Tuesday Oct 21, 2008

Customizing OpenSolaris Screen Resolution running in VirtualBox on a MacBook Pro

Wow, I didn't think the title of this blog entry was ever going to end!

After much trial and error, I finally found a fairly easy way to customize the OpenSolaris screen resolution running in VirtualBox on a MacBook Pro.  After installing OpenSolaris on my system, I was unable to increase my screen resolution to 1440x960 through the System->Preferences->Screen Resolution panel...and that made me sad.

So, here's the procedure that made me happy again.

  1. Install VirtualBox on your MacBook Pro.

  2. Install OpenSolaris in the new VirtualBox instance.

  3. Start up OpenSolaris.

  4. From the VirtualBox VM application (the one OpenSolaris is running in), choose Devices->Install Guest Additions.

    This will mount the vboxadditions_2.0.2_36486 disk image on your OpenSolaris system.

  5. Become root in OpenSolaris (You can open a terminal window by choosing Applications->System Tools->Terminal).

    # su root

  6. Change directory to the disk image.

    # cd /cdrom/vboxadditions_2.0.2_36486

  7. Install the Solaris VirtualBox addition.

    # pkgadd -d ./vboxadditions_2.0.2_36486

    This package installation creates the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

  8. (Optional) In the /etc/Xll/xorg.conf file, add the new screen resolution to the Modes field in the default ViewPort section (I added the 1440x900 entry).

    ViewPort      0  0
               Depth               24
               Modes           "1440x900_60.00" "1024x768_75.00" "800x600_75_00" "640x480_60.00"

    NOTE: After some more testing, it looks like you don't need to do this step unless you want to be able to select a specific resolution from the Screen Resolution Preferences window.  Once you install the Solaris VirtualBox Addition, all you need to do is expand the VirtualBox window and the OpenSolaris desktop expands as well.  I swear this didn't work the first time I tried this, which is why I had this problem in the first place. That's a few hours I'll never get back...

  9. Reboot OpenSolaris.

  10. After OpenSolaris reboots, change the screen resolution by choosing System->Preferences->Screen Resolution.

    You'll see the new resolution that you added...at least I did.  Everything has been working so far.

  11. Be happy that you now have a larger area to enjoy OpenSolaris!
BTW, thanks to Peter Schow for helping me with this problem on the OpenSolaris help forum
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pkasper

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