FreeBSD 7.0 and VMware tools (was Re: FreeBSD 7RC2 and VMware tools)

Ivan Voras ivoras at
Wed Mar 5 13:40:33 UTC 2008

Dimitri Yioulos wrote:
> On Tuesday 04 March 2008 12:22 pm, pobox at wrote:
>> It seems that everybody tries to hack around the problem...:)
>> Does somebody know if this is a FreeBSD problem or a VMware problem and
>> who should fix it, resp. when is a fix expected?
>> I mean, in 6.x the VMware tools just work.
> That would, indeed, be good to know.

Um, I've read this thread and I still don't get what is the supposed
problem is here? I'm using VMWare all the time with FreeBSD since 6.0
and here are my experiences:

- The only thing that VMWare tools are useful (on FreeBSD) is to get GUI
features like clipboard sharing and automatic mouse focus grab in X.Org.
VMWare tools on Linux seem to include a driver that does something with
memory management, but it's not available for FreeBSD. You don't need
VMWare Tools for the following things to work: networking, timer, X.Org GUI.
- Networking is handled by the le driver (in the old versions of FreeBSD
there was lnc) or the em driver. These two will work without any special
configuration of FreeBSD. To use the em driver, you might need to modify
the VM configuration to include "ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000" " or a
similar appropriate line. To use the VMWare vmxnet driver (which as far
as I can see isn't much different than the le driver), you need to build
a kernel without the le driver first.
- Timer problems can be lessened (never solved, even with vmware tools)
by reducing kern.hz to something like 50 or 100 Hz (in loader.conf), and
installing ntpd.
- X.Org can use the generic "vmware" display driver which is included in
the default X.Org collection of drivers. Mouse, etc. are also handled

Don't expect great performance, but if you're using VM technology you're
used to it.

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