VirtualBox/Linux Mint 8: Changing Screen Resolution February 11th, 2010
At this stage I am assuming that you already have Sun VirtualBox installed and that you have gone through the process of installing a new virtual machine and installed Linux Mint 8 as a virtual machine. It’s at this stage once you have started Linux Mint that you’ll be greeted with a low resolution screen, when you go to the display options you’ll find that you only get options to choose 800×600 or 640×400 which let’s face it, is not very helpful with modern screens. Personally, I am running a 1920×1200 resolution so found the default resolutions almost unworkable.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to overcome this; all you need to do is follow the following steps:
- Start your virtual box and log into Linux Mint in the normal way
- Hit the right ctrl key so that you can get you mouse pointer outside of the virtual box as you’ll now need to work with the host machine
- Go to the top of the virtual window, click on Devices and then select Install Guest Additions. You’ll now see the virtual CDROM installed within Linux Mint and a new icon will appear on the desktop
- Click back inside the virtual box again and go to Menu and then Terminal
- Type cd /media/cdrom0 and then hit enter
- Type sudo sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run and then hit enter.
- You now need to reboot your virtual machine
- Log back into Linux Mint and go to Menu, Control Centre then Display. You should now have more options than the original low resolution options you had.
Depending on your specific hardware, you may still find that you’d like a different combination or higher resolution than the new ones which are listed; again, there is a solution:
- Open Terminal again by going to Menu and then Terminal
- Type sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and then hit enter. You will be asked for your password, type this and hit enter again
- The text editor will now load, before changing anything make a backup by going to the file menu and choose save as, changing the file name to xorgbak.conf
- Now to make the changes. Unlike previous versions you will not see a long list of configuration options, 9.10 creates these settings dynamically. However you can still add specific combinations so add your desired settings here (Caveat: Working with xorg.conf is a topic in itself so do not add code here unless you are sure what you are doing, you WILL break the installation and either have to fix it from the command line or reinstall the virtual machine), this will vary depending on your hardware and the resolution you are trying to achieve, I added the following lines of code for my hardware:
Viewport 0 0
Modes “1920x1200” “1680x1050” “1280x1024” “1024x768”
- You must now do a save as but ensure you change the filename back to the original xorg.conf otherwise you will overwrite the backup you have just created.
- Restart the virtual box and you should now have the new screen resolutions available.
Linux Mint 8 Enabling DVD Playback February 11th, 2010
Linux Mint 8 has available either ‘out of the box’ or from the repository, almost any software you could possibly imagine. Just as with Ubuntu however there is one glaring omission (although we will let the development guys off as no doubt this is owing to legalities of licensing), and that is the ability to natively play a standard DVD. This needn’t be a huge problem however as unlike when using a Microsoft OS, you do not need to purchase a codec to enable this feature, it just needs a few lines of code to be entered to acquire the needed codecs.
To play a DVD on Linux Mint, you will need to install libdvdcss2. In Linux Mint 8 just as with previous versions and Ubuntu, there is no need to manually configure the repository, all you need do is the following:
- Open a Terminal Window (Menu > Terminal) and type the following:
sudo apt-get install libdvdread4
- Next type the following:
Once you have done that, next time you insert a DVD you should get the option to auto run with MPlayer Media Player. Enjoy.
*Note: The above proceedure is also the same to enable DVD playback in Ubuntu 9.10, although Terminal can be found in by clicking Menu > Applications > Accessories > Terminal*
Linux Mint 8 Installing Adobe AIR February 10th, 2010
After a previous post where I outlined how to install Adobe AIR in Ubuntu 9.10 I thought I would write another post with instructions for installing in Linux Mint 8 as I also use this distribution on my development machine. The differences are subtle but nevertheless they are slightly different.
Installing Adobe AIR on Linux Mint is again quite easy (certainly no more difficult than installing in Ubuntu), although it is not available in the repository so you’ll need to follow these instructions:
- Download Adobe AIR by clicking this link, ensure that you save the installer to your desktop for the following steps
- Once the download has completed, you need to open your Terminal (select Menu > Terminal). Type the following command to switch to your desktop where you have just downloaded the AIR installer (making sure to take note of capitalisation):
We now need to make the file executable. To do this type the following command:
chmod +x AdobeAIRInstaller.bin
Finally you need to run the installer itself, as you are already in Terminal simply type the following command:
- The Adobe AIR installer will now launch, obviously click to agree the T&Cs and then sit back, the installer doesn’t take long.
That’s it; simple. You can then install any Adobe AIR application directly from the web, in this case I have chosen to install TweetDeck to test everything works.
I hope this is useful.