Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Change Virtualbox Guest Resolution to 16:9 (1920×1080)

Ubuntu 15

In this article, we will guide you through the process of changing the VirtualBox guest resolution to 16:9 (1920×1080). VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. It is a versatile tool, but sometimes users might face issues with the resolution of the guest operating system. By default, the resolution might not be set to your preference. Here, we will provide a detailed guide on how to adjust the resolution to 16:9 (1920×1080).


Before we begin, make sure you have the following:

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox installed on your host machine.
  • A guest operating system (in this case, we’ll use Ubuntu as an example) installed in VirtualBox.
  • Matching version of VirtualBox Guest Additions installed and running inside your virtual machine.

Method 1: Using Ubuntu Display Settings

This method involves using the display settings inside the Ubuntu virtual machine.

  1. Start your Ubuntu virtual machine in VirtualBox.
  2. Once it’s up and running, navigate to the system settings. Look for the ‘Display’ option.
  3. In the display settings, you will find the ‘Resolution’ option. Click on it and a dropdown menu will appear with different resolution options.
  4. Select the 1920×1080 option, which corresponds to a 16:9 aspect ratio.
  5. Apply the changes and check if the resolution is now set to 16:9.

Method 2: Using VirtualBox Preferences

This method involves changing the settings in the VirtualBox application on your host system.

  1. Launch VirtualBox on your host system.
  2. Select your Ubuntu virtual machine from the list of available virtual machines.
  3. Go to the ‘File’ menu and choose ‘Preferences’.
  4. In the preferences window, select ‘Display’.
  5. Change the ‘Maximum Guest Screen Size’ option to ‘Hint’. This option allows you to manually set the maximum screen size for your virtual machine.
  6. Enter the desired resolution of 1920×1080 for both width and height.
  7. Click ‘OK’ to save the changes and close the preferences window.
  8. Restart your virtual machine and check if the resolution has been changed to 16:9.

Method 3: Using Terminal Commands

This method involves using terminal commands inside the Ubuntu virtual machine. It requires the installation of VirtualBox Guest Additions.

  1. Start your Ubuntu virtual machine.
  2. Open a terminal window. You can do this by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or by searching for ‘Terminal’ in the applications menu.
  3. Install the VirtualBox Guest Additions by running the following command:
    sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-x11
    This command installs two packages: virtualbox-guest-dkms and virtualbox-guest-x11. The dkms package ensures that the VirtualBox host kernel modules (vboxhost) are properly updated if the Linux kernel version changes during the next upgrade. The x11 package provides the X.Org display server installable from the guest OS.
  4. After the installation is complete, reboot your virtual machine.
  5. After the reboot, go to the display settings of Ubuntu and check if the 1920×1080 (16:9) resolution is available.

By following these methods, you should be able to change the guest resolution in VirtualBox to 16:9 (1920×1080). Remember, the VirtualBox Guest Additions should match the version of your VirtualBox application. You can check the status bar inside the virtual machine for a small VirtualBox icon to confirm the installation.

For more information about VirtualBox and its features, you can visit the official VirtualBox documentation.

We hope this guide has been helpful. If you have any questions or issues, feel free to leave a comment below.

What is VirtualBox?

VirtualBox is a virtualization product that allows users to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single computer. It is developed by Oracle and is available for free for personal use.

How do I install VirtualBox?

To install VirtualBox, you can visit the official VirtualBox website and download the appropriate installer for your operating system. Once downloaded, run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

Can I use VirtualBox for commercial purposes?

Yes, VirtualBox can be used for commercial purposes. However, there are certain licensing restrictions for some of the components included in VirtualBox. It is recommended to review the VirtualBox license agreement for more details.

How do I install a guest operating system in VirtualBox?

To install a guest operating system in VirtualBox, you need to create a new virtual machine and configure its settings. Then, you can mount the installation media (such as an ISO file) and start the virtual machine to begin the installation process. Detailed instructions can be found in the VirtualBox documentation.

How do I access VirtualBox Guest Additions?

To access VirtualBox Guest Additions, you need to start your virtual machine and go to the "Devices" menu in the VirtualBox window. From there, you can choose the "Insert Guest Additions CD image" option. This will mount the Guest Additions CD inside the virtual machine, and you can then follow the installation instructions provided by the guest operating system.

Can I change the guest resolution in VirtualBox?

Yes, you can change the guest resolution in VirtualBox. There are multiple methods to do this, including using the display settings of the guest operating system or changing the VirtualBox preferences on the host system. Detailed instructions on how to change the guest resolution can be found in the article above.

How do I uninstall VirtualBox?

To uninstall VirtualBox, you can go to the control panel or settings of your operating system and choose the "Uninstall a program" option. From there, you can select VirtualBox and follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall it. Make sure to also remove any virtual machines and associated files if you no longer need them.

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