Virtualbox full screen (Ubuntu)

How to get real full-screen in VirtualBox

Problem: When running for example an Ubuntu Linux guest on a Windows host with VirtualBox, you want it to use the whole screen. Maximizing the window or going to full-screen changes the VirtualBox window size, but not the size of the guest.

Solution: While the guest OS is running, install “Guest Additions”.

The following steps work for a standard Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx desktop install:

  1. Start your guest OS and log in.
  2. Select Device -> Install Guest Additions in the menu, or by using Host Key+D. (On my Windows VirtualBox installation, the default host key is right Ctrl.) This will make a VBOXADDITIONS image appear on your Ubuntu desktop. (If you are not running a graphical environment, type mount so see where it has been mounted.)
  3. Build and install the Guest Additions modules by doing one of the following:
    • If you are running the default Gnome desktop: Right-click the VBOXADDITIONS icon on the Desktop and choose “Open with autorun prompt”. After confirming and typing in your password, it will build and install all the necessary modules.
    • If you want to do it from a terminal: Go to the Guest Additions directory by typing cd /media/VBOXADDITIONS_3.2.8_64453 (note that the numbers might be different in your version). If you are running a 32-bit guest, start the installer with sudo sh VboxLinuxAdditions-x86.run. If you are running a 64-bit guest, start the installer withsudo sh VboxLinuxAdditions-amd64.run.
  4. Reboot the guest. When X starts you should now have glorious full-screen.
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