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I'm running Ubunutu 13.04 in VirtualBox. I have it set up to run in fullscreen mode, but its resolution is much less than what my monitor is capable of and is set up to display on the host machine. When I open up Settings -> Displays, the highest possible resolution setting is still less than what I want it to be to get the most out of my monitor.

I've already installed Guest Additions. What should I do to fix this issue?

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I already know the answer to this question (see my answer below), but I couldn't find the solution to my specific situation online, so I figured I'd put it here so others can find it =) – Kevin Jun 19 '13 at 21:43
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Go to the VirtualBox options while in your VM (the same place you went to to install Guest Additions) and select View -> Auto-resize Guest Display. This should automatically set your VM's resolution to the proper screen size.

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I can't believe it was this simple for me. I literally spent hours trying to fix the same issue for my setup. Anyway, thanks! – Dan Jun 22 '13 at 14:18
Didn't work for me – Christian Vielma Sep 24 '13 at 22:26
Occasionally, I need to reinstall Guest Additions on my virtual machine before this will work. Does that help you? – Kevin Sep 25 '13 at 3:42

After struggling over and over and over .... uninstalled all virtualbox guest stuff and reinstalled dkms FIRST and then guest additions, and then was able to do View->Auto-resize Guest Display.

What finally worked:

Either substitute to root or use sudo for each apt-get:

$ sudo su -
Password: **********

apt-get remove virtualbox-guest-dkms
apt-get remove virtualbox-guest-additions

You might be told it has already been done ...

shutdown -r now

REBOOT ... NOTE: you will most likely need to powerdown from Virtualbox to reboot

apt-get update
apt-get install virtualbox-guest-additions-iso

shutdown -r now

Now in full screen mode:

Virtualbox Menu: VIEW -> AutoResize Guest Display (Host+G)

You may have to rinse-repeat until it works - took me half a dozen times! The last sequence worked, but no telling ...

Note that sometime during earlier repetitions of the process I upgraded to the most recent version of VirtualBox (which BSOD'd my PC) but I don't think that was a factor in getting the VM to finally recognize my actual screen size.

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I tried this but with no effect. I upgraded to 14.04 and since then the screen is not switching to full screen. – Sam007 Jul 18 '14 at 5:11

Not enough rep to comment on user1665886 & danijelc's post so I wanted to add the following:

That solution uninstalls dkms, you need to reinstall it and reconfigure it:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms
sudo dpkg-reconfigure virtualbox-guest-dkms

Once I that was complete, VirtualBox automatically displayed desktop at full resolution of my monitors.

Credit to Dr. Windows this post.

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