In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss various solutions to fix fullscreen resolution issues in Ubuntu when running on VirtualBox. This issue is common and can be frustrating, but with the right steps, it can be resolved effectively.
To fix fullscreen resolution issues in Ubuntu on VirtualBox, you can try enabling the auto-resize guest display feature, changing the graphics controller, reinstalling Guest Additions, using the latest VBoxAdditions ISO, increasing video memory, or adjusting the maximum guest screen size. Keep in mind that not all solutions may work for every setup, so you may need to try multiple solutions or combinations of them to find the one that works for you.
VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise and home use. It’s a versatile tool that allows you to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on your machine. However, users often encounter an issue where Ubuntu does not display in fullscreen mode correctly on VirtualBox. This can hinder the user experience and productivity.
Enable Auto-resize Guest Display
The first and simplest solution to try is enabling the auto-resize guest display feature. This feature automatically adjusts the VM’s resolution to match your screen size.
To enable this, navigate to the VirtualBox options while your VM is running, then select
View -> Auto-resize Guest Display.
Change Graphics Controller
Sometimes, the issue can be resolved by changing the graphics controller used by the VirtualBox. To do this, go to the VM settings, then navigate to
Settings -> Display -> Graphics Controller and select “VBoxVGA”. This solution has been reported to work particularly well with Windows 10 hosts and Kubuntu 20.04 on VirtualBox 6.12.
Reinstall Guest Additions
Guest Additions are software applications that aim to make the user experience of VirtualBox more seamless. However, they can sometimes cause issues with resolution. In such cases, reinstalling Guest Additions can help.
To do this, first, uninstall the
virtualbox-guest-additions packages by running the following command in your terminal:
sudo apt-get remove virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-additions
Next, reboot your VM, update your system, and install the
virtualbox-guest-additions-iso package with the following commands:
sudo reboot sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-additions-iso sudo reboot
Use the Latest VBoxAdditions ISO
Another solution is to use the latest VBoxAdditions ISO file instead of the Guest Additions CD that comes with Oracle VirtualBox. You can download the latest VBoxAdditions ISO file from the official webpage.
After downloading the ISO file, mount it in your virtual machine and run the shell file “VBoxLinuxAdditions.run” with sudo. Here’s how you can do it:
cd /media/<username>/VBox_GAs_<version> sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
<username> with your username and
<version> with the version of VBoxAdditions you downloaded. After the installation, restart your virtual machine.
Increase Video Memory
Increasing the video memory allocated to your VM can also help resolve resolution issues. To do this, go to the VM settings, navigate to
Settings -> Display -> Screen -> Video memory and set it to the maximum value.
Adjust Maximum Guest Screen Size
Finally, you can try changing the “Maximum Guest Screen Size” setting from “Automatic” to “Hint”. Set the width and height to the maximum screen sizes allowed by your host machine. Then switch the VM to use “scale mode” under the “View” menu. This solution has been reported to work for VirtualBox 6.1 and Ubuntu 20 LTS hosts and guests.
Resolving fullscreen resolution issues in Ubuntu on VirtualBox can be a bit tricky, but with the right approach, it can be done effectively. The solutions provided in this guide have been reported to work for many users. However, keep in mind that not all solutions may work for every setup, so you may need to try multiple solutions or combinations of them to find the one that works for you.
VirtualBox is a virtualization software that allows you to run multiple operating systems on a single machine simultaneously. It is commonly used for testing software, running legacy applications, or creating virtual development environments.
This issue can occur due to various reasons, such as incorrect settings, outdated guest additions, or incompatible graphics controllers. The solutions provided in this guide aim to address these issues and help you achieve fullscreen resolution.
To enable auto-resize guest display, while your VM is running, go to the VirtualBox options, then select
View -> Auto-resize Guest Display. This feature automatically adjusts the VM’s resolution to match your screen size.
Yes, changing the graphics controller used by VirtualBox can sometimes resolve fullscreen resolution issues. Go to the VM settings, then navigate to
Settings -> Display -> Graphics Controller and select "VBoxVGA" as the graphics controller.
To reinstall Guest Additions, first, uninstall the
virtualbox-guest-additions packages by running
sudo apt-get remove virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-additions in the terminal. Then, reboot your VM, update your system, and install the
virtualbox-guest-additions-iso package using
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-additions-iso. Finally, reboot your VM again.
You can download the latest VBoxAdditions ISO file from the official VirtualBox website. Visit the Downloads page and choose the appropriate version for your setup.
To increase video memory in VirtualBox, go to the VM settings, navigate to
Settings -> Display -> Screen -> Video memory, and set it to the maximum value allowed. Increasing video memory can help improve resolution and graphics performance.
If none of the suggested solutions work for your specific setup, you may need to explore other options or seek assistance from the VirtualBox community forums or support channels. It’s also important to ensure that you have the latest version of VirtualBox and Ubuntu, as updates can sometimes resolve compatibility issues.