lensv
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Fusion kills Dock in Lion

After uppgrading to OSX Lion (10.7.2) the Dock process on my Mac Pro dies after a couple of day's work. It starts with a high Dock CPU consumtion and after a while the Desktop turns gray and the Dock disappears. The computer is not all dead, but the only way to get out of this mess is to reboot the system.

At first I thought that this was just an OSX issue, but after some testing I've found out that this problem only occurs when VMware Fusion (4.0.2) is turned on with active machines...

Does anyone know what might be wrong?

0 Kudos
21 Replies
koi
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

For what it's worth, I run Fusion 4.0.2 on 10.7.2 on my MBP pretty much 24/7 - an OS X guest (power cycled daily as I get in and leave) and a few Ubuntu guests (continuously running). I've never seen anything like this.

Some thigs to check out:

- Are there any Dock (or other) crash logs? I'm not sure where OS X puts them these days, but if you can find one, it would probably be very useful

- What guest(s) are you running, and what view mode (particularly, are you using Unity)?

- Do you have any third party extensions installed?

0 Kudos
lensv
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Unfortunately I can't find any crash logs for the Dock.

I have only got Windows guests at this moment (2000, XP and 7).

I never use Unity.

What do you mean by third party extensions in this matter?

0 Kudos
benad84
Contributor
Contributor

Have you tried turning off Shared Folders? I had the same issue and turning it off for all the VMs seems to have fixed the issue for me.

0 Kudos
lensv
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Nope. Since I need this feature I can't really turn it off. I could make a test though, but before I do I'd like to ask you if your problem returns if you turn on Shared Folders again?

0 Kudos
WoodyZ
Immortal
Immortal

lensv wrote: Nope. Since I need this feature I can't really turn it off.

VMware Shares Folders since their inception have always had some issues, have never worked properly under all conditions in spite of some major improvements made to them in recent years.  When this feature does work properly is does make sharing easy however Industry Standard SMB/CIFS Shares can be use between the Host and Guest OSes too.  In all the years I've used VMware products I have preferred to use SMB/CIFS Shares simply because it has always been more reliable then the VMware Shared Folders feature and every issues I've ever had with the VMware Shared Folders feature SMB/CIFS Shares worked where the VMware Shared Folders feature failed.

So if you need to turn off the feature until VMware fixes whatever might be wrong and causing an issue just use Industry Standard SMB/CIFS Shares instead.

0 Kudos
benad84
Contributor
Contributor

WoodyZ wrote:

So if you need to turn off the feature until VMware fixes whatever might be wrong and causing an issue just use Industry Standard SMB/CIFS Shares instead.

The built-in CIFS server of Lion didn't work for me at all (know Lion bug with passwords), but I've set up Samba 3 using MacPorts and it works well. Still, if you're not familliar with the command-line it might be hard for some users.

0 Kudos
lensv
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Since I have used VMware's Shared Folders all the way back to Tiger and I've never had any problems I suppose that this issue must be a bug either in OSX Lion or in VMware Fusion 4... I guess that I'll just have to hope for quick release of new updates :smileyplain:

0 Kudos
gbullman
Expert
Expert

WoodyZ, As an FYI there are some of us that do require the VMware shared folders to work or we take a decent hit in productivity for some activities.  In my case my VMs are almost always connected to corporate VPNs that have policies preventing access to the local network.  The VMware shared folders allows me to share files between VMs (copy them "through" my Mac) or with my Mac.  If not for this capability I would have to disconnect from the VPN when I need to move files from one machine to another.  The Printer sharing is another feature that is a significant benefit when working with VMs that are VPN'ed into corporate networks.

I agree that SMB/CIFS sharing is a suitable replacement in many situations, but there are some use cases where it is a work around at best.

I've upgraded to 4.0.2 on 10.6.8 and so far have had no problems.  I'm holding off on upgrading to Lion until issues like this get corrected.  Since Leopard and Fusion 1.1 shared folders and shared printers have been a significant convenience for the way I need to work.

0 Kudos
WoodyZ
Immortal
Immortal

I'm well aware of the advantages of the VMware Shared Folders feature when it come to using a VPN however it's no secret that until a year or so ago this feature had major issues that went unresolved for years and in the very beginning, many years before VMware Fusion, were so problematic it wasn't worth using at all as it was like the roll of the dice would it work this time or not.  While vastly improved and the difference of night and day compared to years past nonetheless this feature still has some issue. The bottom line for me is every time VMware Shared Folders feature failed or had an issue for whatever the reason SMB/CIFS Shares worked and I tend to stick with and will promote what works.

I too am holding at Snow Leopard on my production system and generally do not upgrade to the next major release of a Mac OS until several updates have been made, .3 or later.  I also am still using VMware Fusion 3.x and its doubtful I ever use VMware Fusion 4 until I either have no choice to or use Parallels instead.  Don't get me wrong, VMware Fusion 4 introduced some nice features however I do not like the overall redesign and behavior of the GUI and in spite of the new features I hate the redesign so much that I just do not care to use it.  It is IMO designed to be a Consumer Single Virtual Machine Centric Interface and is not at all conducive to my usage needs/wants.  Also what was released to the public should have been the continuation of the Beta program and not a normal GA release.

0 Kudos
steve_goddard
Expert
Expert

Hi guys,

This has also been noted in  thread http://communities.vmware.com/thread/333119?tstart=0

See my note to try and disable the folder change notification feature for shared folders which I think is what maybe causing the issue here.

If that works for you, then you can still use the VMware shared folders but you won't get Windows explorer automatically updating.

