Increasing VMware ESXi guest desktop resolution for Ubuntu 14.04

By default, my Ubuntu 14.04 desktop guest running under VMware ESXi has a maximum resolution of 1360×768 when accessed with the Remote Client, which although usable is not great on my MacBook Pro:

In the guest settings for my Ubuntu guest, I have rather limited graphics settings:

I tried bumping up the memory and see if that opens up some additional settings but that didn’t change anything, although for higher resolutions it’s most likely I would need more gpu memory, but that’s not the issue with the limited settings here.

Searching for ‘ESXi linux guest maximum resolution’ I found this article:

which suggests to install a ‘desktop’ version of the open-vm-tools:

sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop

Let’s try that. After a reboot, now we’ve got higher resolutions! Awesome!

Expanding the disk size for an Ubuntu guest on VMware ESXi

Stop the guest VM.

Change the attached disk size in VM settings:

Attach a gparted iso or alternatively you can attach the original Ubuntu desktop ISO that you originally installed from.

Change the Boot Option for your VM to boot into the guest VM’s BIOS (‘Force BIOS setup’) to change the boot order with the cdrom first (by default it won’t boot from the attached cdrom as it’s set to only boot from cdrom if the attached disk does not boot first):

With the gparted iso or Ubuntu desktop install iso attached, restart the VM, and then run gparted.

Use gparted to expand the partition into the free space.

Once resized, reboot the Unbuntu guest (reset the boot order or unattach the cdrom iso image).

Use pvdisplay to get the Volume Group name

$ sudo pvdisplay

  --- Physical volume ---

  PV Name               /dev/sda5

  VG Name               ubuntu-vg

  PV Size               39.76 GiB / not usable 2.00 MiB

  Allocatable           yes (but full)

  PE Size               4.00 MiB

  Total PE              10178

  Free PE               0

  Allocated PE          10178

Use vgextend with the volume group name and physical disk name to extend:

sudo vgextend ubuntu-vg /dev/sda5

Use lvextend with param “-l+100%FREE” to expand the logical volume:

sudo lvextend -l+100%FREE /dev/ubuntu-vg/root

Now use resize2fs:

sudo resize2fs /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root


More info on using gparted here. Info on resizing LVM disks in this article here.