Need to rewrite FreeBSD based database-centric app under VMware server 1.0.2, advice?

Sten Daniel Soersdal netslists at
Thu Jul 26 00:49:39 UTC 2007

Uwe Laverenz wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 03:49:09PM -0400, Sten Daniel Soersdal wrote:
>> My Dell Inspiron 9400 has 2ghz Core2Due with 4m cache, 2 GB of dual 
>> channel memory and a rather slow 5400 rpm "PATA" emulated SATA hard 
>> drive. It runs Windows XP Pro SP2.
> I've never used XP as host OS for VMware server, but I have several
> FreeBSD guests on VMware server 1.0.3 (RHEL 4.x host) and ESX 3.x.
> FreeBSD 6.x runs fine as guest OS with one problem: SMP does not work
> with FreeBSD i386 guests. It does work well with am64 though. I have no
> experiences with 7.0 yet.
>> - 64 bit or 32 bit, now or then?
> I would prefer amd64 for servers.
>> - Any suggestions on which of the FreeBSD versions i should base myself 
>> on? I'm thinking 7 but if that is known to be impossible then i should 
>> perhaps delay this choice?
> For now I would suggest to start with 6.x and upgrade to 7.x when the
> time is right. :)
>> - Are there any gotcha's that i need to address to get an emulated 
>> (32bit or 64bit, FBSD 6 or 7, etc) off the ground at all?
> No gotchas, it works except for the i386/SMP problem. Just a few tips:
> - use le(4) for the network interface instead of lnc(4) if you
>   decide to use i386 (amd64 will get em(4), which works good)
> - set kern.hz="100" in your /boot/loader.conf
> - install VMware tools that are shipped with VMware server
> - after installing VMware tools move /boot/kernel/vmmemctl.ko to
>   /boot/modules/ to avoid reinstalling the module after each kernel
>   build
> - if you want to use both of your CPU-cores with 6.x, use amd64
> - disk I/O will be slower in VMware server guests, but that's the
>   case for every guest OS
>> - Would VMware server 1.0.2 cause many emulation problems running 32bit 
>> or 64bit on single or dual core?
> No, just the annoying i386/SMP bug.
Thank you!

I'm recompiling to use le instead of lnc now (both were compiled into 
kernel and I'm not sure how to disable one).
In the mean time (mailinglist held my e-mail for at least 24hrs) i 
upgraded to 1.0.3 and i can confirm that SMP wont utilize my two cores 
more than around 30% of total 100% (two cores) when compiling kernel.

Thank you for the kern.hz hint, it did help quite a bit. I'm still 
amazed at how fast this works under XP.
I'm surprised to find that VMware does not utilize both cores when 
running on a single core host, i guess i expected that the process would 
hop around on the two cores like any normal process. But then again, 
VMware Server 1.0.3 is probably not a normal application.

I haven't found a way to install the VMware tools and the help file is 
giving me no clue. If i simply tell it to install the VMware tools at 
the login prompt from the menu then all it does is sit there and do 
nothing (except i get the ability to cancel the installation).
Now i admit i haven't given this point the attention it deserves.
Perhaps, none the less, you have a hint?

I will certainly copy the vmmemctl.ko over to the folder, very 
appreciative of this advice. I suspect there will be more recompiles 
after this.

For now i installed i386 but i will install AMD64 tomorrow morning. It 
is much closer to what i want.

Sten Daniel Soersdal

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