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I'm experimenting with virtualization tools, and there is an issue I would like at least to understand or even solve with your help.

In short, here is my configuration: Windows XP SP2 32-bit as "host", VirtualBox 4.1.6 and VMware 8.0.1 as virtualization applications.

In both VirtualBox and VMware I have installed Arch Linux as the guest OS (while it's not an OS-related issue, probably this is not important).

In VirtualBox I have a relatively limited list of available resolutions for the framebuffer (all are very standard ones like 800x600, 1024x768, etc.), the biggest is 1600x1200 while my display is 1920x1200.

Then I have installed exactly the same Arch Linux on VMware and to my surpize I can see A LOT of resolutions here, many of them are not-so-standard (like 1400x1050, 1440x900, 1856x1392 and many others), the biggest is even 2560x1536 and of course I can find my 1920x1200 there and effectively use it.

While I'll have to use VirtualBox, I would like to be able to get similar results for the framebuffer there too. (Please, note that the X system will not be involved, only the framebuffer to work in a X-less environment)

My questions are: is this a normal limitation? Should the framebuffer work this way in VirtualBox (while it is possible to get more and VMware prove this)? What should be done to get more framebuffer resolutions (if possible) ?

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migrated from serverfault.com Nov 30 '11 at 23:19

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1 Answer 1

On the Virtual Box setup, did you install Virtual Box Guest Additions? Did you give the machine sufficient video and system memory? Did you give it more than one processor? By doing these things, I've been able to greatly increase video capabilities. Remember, you need both the gcc and dkms packages prior to installing Guest Additions. Likewise, in VMWare, did you install VMWare tools?

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No, I didn't install nor VMware tools neither VirtualBox Guest Additions. I also considered this as a possible solution, but while I'm not using X.org/XFree86 it was not possible to install Guest Additions and the installation stopped with a message similar to "... no X.org or XFree86 found ... ". I would like to use the fb available for kernel from the very beginning in a CLI environment, providing it to grub as vga=NNN (I'm not so proficient and academically correct in this matter, but probably you got what I meant) –  ArtM Nov 30 '11 at 15:57

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