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I have installed Ubuntu server 12.4 in Oracle Virtual box, after completing installation, i cant use the Ubuntu server in full screen,guest additions present in virtual box will work in ubuntu server.

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up vote 24 down vote accepted

You can have the ubuntu server console in VirtualBox start at a resolution that your graphic card supports via the virtualbox environment.

Quick Steps

  • Check the resolutions your graphic card supports via the VirtualBox Environment (VBE).You should be able to find that out by issuing the command 'vbeinfo' in the GRUB console (hit the C key when the GRUB boot menu shows up).

  • Pick one resolution, then open '/etc/default/grub' (e.g. sudo vim /etc/default/grub) and change the line #GRUB_GFXMODE=640x480 to something like this GRUB_GFXMODE=1152x864 (where 1152x864 should be your custom resolution which is also supported by your graphic card).

  • Now run these two commands one-by-one:

    sudo update-grub
    sudo reboot

You should now see your VM's console in the custom resolution that you just set.

(PS: As Javier Rivera said, full screen resolution may not be possible.)

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What I always do is install ssh on the server and then use putty to access the server. Not only does this allow me to view the server in full screen, it also allows me to connect to it from other machines.

to install ssh just run:

sudo apt-get install ssh
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How does this answer the question? – Olli Feb 23 '14 at 18:35
@Olli it serves the same purpose - having a full screen CLI. – guntbert Feb 23 '14 at 18:38

As mentioned in Proper way to change terminal resolution in Ubuntu Server 13.04? you also need to set


in the /etc/default/grub file otherwise the resolution is only briefly used during boot

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i confirm this is needed for Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS – Jeff Shaw Jun 6 at 15:01

The VirtualBox guest additions display driver only works on graphical mode, not text mode. You will need to install Xorg to use it full-screen.

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