I am running an Ubuntu server inside VMware workstation, when I run the VM the screen is really small. I want to increase it to something that fits in the whole VMware console.

I tried changing the GFX_MODE in /etc/default/grub, then I ran update-grub2. When I restarted it only made the grub menu HUGE. But once it booted into Ubuntu compltely it shrunk back down to the default resolution.

What am I missing?

2 Answers 2


Try appending vga=791 to the linux (kernel) line (in /etc/default/grub).

See console Framebuffer for additional resolutions (if you want to lower it further).

  • 1
    To what line in the config file? The link you gave me reffernces /boot/grub/menu.lst. Which does not exist in grub2.
    – ianc1215
    Dec 10, 2011 at 0:43
  • 1
    /etc/default/grub , see the " GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash", append it there -GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash vga=791 Then update-grub as you did before (undo your previous edit as well).
    – Panther
    Dec 10, 2011 at 0:53
  • 1
    Is there a way to specify a resolution like 1024x768x32 for the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT? Or can I only use VESA codes?
    – ianc1215
    Dec 10, 2011 at 1:24
  • I am not sure with VMWare and your console resolution. You can certainly try it, it will not hurt anything. If that fails, that resolution is vga=824
    – Panther
    Dec 10, 2011 at 4:32
  • look to pendrivelinux.com/vga-boot-modes-to-set-screen-resolution to get an idea of what resolution 791 means. There are other usable numbers there as well. Aug 19, 2015 at 0:25

I used two parameters in /etc/default/grub:

# The resolution used on graphical terminal
# note that you can use only modes which your graphic card supports via VBE
# you can see them in real GRUB with the command `vbeinfo'
# bug workaround

I found the second item by reading the shell scripts in /etc/grub.d.

Be sure to "set pager=1" before running vbeinfo so you can read the output.

Be sure to run "sudo update-grub" when you are done

  • Please do not post the same answer for multiple questions.
    – RolandiXor
    May 17, 2013 at 3:46
  • 5
    It may have been a repeat, but that was useful to me as I reached this page and do not know where his duplicate is. Jan 3, 2014 at 0:56
  • 1
    In server mode, one should use GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=1366x768x24 instead of GRUB_GFXMODE=1366x768x24
    – Pascal
    Mar 5, 2014 at 11:17

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