Friday 19 June 2020

Custom screen resolution for virtual machines

My remote VM have standard (default to any VMware VMs) 4:3 resolutions (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, etc.) and it set to 1024x768. My laptop is quite modern one and has widescreen with maximum resolution 1366x768 (Not very impressive, I know).

So when I am using LogmeIn, connection initiated within web browser and because of browser edges my 1024x768 gets squeezed and picture not always clear as I want it. I can obviously use full screen mode but this limit me only to my remote VM and I need to do few clicks to switch between full screen my “host” windows. This kind of ok, but it time consuming and I would like floating Window with screen of my remote VM inside with nice resolution.

So next try is TeamViewer. TeamViewer is better and it provide floating window independent of Web Browser but screen still squeezed because of TeamViewer window edges.
Now I can probably make my Remote VM to show correct resolution so it can fit my screen without affecting access to other important functions.

Forgot to mention that both LogmeIn and TeamViewer presenting console screen of the PC/Mac you connecting to, unlike RDP using extra software bits and allowing setting different resolution on per session.

So let’s begin.

First of all I would like to say thank to VMware for their great KB article which helped me to find my way out. This KB article explains how to set maximum resolution but not custom which probably similar I would assume :)
My aim was to set 1200x700 resolution which will fit perfectly into my screen. To accomplish this task I did the following:

1. Shutdown my VM
2. Remove it from inventory
3. Download .vmx file
4. Add the following two lines at the end of the file:

svga.maxWidth = "1200"
svga.maxHeight = "700"

5. Rename original .vmx file to something like remotevm_original.vmx
6. Upload corrected .vmx file to original location
7. Register VM in Virtual Center and power it up.
First my VM came up with rather strange resolution which it decides will be minimum/maximum/optimal 864x400. I open properties of the screen and was surprised that I can now change to my Max resolution 1200x700 Hurray. Mission accomplished I am going to bed now.

Ah and yes few links below and thanks then for their great products.
Adding video resolution modes to Windows guest operating system

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