5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 18, 2018 4:13 AM by Del369

    Linux Kernel and Workstation woes....?

    Mongo424242 Novice

      Hi all,

       

      I spent the weekend doing damage control, resulting from a kernel update from v4.10 to 4.13. I am running Ubuntu 16.04LTS (I'm the other person on the planet who likes Unity), and VMWare Workstation Pro v12.5.7. As there have been many posts, the upgrade broke my Workstation, and I ended up regressing the kernel back to 4.10 via grub. I have no need to upgrade to Workstation 14, as everything works exactly the way I need, and I understand that it only works on recent CPUs anyway (I am not sure how to determine if mine is current enough). I have read about several patches, but none were entirely successful (compile errors, memory problems, instability, etc...).

       

      So, at the end of the day, am I correct in that I am stuck, unable to upgrade beyond 4.10 (my MVs are critical, and I cannot afford anything that would/could compromise their stability)? OTOH, as a cyber-security practitioner (in training), the idea that I cannot upgrade my security is also unacceptable, especially in light of Meltdown/Spectre.

       

      I know that support for the 12.5 flavor ends in February, but is the incompatibility with kernel versions > v4.13 baked into the 12.5 architecture, or is a patch possible that would allow 12.5 to continue working (maybe not taking advantage of all the new stuff in 4.13, but at least backward compatible)?  Thanks!

       

      Derek

        • 1. Re: Linux Kernel and Workstation woes....?
          towo2099 Enthusiast

          Why you don't update your workstation to 12.5.9?

          Besides of that, patched module sources for newer kernels you allways find here:

          Branches · mkubecek/vmware-host-modules · GitHub

          • 2. Re: Linux Kernel and Workstation woes....?
            Mongo424242 Novice

            Sorry for the delay.  Version 12.5.9 is also incompatible with kernel 4.13, so upgrading would not help.  It is also unclear to me if the patches out there for kernal 4.13 applies only to that specific version, or all newer kernels moving forward (re-patching with each new kernel is "less than ideal" for my uses).  I am also a Linux beginner, so involved command line implementations are a little above my head (can the patches be applied to existing installations, or do they need to be applied to the installation archive first, meaning that I would need to uninstall the version I am currently using, and re-install with the patched version?)

             

            I am hoping that there is something obvious that I am missing, because VMWare is still on the hook for support for the 12.5 flavor of Workstation through next month.  It just seems a little brazen for them to abandon all of the Linux users of WS12.5 (unless they are taking a page from Microsoft's book, with planned obsolescence and all that)...

            • 3. Re: Linux Kernel and Workstation woes....?
              dmul23 Lurker

              I'm seeing a similar problem since upgrading to kernel 4.13. My platform is Linux MATE 18.3 (Sylvia), which is also based on Ubuntu LTS 16.04,

              VMWare version is Workstation 12.5.9.

              Reproduction steps:

              1) Installed kernel 4.13.0-31

              2) Tried to start previously installed Workstation Pro 12.5.9

              3) Encountered error building vmnet

              4) Uninstalled Workstation Pro 12.5.9

              5) Re-installed Workstation Pro 12.5.9

              6) Attempted to start WSorkstation 12.5.9

              7) Encountered same error as in step #3

              Error log is available if needed.

               

              1/25/18--Log file attached.

              • 4. Re: Linux Kernel and Workstation woes....?
                Del369 Lurker

                Oh that it was that simple, except it's not, Ubuntu 16.04 here, Kernel 4.15.0-13, I've downloaded the patch but how do you install it, the lack of actual instructions is mind boggling, talk about frustrating.

                • 5. Re: Linux Kernel and Workstation woes....?
                  Del369 Lurker

                  I had basically the same issue as yourself, it was the assumption that we just know this stuff, I don't consider myself stupid but I'm no expert either anyway I found an answer that worked for me I hope you can follow it, I did it slightly differently as I had downloaded the patch (and the linked thread is for 12.57 and I needed 12.59) so I basically extracted my patch (I worked on one and then deleted the temp contents and worked on the other) which gave 2 folders

                   

                  vmmon-only

                  vmnet-only

                   

                  I basically followed the instructions here to extract and repack the tar files:

                   

                  Workstation pro 12.5.7 for Linux not usable with all the kernel 4.13-rc's

                   

                  The link only shows for vmmon, just modify the command for vmnet, and with the patch i didn't need the wget commands, so this was what i did:

                   

                  Copied these to a temp folder (seperately):

                   

                  /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmmon.tar

                  and

                  /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmnet.tar

                   

                  Unpacked the .tar files(seperately):

                   

                  tar xf vmmon.tar 

                  and after completing the above

                  tar xf vmnet.tar

                   

                  Overwrite the 2 extracted tar folders (thinking about it I probably should have just used the commands below to pack them and overwrite the originals but hey) and recompile:-

                   

                  sudo tar cf /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmmon.tar vmmon-only

                  and:

                  sudo tar cf /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmnet.tar vmnet-only

                  then:

                  sudo vmware-modconfig --console --install-all 

                  lastly:

                  sudo reboot

                   

                  Voila it works again.