VMware Communities

Player 3.1.4: Tools v8.4.6 / 8326 causes display resolution problems in Ubuntu VMs on Windows 7 hosts (10.10, possibly others), which breaks Unity [with workaround]

[Sidenote: having the forum time out during posts / edits and then discarding the text is pretty annoying.]

After several hours of testing and retesting, I think I've got a way around the issue.

Workaround: Let any VMWare Tool updating process finish (or, if necessary, select "Virtual Machine" and   "Reinstall VMWare Tools..." and follow the instructions). Then reinstall xserver-xorg-video-vmware as below. That should resolve any problems changing resolution (and thus entering Unity).

It's still a bug... this really ought not to have happened and as far as I  can tell it's the specific fault of the VMWare Tools version 8.4.6 /  8326 upgrade. I'm not sure this is an "answer" so much as a workaround,  but I hope others find it helpful and I really hope it's resolved soon.

Update #6:

I  took my Ubuntu VM backup from 3.1.3, extracted it and started it in  3.1.4. I patiently waited for all the background updating to finish.  When I rebooted the VM the video resolution problem was present as  before.

I ran the two steps below to reinstall xserver-xorg-video-vmware. Then I rebooted the VM again. The problem was no longer present.

Update #5:

I found a thread (http://communities.vmware.com/thread/293265) that suggests the following two commands when it comes to this screen resolution issue:
sudo apt-get remove xserver-xorg-video-vmware
sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-vmware

This, after a reinstall of the tools, seems to fix things.

It  sure would be useful to have some visible indicator while VMWare  automatic updates are going on, as opposed to having to hunt for it.

Update #4:

One  worrying thing is that despite my best efforts this may not be a simple  matter of downgrading to 8.4.5 tools if you installed the 8.4.6  version. I've been re-loading my backed-up VM based on 3.1.3 and the  8.4.5 Tools. My attempts to fix my VM after updating to 3.1.4 and the 8.4.6 Tools have been unsuccessful!

I found two more threads related to this:

http://communities.vmware.com/message/1731534 - learned how to uninstall VMWare Tools (well, mostly... apparently it's not a clean uninstall!)

http://communities.vmware.com/message/1654824 - Where to find the 8.4.5 Tools components. However, these are NOT in  the ISO format the Player actually brings in... not sure how to convert  one to the other so I had to reinstall 3.1.3 (again!) and have it  download all the components!

Once I used /usr/bin/vmware-uninstall-tools.pl within my VM to uninstall the 8.4.6 Tools, I used the menu to  re-install the 8.4.5 ones I downloaded in 3.1.3 (it's a PITA, requiring  manual steps... perhaps it did this way back when I first installed  them, I don't recall). It didn't work as expected.

So  far it seems the only solution is to revert to a pre-3.1.4 backup and  avoid the 8..6 tools like the Plague... the alternative seems to be  losing the ability to adjust the display resolution or use Unity (for  those affected by this).

What worked fine in 8.4.5  is broken in 8.4.6, everything else being equal.

Update #3: Conclusion: VMWare Tools version 8326 breaks screen resolution in Ubuntu VMs on Windows 7 hosts.

I spent quite a while installing and reinstalling, to learn that . Perhaps it fixes something else but I'll live with drag & drop or cut & paste being a little flaky (as they were in 3.1.3) rather than having the VM resolution and Unity thoroughly broken!

  • Uninstall VMWare Player 3.1.4 entirely and reboot
  • Install VMWare Player 3.1.4 and reboot
  • Start the Player (main window)
    • For your affected VM, select Edit Virtual Machine Settings.
    • Under options, change VMWare Tools to "Update Manually" (this overrides the global Player settings)
  • Start your VM
    • Let it "download and install" the 8.4.6 version of the tools (otherwise it'll never stop badgering you to do it!)
    • Log in
    • When the tools update is complete, shut it down normally
  • Shut down and restart your VM.
    • It should still work fine.
  • After shutdown, look at the latest logs for your VM
    • You should see (as below) that Tools version 8325 is active though 8326 is available.

Testing method:
(Note: the VM was fully shut down after each attempt - standby was NOT used.)

