VMWare Workstation 9 is out … and it doesn’t work for me!

Greetings everbody,
if you are a more frequent visitor of my blog, you will have read, that I’ve tested VMWare Workstation 8 with some games and posted the results here. Well, recently after the release of VMWare Workstation 9, I upgraded my licence downloaded this version and tried to get this new bunch of software running at my Ubuntu 12.04 installation.

Somebody of you will know, that I have a newer machine, an ASUS N56VZ to be exact. Well, this machine has NVidia Optimus support and some other stuff (for e. g. LED backlight), which only works with an 3.5 kernel version for me. Because of this, I’ve downloaded the kernel packages for the latest Ubuntu 12.10 development release and installed it.
Well, now I’m able to use my Fn keys and even my NVidia graphic card without any problems. But now, while I’m useing a 3.5 kernel, VMWare Workstation 9 refuses to starting up. I’m able to install, compile the modules and enter the licence key, but shortly after trying to work or to start a VM, I get a “stack trace flood” which causes my X Server to freeze.

Willy Sudiarto Raharjo wrote something at his blog to that problem which you can read here: http://slackblogs.blogspot.de/2012/09/stay-away-from-vmware-workstation-9-for.html
He actually is describeing the same problem. He already found out how to fix that “stack trace flood” with a Workstation 8, but the (nearly) same procedure does not work with Workstation 9 as it seems. I’ve tested the new submitted patch for kernel 3.5 and Workstation 9 on myself, but it doesn’t help for me, too. I always get the “stack trace flood” recently, after I started a virtual machine.

Well, Willy Raharjo has the same problems and he will post it on his blog as soon as their a new informations due to that error out there (VMWare itself knows about the problem (listed at the release notes from Workstation 9 under “Known Issues”)).

At the end, I have to say, that I just read some informations from VMWare to this new version which are something like “amazingly new 3D graphics and performances, especially for CAD and games” and I said to myself “Ok, I have to test this”, especially after I have seen some screens from VMWare, running Skyrim at a Windows 7 VM! But well, looks like I have to wait until I can test this and can tell more about this here …

5 thoughts on “VMWare Workstation 9 is out … and it doesn’t work for me!

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  1. I am getting the same issue out of vmplayer 5 and workstation 9.
    switching to a different virtual terminal and back fixed my X serve issue, though the odd thing is that I have to do the switch twice.
    ctr+shift+F2 then back to F7 clears my secondary screen, a second run through F2->F7 cleared my primary and left me at the desktop with a bunch of vmware processes running but the gui crashed.
    good times!

  2. I also have a Asus N56VZ with a Geforce GT 650M.
    But besides the issue of vmware crashing I have other two as well… even after installing kernel 3.5.3 from kernel.org.
    I’m using Debian.

    The laptop functions (fn keys) still don’t work.
    Can you give me your lsmod output?
    And a link to the ubuntu’s kernel version your using? (I want to check the source package for patches)

    Optimus support is still messed up.
    It doesn’t work very well and crashes the system on every second or third optirun.
    Are you using bumblebee?
    Does optirun works good for you?
    What nvidia drivers do you have installed? I have version 302.17

    Also, cuda doesn’t work at all. Device query returns me “cudaGetDeviceCount returned 3”
    Does cuda works?


    Oh, BTW, where did you see that 3d performance with VM WS 9? It would be great if it held in linux.

    Yet another one 🙂
    Can you use your laptop without a mouse? I find this laptop’s touchpad to be worst I’ve ever used.

    1. Well, to get the fn keys to work I installed this DEB Package: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0kd3p8lb9wg8xqi/asus-wmi-dkms_0.2_all.deb
      … and restartet the system. After that, everything works fine.

      Actually I’m useing the 3.5.0-5 Ubuntu kernel package (quantal build) in my 12.04 installation. I’ve downloaded (round about) 4-5 kernel packages including the source packges to be able to build kernel modules and have a fully working kernel as well.

      Bumblebee works really well for me. No crashes or freezes anymore since I’m useing the 3.5.0 kernel from the quantal repos. My nvidia driver actually is 304.43 from this PPA: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-x-swat/+archive/x-updates
      The PPA also includes some other little X.Org updates, but with this combination it just works fine!

      Cuda is something for more professional video editor people, right? Well, I can’t tell you if it works, because I have no program which actually really requires cuda …

      To your question about 3D performance on WS9, I’ve seen this picture at the official release announcement: http://www.vmware.com/products/workstation/new.html
      Well, yes it’s just a picture, but I’ve readed on some forums from users which are saying about playing games like Skyrim on 1080p and medium details with an Linux host system with WS9. There also writeing things like that the boost is such that heavy, that WS8 isn’t nearly comparable to the 3D performance of WS9.
      I just want to try this on myself, but well … actually WS9 doesn’t work with 3.5+ kernels and I need this kernel for my NVidia Optimus card / solution.


      1. Hi,

        after I updated my kernel to stock 3.5.3 and nvidia drivers 304.48 I was able to get the fn keys (with some hacks), bumblebee/optirun and cuda working well.

        Well, the screen brightness keys still don’t work for me. Do yours work?

        As for VM WS 9, using this patch I was able to get it working (otherwise it crashes):

        However, still no luck with 3D acceleration.
        I found this thread and the OP says he was able to get it working.
        I tried it but had no luck (but I used 2.20.5 driver version because I’m on debian)
        If you try it, post here your results.

      2. Well, Screen brightness keys doesn’t work for me, too … sadly 😦

        Anyway, as far as I can read out from the askubuntu link you posted, he (the thread poster) was able to get 3D to working under VMWare but just only with the Intel HD card. For me it is the same situation with WKS8. Under WKS8, everything work well, except from starting a Virtual Machine with optirun.
        So, at all there is actually no way to get VMWare working with optirun / with nvidia Hybrid graphics (for more information about this, check this out: http://communities.vmware.com/message/2113175#2113175 ).

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