VMWare’s free VMPlayer

One of the other things I had hoped to do this weekend was play around with the new VMWare player. VMware is a company that makes virtual machine software, the entry level pricing usually starting at $199 and going up from there. They’ve recently released a “Player” that can run preconfigured vmware system images. Which means a person can setup a system image in a file then zip it up and send to another person to run in their “player”.

Well, on the laptop (running Mandriva 2006 now), it went ok, (if slow… not much memory on the laptop, slower cpu as well..) So, I scp’d my disc images over to the desktop to setup. There seems to be a problem at the moment on the desktop. I’m running Mandrake 10.1 official still there (haven’t dared to start an upgrade there until the laptop is all settled and used for a bit…) anyway, I’ve setup vmware’s vmplayer using the script they gave, the vmware service seems to start ok, but I get this error message that seems hal/dbus related…

*** attempt to put segment in horiz list twice
libhal.c 767 : org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceDoesNotExist raised
“Service “org.freedesktop.Hal” does not exist”

So, at the moment I’m checking all current updates and finding this type of error showing up in a lot of gnome (gtk) based applications. Nothing concrete yet to fix it…. updates when that’s solved.


Well, yes of course, I needed the hal daemon running (and dbus) – (messagebus and haldaemon under mandrake.) Unfortunately still no joy. The window for vmplayer opens for a second, the only message I get at the console is this…

$ vmplayer
*** attempt to put segment in horiz list twice

The message comes first, a few seconds later the window flashes up and then vanishes with no other complaints. (Still grabbing all available updates for 10.1 to see if that’s an issue).

Curious about Win4lin/kqemu incompatibility, I removed the kqemu module and stopped the win4lin service (removes the kernel modules), then restarted the vmware service and tried again, same results.

Ok –update again–

I tried running it as root (again) to make sure there was not some permission problem. I found the logfile (/root/tmp/vmware-root/player*log)… and here’s what it said…

cat /root/tmp/vmware*root/play*
Nov 27 01:54:26: vmplayer| Log for VMware Player pid=25510 version=1.0.0
build=build-18007 option=Release
Nov 27 01:54:27: vmplayer| Using log
file /root/tmp/vmware-root/player-25510.log
Nov 27 01:54:27: vmplayer| HAL04Init: HAL04 Initialized successfully.
Nov 27 01:54:27: vmplayer| HOSTINFO: Seeing AMD CPU, numCoresPerCPU 1 numThreadsPerCore 1.
Nov 27 01:54:27: vmplayer| HOSTINFO: This machine has 1 physical CPUS, 1 total cores, and 1 logical CPUs.
Nov 27 01:54:28: vmplayer| Using system libcrypto, version 90704F
Nov 27 01:54:32: vmplayer| Caught signal 11 — pid 25510
Nov 27 01:54:32: vmplayer| SIGNAL: eip 0x40f7a618 esp 0xbfffebec ebp 0x1

Every thing looks just fine until the Caught signal 11 entry (I get the same thing as a non-priviliged user – although I also got an error accessing /dev/mem as a non-priviliged user.)

So, my searching leads me to “The Sig11 problem”… among the important details I find there are…

X and AMD incompatibility. There is a problem with a bunch of modern AMD chips that don’t handle some operations quite as good as they should. If you have an AMD, and X11 often quits with “signal 11 caught”, then you might be the victim of this issue. Try booting with “mem=nopentium”. — Matthew Beale

Among other possibilities…. ahhhhh – I remember at one point inserting the mem=nopentium line into my lilo.conf ages back (running an AMD Athlon XP here…) Do I still have it there, it appears that was several kernel upgrades ago… adding the switch and will reboot and try again after the rest of the updates download and install. Expect another update.

Nope – that doesn’t do it – same Signal 11 message which could mean there’s a hardware problem of some sort…. ???

–update 11/28/05 —

Thanks, I did a forum post just after I got your comment. I look forward to hearing if anyone else has run into this and what fixes there might be. After I let the install of Mandriva 2006 “settle” for a couple weeks on the laptop, I’ll likely do an upgrade on the desktop as well, so that would give a chance to see if it’s something in my Mandrake 10.1 software install. Also, the “*** attempt to put segment in horiz list twice” message is less an error than an info/warning. It’s not a severe sky falling/program crashing error. I did duplicate that message on the working system when running vmplayer from the console.

–update 12/16 —
I haven’t seen anything promising in the forums. (Haven’t checked now in a couple days.) I have upgraded to the 1.0.0 final version of vmplayer AND now upgraded to Mandriva 2006 on the desktop. Still getting the “caught signal 11” message. I’ll post to that effect in the forum soon.

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