I uninstalled 3.1.4 and installed 3.1.3. I noted that the tools it tries to install are 8.4.5 and in the log it claims version 8325 is the latest and is installed. With or without this update 3.1.3 worked fine: drag & drop was a bit buggy (selecting "retry" worked around that), copy and paste seemed fine and the screen resolution changed accordingly when set to full screen). In short, I couldn't break 3.1.3.

I looked at the VM settings and saw the automatic tools update was on. Hmm. I disabled it as above (after the 3.1.3 tests, which were already up-to-date (I verified this via the logs later... 8325 is the latest version ID of the Tools for 3.1.3 per those logs)).

I upgraded to 3.1.4. I declined the tools update and started my VM... it was fine. Rebooted the host and tried again. Fine. Then I allowed it to update the tools to 8.4.6. Again, it was fine... even rebooting the host had no effect! Strange, I thought... it was certainly a problem earlier.

Then I looked at the logs:

Apr 11 04:10:07.065: vcpu-0| Compared tools manifest from host and from the guest. Status = 1.
Apr 11 04:10:07.066: vcpu-0| VMXVmdb_SetToolsVersionState: status value set to 'oldTools'
Apr 11 04:10:07.066: vcpu-0| TOOLS installed legacy version 8325, available legacy version 8326
Apr 11 04:10:07.066: vcpu-0| TOOLS manifest update status is 1 (1-out of date, 2-ok, 3-no tools, 4-unmanaged, 5-unknown)
Apr 11 04:10:07.066: vcpu-0| TOOLS can be autoupgraded.
Apr 11 04:10:07.066: vcpu-0| TOOLS VM tools upgrade policy "manual"
Apr 11 04:10:07.066: vcpu-0| TOOLS don't need to be upgraded.
Apr 11 04:10:07.066: vcpu-0| TOOLS don't need to be upgraded.
Apr 11 04:10:07.066: vcpu-0| TOOLS Setting autoupgrade-checked TRUE.

So, even though I had clearly allowed the 8.4.6 tools to be installed AND it had stopped nagging me about it after that, something wasn't totally updated - perhaps that's why things are still working normally!

I re-enabled the automatic Tools updates for this VM, and re-ran it. No questions were asked and my preferred not-quite-full-screen resolution was active, but when it was fully logged in I tried to go full screen and it failed. Per the logs the tools were indeed silently updated from 8325 to 8326!

I rebooted the VM and the problem was back full force. Resolution was reduced and could not be increased, and full-screen didn't increase it either. Unity was unusable.

I'd love to know what 8326 actually refers to! Is that another name for 8.4.6? (Likewise 8325 / 8.4.5.) It'd also be nice to know if there a better way to downgrade tools, versus the long uninstall/reinstall process above!

Update #2: Maybe it's you after all.

After running a subset of Ubuntu updates I got the same problem again (this is after the VMWare Linux utils were installed). The problem reoccurred. So I deleted the VM and re-extracted my backup. Same problem! So now I suspect it's the VMWare utils that get downloaded and updated.
I'm gonna go throguh the process again - uninstall 3.1.4, reinstall 3.1.3, let it update the tools accordingly, run the snapshot of the VM, run it again, THEN I'll update to 3.1.4 and see what happens. Stay tuned... if not for all the reboots this would probably go quite quickly. I'll note the tools version as this seems increasingly relevant.
Update #1: It's Ubuntu, not you.

This may be an issue in 11.04 as well, due to recent updates. All I know right now is that it's something since 2011-03-15. I'll update when I have more information.

Original post with some edits:
My host OS is Windows 7 SP1 x64. I recently updated to VMWare Player 3.1.4 from 3.1.3. Up to then my virtual Ubuntu 10.10 installation was working fine. Now it can't change display resolution with seems to break all sorts of things (including Unity).

Anyone else seeing this issue? I'm seing threads in the VMWare Workstation area that suggest this isn't an isolated issue.

I'm about to go back to 3.1.3 and see how that goes. Hopefully there's a 3.1.5 at some point soon.

Reinstalling 3.1.3 didn't help, suggesting an Ubuntu issue. I found a possibly related thread here:


(The xserver-xorg-video-vmware package (1:11.0.1-2build1) was the version installed on my virtual machine.)

I went back to 3.1.4 and started an older snapshot of the whole  VM I had the presence of mind to save. Sure enough, it works fine in  3.1.4... screen resolution, drag and drop, etc. Even Unity works.

0 Kudos
0 Replies