Discussion:
vmware/xorg.conf issues
(too old to reply)
Bill Roberts
2005-07-15 12:27:57 UTC
Permalink
I am going NUTS trying to figure out how to make full-screen mode work
properly in vmware-workstation 5.

I can go into full-screen mode, but it looks like only half of the
lines get drawn, so it's very ugly, impossible to read.

I had beautiful screens in 4.5.2 which turned ugly at some point
(don't know causal factor). I emerged 5, got beautiful screens again.

I have been trying to get mplayer & hdtv working, so I've been playing
around with xorg.conf a lot, and I guess I managed to break it. I think
I need additional modelines to make vmware work properly, not sure how
to get the right ones.

At some point in this blur, I used a tool which automatically
calculated all valid modelines for my combination of nvidia 6600gt and
Dell monitor, using DDC and EDID. I threw them into xorg.conf, they
didn't fix mplayer problems, I thought I didn't need them removed them
without backup. Now I can't find the tool I used (I thought it was
read-edid, but that won't run properly on my platform), I don't see a
good way of reproducing the modelines, and I'm not even sure that they
were responsible for the good screens I had in vmware.

Both my vmware virtual machines (XP), and my real desktop run
1024x768, 24 bit color.

Oh, one other oddity. The vmware modules vmmon and vmnet which should
be loaded by /etc/init.d/vmware in default mode, don't get loaded.
Can't figure out why.

We are buying 15 Thinkpads T-43, I'm planning on installing Gentoo w/
vmware-workstation on top to create a mobile classroom. But I may have
to use XP plus vmware if I can't sort these full-screen issues out.

Any pointers are appreciated.

Bill Roberts
Antonino Sabetta
2005-07-15 13:41:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Roberts
Oh, one other oddity. The vmware modules vmmon and vmnet which should
be loaded by /etc/init.d/vmware in default mode, don't get loaded.
Can't figure out why.
Make sure the kernel version in /usr/src/linux matches the version of
the kernel currently running.
What does the following command says?
# ls /etc/vmware

Cheers,
AS
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Bill Roberts
2005-07-15 14:31:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Antonino Sabetta
Post by Bill Roberts
Oh, one other oddity. The vmware modules vmmon and vmnet which should
be loaded by /etc/init.d/vmware in default mode, don't get loaded.
Can't figure out why.
Make sure the kernel version in /usr/src/linux matches the version of
the kernel currently running.
What does the following command says?
# ls /etc/vmware
ls -al /etc/vmware/

total 85
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 160 Jul 15 10:22 .
drwxr-xr-x 83 root root 5496 Jul 15 10:04 ..
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 211 Jul 15 10:22 config
drwxr-xr-x 9 root root 240 Jul 15 10:04 init.d
-r-xr-xr-x 1 root root 14482 Jul 15 10:04 installer.sh
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 58854 Jul 15 10:22 locations

Kernel version matches. I also did an "emerge -C', removed all files,
and re-emerged. Still blurred full-screen.

Thanks

Bill Roberts
Richard Fish
2005-07-15 19:05:27 UTC
Permalink
Well, nothing obvious is popping out at me, but see my comments inline
below...
Post by Bill Roberts
I am going NUTS trying to figure out how to make full-screen mode work
properly in vmware-workstation 5.
I can go into full-screen mode, but it looks like only half of the
lines get drawn, so it's very ugly, impossible to read.
A major reason for this can be enabling framebuffer graphics in the
kernel. If you are using framebuffer graphics, try compiling a new
kernel with only text-mode console support. Full-screen vmware sessions
seem most reliable this way.
Post by Bill Roberts
I had beautiful screens in 4.5.2 which turned ugly at some point
(don't know causal factor). I emerged 5, got beautiful screens again.
I have been trying to get mplayer & hdtv working, so I've been playing
around with xorg.conf a lot, and I guess I managed to break it. I think
I need additional modelines to make vmware work properly, not sure how
to get the right ones.
My guess is that this has nothing to do with the modelines, because on a
modern system with a DDC capable monitor, everything should be
autodetected. Specifically, double check your monitor section and try
commenting out any HorizSync or VertRefresh settings that you have.
Post by Bill Roberts
Oh, one other oddity. The vmware modules vmmon and vmnet which should
be loaded by /etc/init.d/vmware in default mode, don't get loaded.
Can't figure out why.
Explain a bit more please...are you saying the vmware init script runs
as part of your startup, but produces errors? You didn't by chance
accidentally replace this with the VMWare version, did you? The second
line of that script should say "Copyright ... Gentoo Foundation".