If something else is going on too, then we are in the process of trying to reproduce this in house and fix it.

Here is a quick summary:

Quit Fusion and then edit the vmx file for the VM and add the following line if does not already exist (which it should not):

isolation.tools.hgfs.notify.enable = "FALSE"

(The file resides in the same folder along with all the files for the VM, is the same name as the name of the VM and ends with the extension ".vmx".

Also note that the vmx file is inside the virtual machine package: you have to right-click "show package contents" to reveal it.)

Restart Fusion, restart the VM, ensuring that it has had a reboot if you suspened and didn't shut the VM down.

See if the problem reappears again.

Hope this helps, or even if it doesn't please report whatever happens.

Thanks. Steve
0 Kudos
JeanDo
Contributor
Contributor

I've been experiencing this problem since upgrading to Lion and Fusion 4.1, the last two upgrades, and tried several suggestions found on-line, which didn't work (resetting Dock, etc.). Your suggestion to set isolation.tools.hgfs.notify.enable to FALSE, though, seems to work so far. My Windows 7 VM has been running for two days now without causing any CPU surge.

0 Kudos
lensv
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

This issue is not fixed in 4.1.1 either...

I have also noted that it's not only the CPU that is loaded.The process eats about 9 GB RAM as well :smileyangry:

0 Kudos
lensv
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Anyone else with these problems? I'm Not sure, but is seems that at lest the memory issue reveals itself more frequently when a Windows 2000 VM is running...

0 Kudos
lensv
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Forget the last post... The problem comes back also when no W2K VM is running.

Can anyone tell me where/how to make a bug report on this?

0 Kudos
Unixgal
Contributor
Contributor

I'm having this issue as well.  Things will be running fine for a while, but eventually I end up having the system temperature reaching 200 degrees and the Dock consuming nearly all CPU cycles.  Usually I also notice Dropbox doing its indexing when it all starts happening.   No matter how many times I kill Dock and leave Dropbox off CPU and temperature will always peak out again in short order until I shut down my VM and exit Fusion.

Does anyone know if there is an official bug on this?  It is a SEVERE issue for me.  Happens every day since I upgraded to Lion last month.

0 Kudos
steve_goddard
Expert
Expert

I am the developer for this feature and will keep this short and to the point since the question has already been asked multiple times on this thread already. So I would request people read through (okay slog through the myriad of updates) to see the details.

However, to summarize:

- 1) Your first mistake was to upgrade to Lion. Apple broke the file system event generation and Fusion's polling of this for implementing automatic updates in the Windows virtual machines. But who knew what Apple were upto...

- 2) Yes there is an official bug against this.

- 3) Yes I am actively working on it, when not interrupted with other issues.

- 4) No I cannot say when that will be released (not allowed as schedules change) even when I have completed the work and tested it.

- 5)  Yes there is a workaround - which disables the automatic updates feature - which will prevent this issue from occuring while you wait for the official fixes to be released. You will need to power off the VM and quit Fusion edit the VMX file for that VM and add the following line:

isolation.tools.hgfs.notify.enable = "FALSE"

(Note, there are other similar settings to this but they are different - do not touch or modify them, simply add the line above.)

See the following link for editing VMX files or the summary I appended.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=101478...

To edit a .vmx file:

  1. Ensure the virtual machine is shut down (not suspended).
  2. In Fusion, from the Apple menu bar, go to Window > Virtual Machine Library.
  3. Hold the Option (Alt) key and right-click the virtual machine. Select Open Config File in Editor.

    You can now add or edit lines as needed. Lines are displayed in no particular order.

  4. When finished, click Save a version (Lion) or Save (not Save As) (Snow Leopard and earlier), and exit.

The changes made to the .vmx do not take effect until the next time Fusion is opened (quit it first, if it is currently open). Alternatively, double-click the .vmx file to apply the changes and open the virtual machine immediately. ee

Thanks. Steve
0 Kudos
JeanDo
Contributor
Contributor

Not to add to the interruption level and keep you from your good work, but I thought the suggestion was to set isolation.tools.hgfs.notify.enable to FALSE instead of TRUE as suggested below. At least, this is what was suggested in a previous thread by Darius on January 25th. Am I missing something?

In any case, the suggestion to set isolation.tools.hgfs.notify.enable to FALSE did work for quite a while for me, basically since January 25. However, recently I ran into the problem again. But this time it froze the whole OS, and I had to hack my way back in there. I noticed, though, that I had Dropbox working at the same time the problem occurred, which someone else also mentioned. Since Dropbox is acting directly on the file system, there may be some connection there.

--Jean-Do

0 Kudos
steve_goddard
Expert
Expert

Good catch, now corrected.

Yes I had put this workaround now multiple times and correctly too! Darius my colleague also repeated it as the pertinent information keeps getting drowned out with the multitude of replies.

Yes I had also mentioned to be aware of DropBox and TimeMachine both poll for file system events.

The Apple file system developer I talked to warned me about DropBox too.

Thanks. Steve
0 Kudos
Unixgal
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you Steve,

I had looked through the threads on here and elsewhere but nothing has really worked for me yet.  After last night I see that the notify.enable should be false, so I will try that.  If I had known there was this issue I hadn't have upgraded to Lion since I rely on Fusion to run my vSphere client to manage our ESX infrastructure (of course this wouldn't be an issue for me personally at all if there was a Mac VI client Smiley Wink).

isolation.tools.hgfs.notify.enable = "FALSE"

Thanks.

-Emily

0 Kudos