Linux and VirtualBox on a T480s with high-resolution display

My new Thinkpad T480s has a 14” high-resolution WQHD display with a resolution of 2560 &mult; 1440 pixels. It looks great. PDF files display super crisp. Programming with lots of different panels and windows, and data analysis with large tables is so much easier than with low-resolution displays that require a lot of scrolling.

I must admit though that any text that the operating system (KDE neon, for what it’s worth) displays is really, really tiny. Luckily, modern operating systems offer an option to scale a display, what I did. A scaling factor of 1.5 is a good compromise between the amount of information that is displayed, and its readability.

There turned out to be one problem with my Windows guest running in a VirtualBox machine: The guest operating system looked all blurry.

Luckily, there is an option to force VirtualBox to not attempt and scale the guest. Prefix the command with


and you’re all set.

To make this permanent, I added this to my .desktop file:

# ~/.local/share/applications/Win7prod.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Win7 (Production)
Comment=Starts the VirtualBox machine Win7prod
Exec=env QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR= QT_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTORS= QT_SCALE_FACTOR= /usr/lib/virtualbox/VirtualBox --comment "Win7prod" --startvm "Win7prod"

Note the env command in the Exec line!

Hat tip to