chaossysten
Contributor
Contributor

Mouse flicker in guests

Hello,

Recently all my guest VMs have started to have a weird mouse flicker. This happens even when in the install page for Ubuntu or PopOS, and continues to happen on a fresh install after installing open-vm-tools-desktop.

It didn't use to happen (about a month ago). Curious if anyone has any suggestions on what might be wrong here. I have tried "optimize" for games but while that setting seems to solve the flicker, the input gets really sluggish and unusable. It seems to be a VMware problem though since it happens on any guest (at least Debian based guests that I've tried)

PS: I tried to screen record this but oddly enough the behaviour doesn't appear in the screen recording. What this actually looks like is whenever you are moving the mouse the mouse disappears, when you stop moving or slow down it appears again. So as you move your mouse around you observe flickering as the mouse appears and disappears.

Thanks!

83 Replies
FedericoM
Contributor
Contributor

There are no answer nor fast patch from VMware reguarding this issue for 3 month.
This issue is very disappointing in a PRO, expensive,  product.

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CharlesGilley
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

sadly this is VMware behavior for a very long time.  It's the community contributors that usually fix things or find work arounds..

HOWEVER, I seem to have resolved my mouse stutter problem.  After upgrading to 15.5.7, my mouse radically slowed when moving through menus.  I came across this discussion: https://communities.vmware.com/t5/VMware-Workstation-Pro/Workstation-15-5-5-performance-hit/m-p/1863... which had someone from VMware post some ideas.  One idea was to turn off 3D hardware acceleration:

Edit virtual machine settings -> Display -> 3D graphics -> uncheck accelerate 3D graphics.

save and start the VM.  All of my machines are behaving now.  I suppose I lose some performance, but these are all development platforms, and I don't need accelerated 3d graphics.  Maybe this will help.

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IbmZongHan
Contributor
Contributor

I'm experiencing same issue as well. By any chance, are you running on ryzen cpu?

The mouse flickering issue only occur on OS such as Kali Linux and Parrot OS, however on Windows OS there is no flickering issue.

I tried upgraded to latest gpu driver, downgrade workstation pro 16 down to 15, still same issue persist...

Hope someone can help...

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CharlesGilley
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I actually have two machines. My main server (Ryzhen 9) and my laptop (Intel i7).  I mainly work on my laptop with the VMs.  

I found that no manner of driver changes affected my mouse behavior - just turning off 3d acceleration helped.

When it comes to VMware and updates,, follow the golden rule: "If it isn't broken, don't fix it."

To be fair to VMware, apply that rule to Windows and Mac OS as well.

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IbmZongHan
Contributor
Contributor

I tried everything including disable 3D acceleration, didn't helped either.

upgrade and downgrade gpu driver doesnt help.

pro 15 and 16 same issue as well.

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CharlesGilley
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Sadly, I am going to have to follow another contributor in this thread - migrate to VirtualBox.  It's free, and things cannot get any worse.  I'm going to make it this week's project as a test.  My take on VMware is that if you want something fixed, you have to pay for support.  I rarely see practical feedback from the development team in the forums.  Since VirtualBox is open source, there are probably millions of developers passionately supporting it,, because they don't have a life 😉

For me, I've used VMWorkstation Pro for years supporting older legacy systems.  From a hardware support perspective, it generally just works.  My typical development environment includes a USB 2.0 hub, a USB 3.0 hub and many usb to serial devices.  So it must work.  Should be an interesting test.

best of luck

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llarsen
Contributor
Contributor

This seems to have been resolved for me now...

I recently upgraded my BIOS to the latest version (v. 3602) for the ASUS ROG STRIX X570-F GAMING motherboard and also re-imaged my Linux SSD. My Windows 10 SSD remained the same, besides running all windows updates, nvidia drivers and also updating to the latest AMD Chipset drivers.

This issue had happened continually under either Windows 10 or PopOS 20.04 on my host machine, but now its gone and works as expected on both OS's.

At this moment, im currently running a PopOS 20.04 VM on VMWare Workstation Pro 16 on my PopOS 20.04 host and its been working great now. Both OS's are completely updated to the latest packages and drivers.

 

My host specs:

Mobo: ASUS ROG STRIX X570-F GAMING

CPU: Ryzen 9 3900X

GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060

RAM: 64GB DDR4

1st OS SSD: PopOS 20.04

2nd OS SSD: Windows 10 20H2

 

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agustin227
Contributor
Contributor

Agree. It is amazing how vmware has left us in the dust. same with Fusion on M1 macs..
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agustin227
Contributor
Contributor

Agree. It is amazing how VMWARE has left us in the dust. same with Fusion on M1 macs..

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llarsen
Contributor
Contributor

I've spoken too soon. Works fine on a PopOS 20.04 host, but flickering started back up on my Windows 10 20H2 host. Fresh build of Windows 10 now, and still same problems... All latest nvidia drivers and Windows updates...