If this doesn't give you any ideas, I would like to see the device and
monitor sections from your xorg.conf file.

-Richard
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Bill Roberts
2005-07-15 21:20:06 UTC
Permalink
Richard

I tried all of your suggestions, without success. See inline comments:

Note device and monitor section of xorg.conf at end:

I've had one further idea. I have a 4-port kvm switch (Cybex), it has
never interferred with anything in the past four or five years. Wonder
if. . . , maybe that could be having an effect.

One other thought. In full screen, ever other line is black, giving
the awful looking screen. Couldn't that have something to do with
interlacing?? Wish I understood all of this better.
Post by Richard Fish
Well, nothing obvious is popping out at me, but see my comments
inline below...
Post by Bill Roberts
I am going NUTS trying to figure out how to make full-screen mode
work properly in vmware-workstation 5.
I can go into full-screen mode, but it looks like only half of the
lines get drawn, so it's very ugly, impossible to read.
A major reason for this can be enabling framebuffer graphics in the
kernel. If you are using framebuffer graphics, try compiling a new
kernel with only text-mode console support. Full-screen vmware
sessions seem most reliable this way.
I did have framebuffer graphics enabled, just for the smaller fonts. I
diabled them, didn't make any difference. Also, when I had good full
screens, I did have framebuffer graphics enabled.
Post by Richard Fish
Post by Bill Roberts
I had beautiful screens in 4.5.2 which turned ugly at some point
(don't know causal factor). I emerged 5, got beautiful screens again.
I have been trying to get mplayer & hdtv working, so I've been playing
around with xorg.conf a lot, and I guess I managed to break it. I think
I need additional modelines to make vmware work properly, not sure how
to get the right ones.
My guess is that this has nothing to do with the modelines, because on a
modern system with a DDC capable monitor, everything should be
autodetected. Specifically, double check your monitor section and try
commenting out any HorizSync or VertRefresh settings that you have.
Modelines are supposed to be generally obsolete, and my Dell monitor
is DDC compliant, but I've been having difficulty with mplayer/mythtv.
Also, VmWare says I can run into these kind of problems if there isn't
an appropriate resolution available.
Post by Richard Fish
Post by Bill Roberts
Oh, one other oddity. The vmware modules vmmon and vmnet which should
be loaded by /etc/init.d/vmware in default mode, don't get loaded.
Can't figure out why.
Explain a bit more please...are you saying the vmware init script runs
as part of your startup, but produces errors? You didn't by chance
accidentally replace this with the VMWare version, did you? The second
line of that script should say "Copyright ... Gentoo Foundation".
I did a "rc-update add vmware default" and back when, it actually
started the vmmon/vmnet modules. No longer. No error messages, no
hiccups, nothing. And when I manually do a "/etc/init.d/vmware start",
it works perfectly. The "Copyright ..." is there.
Post by Richard Fish
If this doesn't give you any ideas, I would like to see the device and
monitor sections from your xorg.conf file.
Here are the device and monitor sections of xorg.conf, plus a couple
of extra, maybe pertinent items.

Section "Monitor"
DisplaySize 350 255 # mm
Identifier "Monitor0"
VendorName "DEL"
ModelName "DELL D1226H"
# HorizSync 30.0 - 95.0
# VertRefresh 50.0 - 160.0
Option "DPMS"
EndSection


Section "Device"
Identifier "n6600gt"
Driver "nvidia"
Option "NoLogo" "1"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "n6600gt"
Monitor "Monitor0"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
EndSection

Maybe some of the following should be disabled???

