After installing Ubuntu 14.04 guest on VirtualBox running on a Max OSX host, I am stuck with 640x480 screen resolution. Adding guest additions again doesn't help. Previous Ubuntu installations are fine with bigger resolution. The 'Detect Displays' button on the 'Display Settings' Settings screen is not reachable, because 640x480 is too small. I could not find a /etc/X11/xorg.conf file to configure manually.

  • 1
    Could the persons marking questions as duplicate indicate a duplicate of what so that we can click to the answer instead of starting a new search.
    – Papou
    May 20, 2016 at 0:40
  • in VirtualBox, click View>Scaled Mode...
    – T.Todua
    Jan 17, 2017 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


Independently of your installed version of VirtualBox you should install the latest version of the VirtualBox Guest Additions into your Ubuntu-Guest. You can get it from the Ubuntu-Software-Repository.

Startup your guest and hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal session. Type

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms

to install the latest package. Restart the VM and enjoy screen-size.

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    Thanks so much for Ctrl-Alt-T - I couldn't even get a window up!
    – Casebash
    May 7, 2014 at 3:38
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    This solution worked for me. I am using Windows 7 64bits as host. Jul 23, 2014 at 20:09
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    so awesome! I downloaded the guest additions .iso and it didn't work, but installing from command line worked like a charm. Thanks so much!
    – carter
    Jul 25, 2014 at 2:51
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    You should install the guest additions shipped with the VirtualBox in Tools/Install Guest additions.
    – Calmarius
    Aug 20, 2014 at 13:57
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    @Calmarius: No, you shouldn't use the shipped additions in Linux guests, because they may have incompatiblities with your guest. Thats why you should always use the latest additions, that are offered by the software repository of your guest system.
    – shylynx
    Aug 21, 2014 at 10:50

Just had exaclty the same problem with Ubuntu 14.04 on Windows 7 VirtualBox. I've updated to latest version of Virtualbox (4.3.10 r93012) and it now works correctly. Make sure to install the latest version of Guest Additions (v4.3.10 at the moment).

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    And of course, restart the guest after doing this!
    – Baruch
    Apr 28, 2014 at 8:44
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    This worked for me as well on OS X 10.9 Maverick
    – SPRBRN
    May 4, 2014 at 19:09
  • Thank you very much for this. I was stuck with 640x480 until I realized I had Virtualbox 4.2 installed.
    – mles
    Dec 17, 2014 at 11:21
  • @SPRBRN How do you install guest additions in OS X 10.9?
    – Mukus
    Aug 19, 2015 at 4:02

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