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I've installed Debian Wheezy on VirtualBox 4.1.12 (running in Ubuntu 12.04) and have troubles setting the video mode. vga=xxx isn't possible anymore, instead, the video mode should be set using GRUB. In /etc/default/grub I set GRUB_GFXMODE=1024x768 and that works, but when I select to boot Debian, it switches back to text mode 80x25. Setting GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX to keep or 1024x768 didn't help.

Any ideas how I could achieve my goal?

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Are you using bios or efi for your VM? have you allocated enought video memory for the VM? – MariusMatutiae Oct 11 '13 at 8:25
@MariusMatutiae: I left the default settings, which are BIOS and 12 MB graphics RAM, which should be enough (I never changed that setting and never experienced any problems). – Michael Kremser Oct 11 '13 at 17:51
up vote 1 down vote accepted

To get this to work for me, I followed the instructions in:

Steps taken for me

Become root user


Open /etc/default/grub.

Find GRUB_GFXMODE= ... and change it to:


Edit /etc/grub.d/00_header

Find if [ "x${GRUB_GFXMODE}" = "x" ] ; and change it to:

if [ "x${GRUB_GFXMODE}" = "x" ] ; then GRUB_GFXMODE=800x600 ; fi
if [ "x${GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD}" = "x" ] ; then GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD=800x600x32 ; fi

Find set gfxmode=${GRUB_GFXMODE} and change it to:

set gfxmode=${GRUB_GFXMODE}
set gfxpayload=${GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD}




I got this working today. I therefore do not know how stable the fix is - in terms of updates being applied to grub or the linux kernel. I hope someone else can clarify whether these settings files every get overwritten by upgrades.

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Using trial-and-error I found out that GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD in /etc/default/grub is being ignored by update-grub. In /etc/grub.d/00_header it is enough to add the line starting with if [ "x${GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD}" and also the line set gfxpayload=${GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD}. – Michael Kremser Oct 11 '13 at 18:40

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