I am trying to setup a confortable work environment (for development purposes) on a virtualized Debian/Ubuntu based Linux VM. I am facing some graphics issues especially when using a second monitor with a different resolution. I tried several attempts (see below), now I am looking for tips or a proven working solution before testing anything else.

My hardware host/config:

  • Windows 10 Asus laptop with HiDpi screen (3840x2160)
  • 16GB RAM, i7-6700HQ 4 dual core, NVidia GeForce GTX 960
  • External HDMI samsung monitor 1920x1080

With this config, because of the HiDpi screen I need to have a scaling factor 2 or 2.5 on the main monitor and a scaling factor of 1 for the samsung monitor.


  • Debian-LXDE on VirtualBox (5.2.16) with Guest Tools

It looks like LXDE does not support scaling as an option (I have looked at xrandr and arandr and I could not find an option to set a scale factor)

  • Ubuntu 16.04 on Virtual Box (5.2.16) with Guest Tools

(graphics memory augmented to 256Mb, allow acceleration etc.) bugs see picture: bugs with Ubuntu 16.04

  • Ubuntu 18.04 on Virtual Box (5.2.16) with Guest Tools

looks like the new desktop does not allow different scaling options. https://askubuntu.com/questions/1028622/different-display-scale-settings-18-04 I started to try to get the Wayland options but I finally dropped the attempt.

  • Ubuntu 16.04 on VMWare (Workstation Player edition) with Guest Tools

This is the closest to a working solution I found. But the scaling does not look to be properly handled by the apps. The desktop looks fine on second monitor but the x2 scaling looks to be applied even on the second monitor.

Subsidiary question?

Am I dreaming while trying to get the same user experience: HiDpi, fluid video, multiple displays in a virtualized environment? Indeed even with the command /usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p showing green for everything. I still feel like the graphic acceleration is seldom used as long as the physical GPU on my machine (e.g.youtube video are not fluid).

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