VirtualBox. Installing Guest Additions Limits Screen Resolution

When installing Linux on Oracle’s Virtual Box you might run into a problem whereby the host machine limits your screen resolution. You might just have two default resolutions supported, for me it was 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768.

The VBox User Manual says (I suggest you download it as a reference):

When guest systems with the Guest Additions installed are started using the graphical frontend (the normal VirtualBox application), they will not be allowed to use screen resolutions greater than the host’s screen size unless the user manually resizes them by dragging the window, switching to full screen or seamless mode or sending a video mode hint using VBoxManage.

Easy steps to overcoming this issue are:

  1. In your terminal run:
    sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.2 (make sure that you have Virtual Box installed in your linux box (Ubuntu 12.04).
    Don’t forget to install your updates if you haven’t: sudo apt-get update
  2. Your next step is to run:
    VBoxManage setextradata global GUI/MaxGuestResolution any
  3. Restart your Linux VBX and head over to > Displays..

Note: these settings apply globally to all guest systems, not just to a single machine.