 

 

 

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llarsen
Contributor
Contributor

@mmassico Thank you! This xorg config has seemed to work for me also on my PopOS VM. I dont want to speak to soon, but after implementing it, it was immediately fixed and hasn't reoccurred in the past 30 minutes... keeping my fingers crossed...

 

It would be great if VMware got it together and fixed their product though... I dont seem to have this issue anymore in the Linux VMware Workstation Pro 16, only on a Windows host...

 

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sowelie
Contributor
Contributor

I am having the same problem with a GTX 1080 TI. Downgrading the NVIDIA drivers to 457.30 has solved the issue for now. However, it'd be great if VMWare could figure out the issue with the latest NVIDIA driver and either report the issue to NVIDIA or fix the API call on their side. This is ridiculous that there is no official solution or recommendation.

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brokensights
Contributor
Contributor

I am experiencing this same issue on a Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ in a fresh install CentOS 7 guest. 

Things I have tried in an effort to resolve it:

1. updated open-vm-tools

2. removed open-vm-tools and installed vmware tools

3. disabled 3D acceleration

 

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CharlesGilley
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

good luck.  If you're a new customer, you might still be under support.  I cannot think of a time when someone from VMWare actually wandered by.  Me?  I'm checking out VirtualBox.  Kick it's tires.

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agustin227
Contributor
Contributor

Virtualbox works amazingly well

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agustin227
Contributor
Contributor

I recently bought a SP7 as well and didnt work there neither. I think the issue is with Workstation and high resolution displays. They should use the same code the use for Fusion on macs since it works well over there.

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bindernews
Contributor
Contributor

I'm having the same issue, specifically that the mouse flickers in the whole VMware Workstation UI. Mousing over the VM tabs at the top flickers, and mousing over the "Devices" section on a paused or shut-down VM flickers as well.

I tried downgrading to older Nvidia drivers, disabling Hyper-V, changing UI theme, everything. The upside is that it's mostly annoying and isn't preventing me from doing my work. What I did notice though is that it's specifically an issue with VMware's UI. I enabled VNC and tried browsing via local VNC, and nothing was wrong. Seems to me that the issue 100% is with VMware's UI.

Also I noticed that reinstalling my Nvidia drivers seems to temporarily fix the issue, but it reappears after some usage. Closing and re-opening the UI also doesn't seem to solve things. I'm happy to run a debugger, post logs, or anything else to help resolve the issue. It's extremely annoying.

EDIT: Interestingly the issues doesn't persist for me in Windows guests (at least not so far). The main UI still causes mouse flickering, but the actual guest doesn't have any issues, which leaves me with more questions than answers.

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tomastokamrazek
Contributor
Contributor

I'd like to chime in. I have same experience as others in this thread, dealing with this issue for a few months now. I had to restart host basically every day, and it severely hinders by ability to work efficiently. It is better for a few weeks now, but the core issue still persists. I am 100% sure it is not mouse issue, it's an issue between GPU drivers and VMWare. I checked every performance metrics I could possibly find, with no success. Here's my Reddit post, where I asked for help: https://www.reddit.com/r/vmware/comments/lnui6j/workstation_16_degrading_performace_in_both_host/

Today I didn't restart the PC after the work and went to playing new game I bought. I was dealing with weird graphical flickering, I spend 3 hours tweaking Unreal Engine configs and then it hit me - I haven't restarted the host. Voila, game is fine now.

I have no idea, what Workstation is doing, maybe calling wrong API, maybe bug in drivers itself, but Workstation is the only program, which is causing severe performance degradations. I really don't care who's at fault, but this silence treatment on a post with thousands of views, where the rest gets fifty, that's a disgrace for paying customers.

I am going to weep a bit for the few houndred dollars I spent on upgrade to Workstation Pro 16, but I am getting the hell out of here. And for good measure ditching vSphere too, tested Proxmox and it's great.

 
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dancard
Contributor
Contributor

I changed my disaply driver on the host from the INTEL IRIS to the MS basic display driver and the issue resolves (workaround)

The issue appears to be a focus issue related to layer or link areas on the vmware workstaion gui. When you move the mouse it is struggling to understand what element it is over and is flicking between two modes which is a bug in the GUI as well as in the vm consoles.

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p-s-i
Contributor
Contributor

My Device: DELL 13 9300 with Intel Iris Plus GPU.

Since around two months ago, the notebook shows exactly the same symtoms:

  • Mouse flickering in Linux-based VMs
  • Moving the mouse over the side-panel with the VMs configuration slows the mouse cursor down in a strange way

That being said, this behaviour only occurs when using the notebook's primary screen. When working on a USB-C connected monitor, everything works just perfectly.

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