Section "Module"
Load "record"
Load "extmod"
Load "dbe"
Load "glx"
Load "xtrap"
Load "type1"
Load "freetype"
EndSection
Richard Fish
2005-07-15 21:55:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Fish
Richard
I've had one further idea. I have a 4-port kvm switch (Cybex), it has
never interferred with anything in the past four or five years. Wonder
if. . . , maybe that could be having an effect.
One other thought. In full screen, ever other line is black, giving
the awful looking screen. Couldn't that have something to do with
interlacing?? Wish I understood all of this better.
Well, I'm not completely certain, but I don't think so. To the best of
my knowledge, PC cards today work on a fairly simply frame-buffer
concept...the software renders the image it wants displayed to a memory
location, usually on the card itself. It then instructs the GPU that it
has updated the image, and it is up to the GPU to read and create the
analog signals required for the monitor. Interlacing should have
nothing to do with the framebuffer, it should only be considered in
instructing the GPU how to communicate with a given monitor. So it is
only between the GPU and the monitor that I would expect a disagreement
over interlacing to result in a problem like this, but the image would
also not be synchronized correctly (rolling, distorting horizontally,
basically looking like a 1970's-era American TV!)

Note that the above is even true for accelerated 2D or 3D graphics...the
main difference there is that the GPU has many additional instructions
available for common drawing operations so that the system CPU doesn't
have to perform them. The idea is still the same...render first to a
memory buffer, then let the hardware figure out how to transmit that.

My best guess here is that VMWare and the X server are having a
disagreement about the layout of the framebuffer. In addition to width
and height, a particular framebuffer is expected to have a particular
alignment in memory for how many pixels per line, lines per screen, bits
per pixel, and bits per color, and the order of the colors.

So, on that front, I have several other suggestions to try:

1. Try using the x.org 'nv' driver instead of the proprietary nvidia driver.

2. Try setting DefaultDepth to 16. (with both drivers)

3. Try setting DefaultDepth to 32 (and create the appropriate subsection
for Depth 32). This may only work with the proprietary driver....

HTH,

-Richard
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Richard Fish
2005-07-15 22:03:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Fish
Richard
I've had one further idea. I have a 4-port kvm switch (Cybex), it has
never interferred with anything in the past four or five years. Wonder
if. . . , maybe that could be having an effect.
One other thought. In full screen, ever other line is black, giving
the awful looking screen. Couldn't that have something to do with
interlacing?? Wish I understood all of this better.
Oh, one more thing. Modelines can be an issue, but only if VMWare and X
are running at different resolutions or color depths. For example, my
normal laptop resolution is 1600x1200. If I go fullscreen VMWare at
1600x1200 or 1280x1024, everything works normally. However there is
also a 1400x1050 mode in XP, but my hardware doesn't seem to support
that resolution, so if I try to go fullscreen, I get a resolution that
results in a corrupted display for the right 1/3 of the screen.

So it is possible that a particular modeline could fix that issue for
me, and may be related to why you had to specify modelines previously.
But if the resolution and depth are the same, then the same modeline
should apply whether VMWare is fullscreen or not, AFAIK.

-Richard
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Bill Roberts
2005-07-17 14:53:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Fish
Post by Richard Fish
Richard
I've had one further idea. I have a 4-port kvm switch (Cybex), it has
never interferred with anything in the past four or five years. Wonder
if. . . , maybe that could be having an effect.
One other thought. In full screen, ever other line is black, giving
the awful looking screen. Couldn't that have something to do with
interlacing?? Wish I understood all of this better.
Oh, one more thing. Modelines can be an issue, but only if VMWare and X
are running at different resolutions or color depths. For example, my
normal laptop resolution is 1600x1200. If I go fullscreen VMWare at
1600x1200 or 1280x1024, everything works normally. However there is
also a 1400x1050 mode in XP, but my hardware doesn't seem to support
that resolution, so if I try to go fullscreen, I get a resolution that
results in a corrupted display for the right 1/3 of the screen.
So it is possible that a particular modeline could fix that issue for
me, and may be related to why you had to specify modelines previously.
But if the resolution and depth are the same, then the same modeline
should apply whether VMWare is fullscreen or not, AFAIK.
I finally solved the mystery. I copied the modelines generated by the
Knoppix 3.6 CD for this monitor into the Monitor section of xorg.conf,
and, voila!!, the full screen issues disappeared. Vmware now works
like a charm. Maybe it will do something for my mplayer/mythtv issues.

Thanks, Richard, for your ideas. They helped me narrow down the
potential problems, and eventually solve the problem itself.

Bill Roberts

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