Tackling native screen resolution problems on virtual ubuntu guest installs

I remember a time when virtual box users got stuck when trying to run full screen ubuntu guests on ultrabooks with the (as of that time) unusual screen resolution of 1366×768 pixels. Of course, 1366×768 pixels was quite an esoteric resolution at the times of virtual box 4.0.x or so and the emulated graphics driver was simply not (yet) aware of such a circumstance. However, trying to set up an current ubuntu 12.10 guest on the latest vmware player 5.0.2 environment, targeting another 1600×900 ultrabook full screen resolution, showed up to produce the same issue again and I’m not the very first to learn alike, see the vmware threads for example.

The basic problem, as depicted above, is that the guest os just does’nt see the actual native resolution of the hardware because the emulated graphics driver does not provide or list it on request. It will, on the other hand, be able to run that resolution though. Ever tried to find the missing resolution in your display settings with no luck? Then switched the guest os to full screen and, plop, it is there? Then bounced the guest os and the game starts from scratch (and you get this oversized X error window of unsuccessful attempts to apply the latest resolution setting in ~/.config/monitor.xml)? Welcome at Denny’s!