Resize virtual machine’s desktop in VirtualBox

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I started using VirtualBox (actively) few months back, my experience with it is excellent. Before using VirtualBox, I always had issues with installing new software on my computer because I did not want the new installation/updates to mess around with my working setups. VistualBox solved all of these issues. Now, I do all of my software testing/evaluations on virtual machines even I do all of my development (which require installations e.g. geonode) or host servers on virtual machines as well (read my blog ‘Access services hosted on guest from host using VirtualBox‘). Small tweaks here and there (like the one blow), VirtualBox is an excellent solution for developers as well.

If you have noticed, Virtual Box does not show fullscreen on virtual machines (VMs) and I hate to work on small screens (even I do not work on 15 inch and went to great lengths to get a 17 inch laptop). The fullscreen mode of VirtualBox is not what I am looking for, I need a solution which utilizes the available screen size, same goes for scalemode. Searched Google and found an answer on askubuntu (http://askubuntu.com/questions/104440/how-do-you-resize-the-standard-ubuntu-desktop-inside-of-virtualbox). To summarize, need to install following packages

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11

It worked on one of my VMs but then some how on my second VM the package virtualbox-guest-dkms (and others) could not be downloaded with error 404 Not Found. Frustrated, took the task to Synaptic Package manager. I search package virtualbox-guest-dkms and istalled it (that also installed virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11). Restarted my VM and it worked.

Confused between apt-get and synaptic, I searched the difference and found this answer (http://askubuntu.com/questions/76/whats-the-difference-between-package-managers)

😦 the two sound same to me. I wonder what went wrong with apt-get

Note: This might not be the proper solution, but its what I experienced and it worked for me. Enjoy 🙂

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Access services hosted on guest from host using VirtualBox

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VirtualBox, it solved a lot of my worries for example the issues of updating libraries and then finding that now some software are not working etc. Plus the idea of visualization is good as with it one can distribute resources (memory, CPU cores) among virtual machines thus can run a cluster of serves, in future (I will write about one such cluster). It also solves my development related issues as explained below.

I needed a webserver with php for a project. My idea was that I will have the webserver (with packages like php etc and php development) on a virtual machine. I will access this webserver from host to edit scripts (for this folder sharing is required between guest and host) and test php pages. I tried few things and finally found this excellent blog(link). It explains every thing (just follow it).

Second,to access guest folder from host (so that I can do development on host and save it in guest), I shared a guest folder using samba (you might have to install it).

Note: For those of you who do not understand guest and host with respect to VirtualBox, host is the computer on which VirtualBox is installed and guests are virtual machines that are created using VirtualBox. Once virtual machines(guests) are created, operating system and other software are installed.

I am following the same setup with my geonode testing/development virtual machine (developing tools in Geoexplorer using JavaScript, will write about it some day 🙂 ).