Subject: Re: VMware vs. various X servers
To: Marton Fabo <>
From: Rasputin <>
List: tech-x11
Date: 07/17/2003 19:31:14
* Marton Fabo <> [0712 18:12]:
> Hi!
> My problem may not be exactly XFree86-related, but falls still close, 
> and perhaps someone around can suggest something.

> The first alternative is to run a windows-based X server on another box 
> (X-Win32), and using SSH with X11 forwarding to connect to the host. 
> This, beyond being quite slow, has a problem that when the virtual 
> VMware machine switches to a higher resolution than the default VGA one, 
> the entire X server (on the windows machine) freezes, and the whole 
> session has to be killed.

X is a bad solution for VMware sessions, since if the X server on the
remote X machine dies, Vmware hangs.

> My second solution attempt was to launch Xvnc on the NetBSD box, and 
> start VMware under that. The problem with this (the one I really want to 
> have solved) is that I can only see anything when the guest os is in 
> text mode, as soon as it switches to *any* graphical video mode, I have 
> black screen in the VMware window. This includes VMware's boot screen 
> which is also graphical. I tried all the possible bit depths for the 
> Xvnc server, as well as a few pixel formats, all of which resulted in 
> the same black screen.

Xvnc seems to be the best solution to me.
The black screen is a known issue with linux emulation and X,
this worked for me:

rasputin@littlebird:/$ cat /usr/pkgsrc/emulators/vmware3/MESSAGE
$NetBSD: MESSAGE,v 1.3 2003/03/30 04:21:25 grant Exp $

Since VMware 3.x, there is a problem which might be related to shared
memory under Linux emulation, giving as a result black screen.
Unfortunately, it's extremely hard to track down what's going on and this
is as yet unresolved.

If you experience this problem, setting your DISPLAY environment variable
to "localhost:0" should help.

Once windows is installed, there is a third vnc hack;
run tightvnc inside the windows VM.
This fixed a bug for me where vmware under Xvnc
bitched about not knowing my screen resultion, keyboard type, etc.

vnc inside the vm didn't seem to mind...

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of
		-- Alan Perlis
Rasputin :: Jack of All Trades - Master of Nuns