Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm running Linux Mint Qiana as the host on a new HP 250 G laptop with 4GB of Ram and a 500GB hard drive. The laptop has a screen aspect ratio of 16:9. This is new to me because it's my first laptop and all my desktops have 4:3 screens.

I've set up a Virtual Machine using VirtualBox and installed Windows XP Service Pack 3 as the guest operating system in the virtual machine. The problem is I can't get the XP window to fit nicely on the screen because XP thinks I'm using a 4:3 display. Windows apparently does not know about the existing monitor because it's set up for Default Monitor.

As XP was released about twelve years before my HP Laptop came into existence, this is not surprising. Are there any Windows geeks out there who could give me a fix, or can it be done using VirtualBox?

share|improve this question
Have you installed Guest Additions for Windows into your guest XP system? – Keith Miller Jun 9 '14 at 13:12
Yes install the guest additions into the VM guest and you'll be able to dynamically resize the VM to whatever sizes you want on the fly. – slm Jun 9 '14 at 13:18
Yes, I installed guest additions in order to access USB devices. – user277685 Jun 9 '14 at 13:34
Now that I've installed Guest Additions on XP, the screen looks good. All done, thanks. – user277685 Jun 9 '14 at 13:49
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As suggested in the comments, yes install the guest additions into the VM guest and you'll be able to dynamically resize the VM to whatever sizes you want on the fly.

The relevant documentation from VirtualBox: Chapter 4. Guest Additions. This tutorial is also easy to follow, titled: How do I install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Windows 7?. They're still applicable even though they're geared for Windows 7. The steps are essentially the same.

    ss #1

share|improve this answer

By default Windows assumes a generic display driver with a few standard options for resolution. In order to play nicely with VirtualBox, you need a video driver that knows something about its actual output device, in this case allowing it to scale to whatever size you run the virtual machine window at.

This can be done by installing the VirtualBox Additions package to your guest OS. Check the VirtualBox toolbar overlayed on your guest OS for the option to install these.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.