Running under VirtualBox

Hisham Muhammad edited this page Dec 27, 2016 · 4 revisions
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When running the GoboLinux 016 live ISO through VirtualBox, you will notice that startx does not start correctly by default. There are two solutions for this: running the graphical environment in VESA mode (low resolution, 1024x768) or building VirtualBox's own graphics drivers.

The quick solution: Setting up VESA mode

Run the following command:

SymlinkProgram xorg-server

This will activate in /System/Settings/X11 a fallback version of xorg.conf, preconfigured to use the vesa driver. Then you'll be able to start X normally with:


Once you install the system to a VirtualBox disk image, you will have to do the same procedure.

The nice solution: Setting up VirtualBox guest additions

VirtualBox requires its own graphics drivers in order to perform advanced features such as smart mouse sharing and running at a window-dependent full resolution.

These drivers can be built using the "Guest Additions" ISO image included with VirtualBox.

The catch is that we are already using the virtual CD drive from VirtualBox to run the ISO, so we need to add a second one. With the virtual machine shut down, right-click the image, then at the Storage pane, add a second optical drive, and insert the VBoxGuestAdditions.iso file that should be somewhere in your VirtualBox installation:

VirtualBox Settings - Storage

Then, boot GoboLinux normally in VirtalBox, and do the following:

mount /dev/sr1 /Mount/CD-ROM
cd /Mount/CD-ROM
udevadm trigger

When you run udevadm trigger the drivers should be loaded, and the console will change resolution immediately. (It will also lose the nice-looking GoboLinux font: to reload it, type setfont lode-2.0-lat1u-16.)

Now, you can start Xorg normally with:


If you want to resize your VirtualBox window, make sure "Auto-resize guest display" is turned on in the VirtualBox "Machine" menu, then, after resizing the VirtualBox window, type in the GoboLinux terminal the following

xrandr --output VGA-0 --preferred

This will resize the desktop to match your window size.

Note that this installation of the VirtualBox guest additions will only last for the current Live-CD session. If you install GoboLinux into a VirtualBox virtual hard drive, you will have to do the same again.