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

Dimitri Yioulos dyioulos at
Thu Mar 6 15:46:04 UTC 2008

On Wednesday 05 March 2008 8:44 am, Ivan Voras wrote:
> 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
> generically.
> Don't expect great performance, but if you're using VM technology you're
> used to it.

Thank you, Ivan!  Very insightful post on the issue.  As you may know, the 
documentation regarding VMware Server and FreeBSD isn't great (one of the 
burdens we bear :-)  ).  It's not clear about the NIC driver at all; the 
installed le0 iface is working just fine as it is.  I've also got the GUI 
working, but for the most part, it's worthless.  I just thought it best to 
use the the included VMware Tools, as per VMware.

My thanks, also, to everyone else who responded.  Much appreciated.


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