Once I got my new PC last weekend, the first thing I did was to install Ubuntu 10.4 in VirtualBox (now updated to 3.2.4) in a Windows 7 host. Installation of both VirtualBox and Ubuntu was quick and painless. They just work. Since I have a 30′ monitor and a powerful video card, I wanted to run Ubuntu to the maximum resolution possible (2560 x 1600.) Unfortunately, the default settings only allowed me to set the display resolution to an awful 1024 x 768.
After a couple of days, I found some instructions on how to increase the screen resolution of a Ubuntu virtual machine. I basically had to:
- Install VirtualBox “Guest Additions”
- Add the desired screen resolution to the xorg.conf file
Since I’m a Linux/VirtualBox newbie, I followed the instructions carefully. In theory, I just needed to right-click the icon and select “Open with Autorun Prompt” to install the Guest Additions. Once I did that, I tried to edit the xorg.conf file, but my copy of Ubuntu didn’t have one! I found instructions on how to create a new one, but it never worked. I was completely sure I wanted to use Ubuntu as my primary desktop and I was not going to give up!
Finally I found out that I was not installing the Guest Additions correctly and that I didn’t have to edit any xorg.conf file. This precious link, http://mylinuxramblings.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/running-kubuntu-10-04-in-virtualbox-as-a-guest-os/, pointed me in the right direction.
Now the screen resolution of my Ubuntu virtual machine changes dynamically when I resize the VirtualBox window. I can turn on all visual effects as well. Here is a screenshot of my Ubuntu virtual machine, at 2560 x 1600 (click to enlarge)