Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Keyboard repeat rate problem

I am running Redhat Enterprise Linux 5.1 in VMware workstation 6.0.1 b55017. My host system is XP Sp2 USengl on a Dell Optiplex GX280.

The keyboard repeat is VERY unreliable and I often get 3 or more accidental character repeats.

I already have done 2 vmware upgrades (which were always a p.i.t.a.) and of course I am running the vmware tools. I also checked for CPU speed steppings as described in http://communities.vmware.com/message/702919#702919 but could not find any.

I even changed my keyboard and got rid of my KVM switch but nothing helped.

VMware is almost unusable in this state. I am doing system administration and the chance of corrupting some system configuration is very likely. If I wasn't a fluent typist and couldn't watch the screen as I type I would have already quit using VMware.

Is there anybody running VMware on a windows host having a solution to this problem?

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12 Replies
Commander
Commander

You could experiment with keyboard.typematicMinDelay which sets the expected delay between a key depress and a key release, see the thread at

Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks for the hint.

I will give those different options a try. Thing is that the repeat problem seems to increase over time. I guess after a change to the vmx file I have to reboot my machine and after that it will need a couple of days until the problem really manifests.

I wonder why there is no answer from the VMware people to the issue. I have seen that complaint quite a few times and it is vital to have a reliable keyboard.

Also I wonder if there is a list somewhere which describes the options available to .vmx files and what they do.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

After a weeks testing the problem is still there and annoying as ever.

I have added keyboard.typematicMinDelay = 2000000 as the 1st line to my vmx file but it did not solve the problem at all.

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Contributor
Contributor

Hello PhilBB (and all others)!

I'v got the same problem! And another one which, to me, seems related...

Host: Linux, kernel 2.6.22.16-0.1-default, SuSE distro, keybord + mouse conected wireless to USB port.

Guest: Win-XP

VMware: Workstation 6.0.2 build-59824

1.) I've got that "repeate rate problem" you describe here

2.) I've got that feeze problem already discussed in thread "Strange VM WS 6 behavior: Random intermittent Freeze of VM and the host OS for few seconds?"

The problems came with Vmware 6 (nevere had it with a 5 version).

The problem is gone after rebooting the guest + closing vmware but reappears after some time (some hours or days) and I have the impression it gets worse the longer you keep vmware+guest running.

I tried the solution from the "intermittent freeze" thread (adding those lines to config and .vmx files) but it didn't change anything...

Intersting ist that it affects not only the guest keyboardmouse input system but also the hosts. I mean, even if vmware window is minimized and I work only with the host OS, I get those intermittent freezes of keybordmouse and unpredictable "repeats" of pressed keys. But it has to be related to vmware, because if I shutdown the guest and close vmware, the problem is gone.

Bad news: I've got no solution for you :-(.

Regards,

Norbert

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Contributor
Contributor

If you're seeing key repeat in X applications, you can open an xterm and type: "xset r off" That will disable the guest's software autorepeat. Hopefully that will let you work around the problem.

Is this something you're seeing while using other guest OSs, or just RHEL 5.1?

Do you have repeat problems in the BIOS or the Linux console or just X11?

Contributor
Contributor

Now this is interesting:

I remember 2 months ago, when all those troubles started, I did 3 things simulatneously (I know, you shouldn't do that .... :|):

  1. I upgraded from SuSE 10.2 to 10.3

  2. I upgraded from VMware 5.x -> 6.0

  3. I bought myself one of those wireless Keyboard/mouse combos connected via USB

Yesterday, I had the idea to unplug the USB kbd/mouse and replug the old wired ones. And all troubles are gone !!!

I've been working now for, lets say, 10 hours and never had a single keyboard repeat problem, nor one of those "intermittent freezes of VM and the host OS for few seconds" discussed in the other thread.

But ther's even more interesting news:

To use the old wired mouse again, I had to switch back the mouse model from "USB mouse" to "PS/2 mouse" using sax. Now I wanted to try the new wireless stuff again, but decided to do it "step by step".

First step: I replugged the USB kbd/mouse receiver stick. Still no problems, everything's fine. But to my very surprise, both mice now work simultaneously!!!

I will investigate this further on and keep you informed...

greetings,

Norbert

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hello Dustin,

I tried xset r off and it works although having no key repeat at all is quite annoying. .

I do only see the problem in RHEL 5, the other OS I have is an XP test box and there was no key repeat problem so far.

I also tried the Linux Console but did not do indepth testing. On first glance I did not see a repeat problem there either.

My desktop is KDE and I am working mostly with terminal sessions on remote servers where I do scripting and config file edits. This is where it is most annoying as it quite likely to corrupt something when you don't watch closely.

I also experimented with different mice and keyboards but observed no real differences. At 1st I ran everything through a KVM switch i.e. keyboard and mouse were PS2. Then I got rid of the KVM switch but as my PC only accepts USB I had to use a PS2/USB converter instead. Then I got myself a new mouse and new keyboard with native USB connection.

The repeat problem existed in all scenarios, I never used any wireless devices.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hello Dustin,

I tried xset r off and it works although having no key repeat at all is quite annoying. .

I do only see the problem in RHEL 5, the other OS I have is an XP test box and there was no key repeat problem so far.

I also tried the Linux Console but did not do indepth testing. On first glance I did not see a repeat problem there either.

My desktop is KDE and I am working mostly with terminal sessions on remote servers where I do scripting and config file edits.

I also experimented with different mice and keyboards but observed no real differences. At 1st I ran everything through a KVM switch i.e. keyboard and mouse were PS2. Then I got rid of the KVM switch but as my PC only accepts USB I had to use a PS2/USB converter instead. Then I got myself a new mouse and new keyboard with native USB connection.

The repeat problem existed in all scenarios, I never used any wireless devices.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hello Norbert,

do you run VMware on a Linux host or on a Windows host?

I think most people run windows as a guest on a Linux host system. This scenario seems more thoroughly tested compared to running Linux as a guest on a windows host system.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

After a while I found out what really did cause my problem but I forgot to put it here.

The real reason was that my host machine was only a single processor machine and whenever there was a high prio task running on it (e.g. virus on access scanning, disk IO, network load ...) the vm guest stopped responding for a few 100 milliseconds.

I went to a 4 core machine and the problem was gone completely.

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Contributor
Contributor

I found this thread because I'm having a similar problem running Ubuntu 10.4 and 11.10 64bit Server. Its like the keys were very sensitive and repeated random letters that i pressed, but only inside the guest VM's console. My Windows machine wouldnt repeat keys in the dos prompt or anywhere else except in the Linux VM. Both were during setup and VMtools werent running. here's the kicker. to fix the problem i had to unplug my USB keyboard which has my mouse plugged into it. once i plugged the keyboard back in the keys stopped "sticking" or repeating themselves!! I know eh? very strange.

Ryan

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Contributor
Contributor

I found and applay this:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=196

Now I can insert a New Password in vMA virtual machine.

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