Fixing Screen Resolution on Ubuntu Linux in Parallels Desktop

In my last post, I complained that one of the things I didn’t like about running Ubuntu Linux 7.04 Feisty Fawn under Parallels Desktop 3 on my MacBook Pro was that I couldn’t run it at full resolution. Here’s how I fixed that, after the jump.

It was ridiculously simple, once I got off my lazy duff and googled around a bit. I found these instructions by TheoCryst on the MaCNN forums, and they worked like a charm:

First, open up a terminal. From there, type the following:

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

You might need to enter an admin’s password here. You should be presented with a text window with a bunch of stuff. Ignore most of it, but look for the following:

Modes “1024×768” “800×600” “640×480”

It’ll appear several times throughout the file. Each time you see it, add your desired resolution (in your case, 1680×1050) so that it appears like the following:

Modes “1680×1050” “1024×768” “800×600” “640×480”

(You can also add any other resolutions you’d like Ubuntu to support.) From there, shut down Ubuntu and, under your VM settings in Parallels, add the same resolutions you previously added to Xorg.conf (Don’t forget to tick the box that says “Enable custom screen resolutions”). Then just reboot Ubuntu and your new resolutions should be available!

Thanks a lot, TheoCryst! Now I am running Ubuntu Linux under Parallels Desktop 3 at my MacBook’s full 1440 x 900 resolution, and it looks great.

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