences > Monitors and I'm still stuck.

    Note that VirtualBox won't expose the correct resolution to the guest OS if you have a Retina display. I have a 13" MBP and xrandr won't let me set a mode above 1280x800. https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/10860?cversion=0&;cnum_hist=4

    I just confirmed VMWare Fusion has an option called "Use full resolution for Retina display" which exposes the real resolution.

  • Volomike

    Volomike Correct answer

    8 years ago

    I fixed the problem by doing:

    1. Turn off 3D Acceleration in the VB settings -- that's why the Guest Additions were locking up after login.

    2. Run this in the terminal of your ubuntu virtual machine, not the host OS:

      apt-get update  
      apt-get upgrade  
      apt-get install dkms  
      apt-get install build-essential
      
    3. Go to the Devices menu and tell it to install the Guest Additions. A new CDROM will appear on the desktop. Rightclick and choose the Autorun.

    4. Restart the VM.

    5. Now resize the VM window or choose Full Screen mode and it will resize the desktop screen resolution properly.

    I have the same problem, but my Host OS is ubuntu 13.04 & have Mac os lion on virtual box.There is nothing higher resolution than 1024x768 in the display settings & after installing Guest Additions the screen stretched out, even i can't see the Dock. Help please!!

    I tested this on Mavericks host with guest as Ubuntu 14.04. Doesn't work.

    @zack I have this working fine on Mavericks with Ubuntu 14.04 using the steps above.

    For 15.04 in 4.3.10 on OS X 10.10.3, I installed these packages: `sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11 virtualbox-guest-dkms` as suggested in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NET8kdsS_-A

    Where it is suppossed to execute second step? host Mac or virtualized Ubuntu. I have same Issue but virtualizing a windows 8 over a mac, and this looks lke the best thing to try

    also working on OS X El Capitan

    this didn't work for me because I was running an unbuntu server instance with no XWindows running. If anyone else runs into that, I just switched to sshing into my vm as suggested by http://askubuntu.com/q/224964/1306

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM