11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 23, 2014 8:10 AM by 0WayneH0

    Is there a current guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests?

    EdP Hot Shot

      I'm getting fed-up with Canonical intentionally (or otherwise) breaking Gnome3. Can anyone point me to an up-to-date guide on installing accelerated 3D graphics on Debian Guests without using the Ubuntu kernel?

        • 1. Re: Is there a current guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests?
          EdP Hot Shot

          I tried to fix it myself using AptToSid xfce, but ran into other problems:


          a) VMWare tools requires the deprecated ifconfig before it will run. This required both the deprecated network-manager and network-tools to be installed. I think someone needs to fix the code!


          b) I ran into a vmware-tools installation failure. It ran ok right up to the final point then bombed out with the following error messages. I suspect that it is again due to deprecated code requirements not being fulfilled:


          "Distribution provided drivers for Xorg X server are used.


          Skipping X configuration because X drivers are not included.


          Creating a new initrd boot image for the kernel.
          update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-3.6-8.slh.3-aptosid-amd64
          W: mdadm: /etc/mdadm/mdadm.conf defines no arrays.
          W: mdadm: no arrays defined in configuration file.
             Starting Virtual Printing daemon:                                   done
             Checking acpi hot plug                                              done
          Starting VMware Tools services in the virtual machine:
             Switching to guest configuration:                                   done
          /etc/init.d/vmware-tools: 1090: local: ': bad variable name
             VM communication interface:                                         done
             VM communication interface socket family:                           done
          /etc/init.d/vmware-tools: 1090: local: ': bad variable name
             Blocking file system:                                              failed
          /etc/init.d/vmware-tools: 1187: local: ': bad variable name
             Guest operating system daemon:                                      done
          Unable to start services for VMware Tools


          Execution aborted."

          • 2. Re: Is there a current guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests?
            mfelker Expert

            Debian  has many  virtues but graphics is not  one of them.  For example I can't  install (never  have) Gnome3 on any version of Debian host  or  guest -   has  anybody succeeed in this?  I suppose if somebody can find an answer to your    question that annoynace might be solvable.   As always do a ggole search - perhaps look on teh Debian   forums??

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Is there a current guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests?
              EdP Hot Shot

              Well I succeeded in installing 3D accelerated OpenGl onto a Debian base. Unfortunately as this was by nature trial and error I did not document the steps. I can however give some hints to others who may wish to follow suit.


              a) Set up a minimal debian gnome (don't bother trying to install vmware tools - you cannot do so as the header files are missing from the debian repository!)



              b) Set up an unstable edition by adding repositories to apt and #-out the stable ones. I also added experimental and multimedia. do a full upgrade


              c) Find out how to add a new kernel using Liquorix - I added 3.7. Add the appropriate header files then install vmware tools. http://liquorix.net/ and http://debian.stevenrosenberg.net/index.php/2011/02/23/debian-squeeze-and-the-liquorix-kernels-i-update-with-aptitude/


              d) Next follow the steps in this link http://evansosenko.com/personal/vmware-opengl-3d-acceleration-with-vmwgfx-in-kubuntu-linux but omit the ubuntu kernel steps (they don't work anyway). You will need to carefully read any make error messages as three or four depends have been missed out. Some Google searches will then be required to get the appropriate files some of which need to be installed from experimental.


              e) shutdown having installed the vmwgfx driver, and enable graphics acceleration.


              f) Startup and you should get the full Gnome3 screen rather than the fall-back


              [EDIT] kernel number was corrected to 3.7.0-10 as my memory was faulty and the kernel list confused by other (failed) attempts.using aptosid etc

              • 4. Re: Is there a current guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests?
                mfelker Expert

                Thank you.  I will t lry this  but it will a  bit since I'm juggling 4 operating (Windows  8, Ubuntu 12.10,openSUSE 12.3 and Fedora 18).  I do have  plenty of space to install Debina Sid and will ttry that at  some     future date.  Even if Gome 3 is installlabe though  is it worth it  in terms of the visual  expereience?

                • 5. Re: Toplevel guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests-Solved
                  EdP Hot Shot

                  I know what you mean about Gnome 3, by the time I have installed the various fixes it will look very similar to Gnome2!


                  However, I had to install a window manager to kick off the installation of vmwgfx, and chose Gnome3 as I knew what looked like 'success'. If I were after pure 'glitter' my personal choice would have been something like LXDE+Cairo-dock with all the application opening firework effects. Seriously though, there are now quite a number of more 'responsible' programs for example Blender which run better with full OpenGL. Debian need to fix their choice of stable kernel in some way otherwise it will be many years before we can get accelerated OpenGL in 'pure' virtual Debian guests. Now knowing 'what works' I think I'd just follow the LXDE route for any future experiments.


                  Anyway just a couple of afterthoughts to my previous notes which may help anyone who follows along the same path.


                  1) Scrub any 'experimental' reference to vmwgfx, make will complain and (I think) not complete with that still in the script.

                  e.g do not use: ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr --enable-vmwgfx-experimental-api


                  I'm not sure what should be used but

                  ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr --enable-vmwgfx

                  worked without any noticable complaint. (I may have used ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr --enable-vmwgfx-api but I don't remember exactly what I did.


                  2) Probably one of the most cryptic missing depends was gettext, the message that flashes by just refers to a missing msgfmt.


                  3) I'm afraid I do not remember the other depends, but one or two were version numbers which required the use of the 'experimental' repositary, most needed a little on-line searching as the missing depends are satisfied by libraries. It actually wasn't too hard, as there was no 'dependency hell', and no installations needed to be forced. I also used the 'dev' version of a depend if I could find one.


                  [EDIT] I subsequently added 3D acceleration to a minimal lxde+compton+Awn which made better use of full Opengl glitz. If I can find a way around some ubuntu depends I'll look again at cairo-dock+compton with lxde or xfce.

                  • 6. Re: Toplevel guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests-Solved
                    mfelker Expert

                    From looking briefly throughi the Debian forums ft seems like a lot of them have installed Gnome 3.  They all seem to prefer  KDE or XFCE (which personallyi  I hate and never install l it).  Then again I haven't found many of menttioning   LXDE - may they don't knkow it exists.  For me a nice thing, besides the fast boot for LXDE, is that xscreensaver starts running immediately (assuminigyyou've installed it for course).  Since the stock kernel is 3.2 there no difficulty installing WS - however I've nowhere seen anybody getting Gnome 3 in a Debian VM - WS or VB.  Maybe one can bring it up in QEMU/KVM virt-manager though I doubt this.  But this is getting OT.

                    • 7. Re: Toplevel guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests-Solved
                      EdP Hot Shot

                      Just a small update to this thread:


                      The following has a better list of build dependencies:


                      but I found that I had to add gettext, and (for 2D vectors) add libcairo2



                      However, I found the methodology given in the following link to produce consistent Debian guest acceleration:



                      It does however need one small correction:


                      The following:


                      First we must install drm:

                      cd drm
                      ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr --enable-vmwgfx-experimental-api


                      should be changed to:

                      First we must install drm:

                      cd drm
                      ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr --enable-vmwgfx


                      As an aside, so far I have not been able to build a fully accelerated xfce system (the svga gallium driver is shown as present in the non-graphics modprobe, but it drops into llvm fallback on the xfce screen --- I obviously have not setup svga correctly!). Unity (ugh!), Gnome3 and LXDE work just fine.


                      My last install gave the option to use the 3.8 kernel from Liquorix. I do not recommend that this is used as vmware tools fails to install. (goes all the way to the very end then falls over with a syntax error). Instead I recommend sticking with Kernel-image 3.7

                      • 8. Re: Is there a current guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests?
                        slackadmin Lurker

                        Hi Edp,


                        to have Debian working with fully 3D acceleration enabled (=no fallback mode), please go to Powered by linux



                        • 9. Re: Is there a current guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests?
                          skipg72 Novice

                          For those still reading this, a clean install of Jessie works from a net-install ISO with the current Fusion, and a clean install of Wheezy works after installing libxatracker-dev and recompiling/installing xserver-xorg-video-vmware. The solution was posted in this email: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=675977#17

                          The advantage of doing it this way is that full information is present if you later need to install other Debian packages. However, the priority of the rebuilt package is very low, and it will be replaced on a subsequent upgrade unless you place a hold on the package with aptitude, and use aptitude to do the upgrading.


                          Specific steps for wheezy:


                          sudo apt-get install build-essential dpkg-dev git libxatracker-dev


                          mkdir tmp && cd tmp


                          sudo apt-get build-dep xserver-xorg-video-vmware


                          apt-get source xserver-xorg-video-vmware -b


                          sudo dpkg -i *deb


                          cd .. && rm -rf tmp




                          Message was edited by: skipg72 Corrected the build dependency from libxatracker to libxatracker-dev

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Is there a current guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests?
                            abouch Novice

                            This worked - with one minor change...


                            Changing libxatracker to libxatracker-dev


                            sudo apt-get install build-essential dpkg-dev git libxatracker-dev

                            Thanks Skip.

                            • 11. Re: Is there a current guide to enabling 3D Acceleration in Debian Guests?
                              0WayneH0 Hot Shot

                              Ok this is an old thread, but wanted to say thanks and mention this appears to work for Workstation 9.0.3 and Debian 7.7.


                              Only weird thing is that my sound stopped working about the same time as having gotten Gnome3 working, but it's probably a coincidence. I vaguely remember flaky sound issues from the past with Linux guests. (Usually going to the VM settings and re-connecting the sound card fixes those).