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Expert
Expert

Ubuntu 18.10 guest and Open VM Tools: screen resizing and Retina resolution don't work...

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... A VMware Fusion 11 problem, or an open-vm-tools-desktop package problem, or both?

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Contributor
Contributor

Hello,

I had a similar issue with Ubuntu 18.10 and VMware Fusion where resize wouldn't work despite having open-vm-tools and open-vm-tools-desktop installed.

It appeard to be a race condition where the service open-vm-tools would start before the display manager.

I delayed the service open-vm-tools to start after the display manager and it seems to work now.

~$ sudo vi /lib/systemd/system/open-vm-tools.service

Add under [Unit] the following line:

After=display-manager.service

Save the file and reboot. The screen should be able to fit as needed.

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Expert
Expert

Explained a little better: after installing the Open VM Tools and rebooting the VM, the resolution remains the default one (800x600, IIRC); and in order to get the right resolution (for example, 1440x900), one must first select it in the Ubuntu display settings: while instead this window resizing should be automatic (by clicking or option-clicking the green button of the VM window), with the Tools installed...

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Expert
Expert

... In other words, it behaves almost as if this part of the Tools (window resolution and scaling) weren't installed.

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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Could you try the bundled VMware tools to see whether has the same issue

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Expert
Expert

Yes, the bundled VMware Tools behave similarly: no automatic window resizing; and the default resolution still shows as 800x600 in the Ubuntu display settings, also with Retina resolution enabled in the VM settings...

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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

I tried bundled tools on ubuntu 18.10, it works. could you check the tools version on your OS, run 'vmware-toolbox-cmd -v' in terminal. (The version of bundled tools is 10.3.2.6765.)

Should remove all of open-vm-tools components before installing bundled tools.

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Expert
Expert

Yes, the VMware Tools version is the same as yours, but it still doesn't work (I even tried to set the Ubuntu system language to English, uninstalled the Tools, rebooted, and reinstalled: but nothing changes, and automatic window resizing doesn't work)...

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Contributor
Contributor

Here is the reproducer to the problem:

  1. Install VMware Fusion 11.
  2. Download Ubuntu 18.10.
  3. Choose VMware's Easy Install for Ubuntu (that will install vmware tools automatically on guess).
  4. Reboot

After the reboot, you can no longer resize the Ubuntu window.

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Contributor
Contributor

Well, that's certainly better than i have, 10 was fine. Going to 11, it simply won't allow me to select any common resolution, no 1080p, no 1440p, 4k, no 3440x1440, instead it has only really strange resolutions you've never really seen, of course aside from 800x600 which, is quite useful seeing 1/2 a browser or terminal window on the screen. I can't use fullscreen at all either- well rather i can, but instead of actually being the resolution of the screen it's has black sections on the side and keeps the same perspective as 800x600 so it looks ridiculous. Unlike a few people here, I CAN resize automatically, but it always keeps the same aspect ration, given that can't set it to a common resolution resizing just makes it look ridiculous. Imagine 3440x1440 maximized at the same aspect ratio as 800x600. Anyone here try on other distros with any luck? I did go from Ubuntu 18.04 to 18.10  which was fine, upgrading to fusion 11, i tried literally every suggestion on any site I could find, i reinstalled twice, nothing. To note I also own workstation 14 pro, which i bootcamp to windows on the Mac, try using workstation 14 pro on Ubuntu 18.10, same issue. At this point I've no clue what's going on.

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Contributor
Contributor

That's certainly true, so long as you never restart or shutdown the vm, ever, it works fine. I assume the QA on this product was essentially seeing if you could install the vm.

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Contributor
Contributor

Can you please open a bug report using my reproducer.  Fusion 11/11.0.1 and Ubuntu 18.10 as guest does not work with screen stretching after a reboot.

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Contributor
Contributor

Seems if you've updated from 10 to 11:

- Update OSX to Mojave  ( there also seems to be a few minor updates after that)

- Update to Fusion  11.0 => 11.0.1.

- Purge the open-vm-tools with apt ( --purge option).

- Reinstall the tools from the Fusion menu option while in Ubuntu.

You should be able to resize the screen properly now. At first it won't look that way at the login screen, but if you login to Gnome Desktop it will correct itself. Going forward it always seems to work on startup now, so for me this is resolved.

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Expert
Expert

After some tests with Fusion 11.0.2, it seems to work only with Easy Install (which however is not so convenient for non-US English users); while it still doesn't work with a normal, or custom install, both with the Open VM Tools and the VMware Tools.

Why, is the question...?

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Expert
Expert

... BTW, a graphical Linux (Open VM/VMware) Tools installer would perhaps be a good thing...

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Contributor
Contributor

Hello,

I had a similar issue with Ubuntu 18.10 and VMware Fusion where resize wouldn't work despite having open-vm-tools and open-vm-tools-desktop installed.

It appeard to be a race condition where the service open-vm-tools would start before the display manager.

I delayed the service open-vm-tools to start after the display manager and it seems to work now.

~$ sudo vi /lib/systemd/system/open-vm-tools.service

Add under [Unit] the following line:

After=display-manager.service

Save the file and reboot. The screen should be able to fit as needed.

View solution in original post

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Contributor
Contributor

This solution worked for me. I used nano instead of vi, which IMO is more user-friendly:

Drop to terminal and enter

sudo nano /lib/systemd/system/open-vm-tools.service

In the document that opens, add under [Unit] the following line:

After=display-manager.service

Save, then reboot. Thank you j2clerck​!!

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Expert
Expert

Yes, this works! :smileycool::smileyinfo:

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Expert
Expert

Definitely easier with nano, indeed... :smileycool::smileyinfo:

BTW, Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS now has the same problem, after the latest updates, thus requiring the same workaround.

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Thanks for your response with respect to the service start up race condition. Seems to have solved the problem I just ran into (after some time of it working just fine) with Ubuntu 18.04 guest on VMware Workstation 14.

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