zumitaka
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VM's boot very slow - Workstation 15 PRO

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Hello fellas.
I have problem with linux guest virtual machines on Windows 10 host. I've installed Kali linux and even the installation start slow (The POST process is very slow, where you see VMWARE Logo and loading bar). After installationKali is booting extremely slow, for about 15-20min. (Again POST is slow). After boot process, Kali is working fine.  VT-x / EPT is enabled. Tried to enlarge system resources of the guest - RAM - 8GB and CPU - 2 CPU and 4 cores per cpu, but nothing is changed. Also tried to download pre-build Kali from http://https://www.kali.org/get-kali/#kali-virtual-machines
but the problem persist. Also tried  to move Guest on SSD disk. The same thing happen with Ubuntu.
In the same time i have Windows guest that is working fine and GNS3 VM which is fine too. 
 
VMWorkstation version is 15.0.1 build-10737736.
Host hardware is
 
CPU  Xeon(R) CPU X5560 @ 2.80GHz 2.79 GHz (2 processors)
RAM 24.0 GB
OS Windows 10 64bit
 
 
 
 
 
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bluefirestorm
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Your CPU is from the Nehalem microarchitecture.
https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/37109/intel-xeon-processor-x5560-8m-cache-2-80-...

Starting with version 14.x the CPU system requirements calls for Intel Westmere (the one after Nehalem) or newer.

You probably did monitor.allowLegacyCPU vmx trick. Either you intentionally avoid mentioning it or you forgot about it. Even with version 14.x, VMs will fail to powerup without this trick and complain about missing "Unrestricted Guest" feature. The unsupported CPU is the reason the VM POST/boot is super slow with the allowLegacyCPU trick.

So upgrade to a new system or find a system that meets the CPU requirement.
Or you could purchase old Westmere EP CPUs (it shares the same socket FCLGA1366 as the X5560). But you have to watch out that the motherboard BIOS is validated/updated to support Westmere EP CPU, power requirements and RAM compatibility if you decide to go down this Westmere EP path.

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/codename/54534/products-formerly-westmere-ep.ht...

 

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bluefirestorm
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Your CPU is from the Nehalem microarchitecture.
https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/37109/intel-xeon-processor-x5560-8m-cache-2-80-...

Starting with version 14.x the CPU system requirements calls for Intel Westmere (the one after Nehalem) or newer.

You probably did monitor.allowLegacyCPU vmx trick. Either you intentionally avoid mentioning it or you forgot about it. Even with version 14.x, VMs will fail to powerup without this trick and complain about missing "Unrestricted Guest" feature. The unsupported CPU is the reason the VM POST/boot is super slow with the allowLegacyCPU trick.

So upgrade to a new system or find a system that meets the CPU requirement.
Or you could purchase old Westmere EP CPUs (it shares the same socket FCLGA1366 as the X5560). But you have to watch out that the motherboard BIOS is validated/updated to support Westmere EP CPU, power requirements and RAM compatibility if you decide to go down this Westmere EP path.

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/codename/54534/products-formerly-westmere-ep.ht...

 

zumitaka
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Contributor

Thank you, it is time for upgrade 🙂

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bluefirestorm
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A straightforward CPU upgrade for you would be X5660, as it has the same TDP (that means you can use the same heatsink and power supply), supports the same RAM speeds. Just need to make sure the BIOS can support the X5660.

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/compare.html?productIds=47921,37109

What you need for the upgrade
the second hand CPUs from eBay or some other place (be careful not to buy ES or QS, apart from being illegal, ES and QS are not production quality so can be buggy)
isopropyl alcohol (to clean off the old thermal grease)
thermal grease (to apply to the CPU upgrade)
Phillips screwdriver to open the case, unmount/mount the heatsink, etc

Also keep in mind that there is a risk it may also not work if the seller sells you a defective CPU (bent pins, etc) or sells you ES/QS chip.

I'll leave it to you to weigh the cost/benefit of the Westmere CPU upgrade. It is a very old CPU and lacks so many VT-x features that make running VMs much more efficient and faster. It also lacks many instructions that most modern CPUs now have.

 

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zumitaka
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Contributor

Unfortunately BIOS is not supporting Westmere EP. Today i did some experiments. I have installed virtual box and Kali linux is loading normal there. So now my GNS3 VM is working in VMWare Workstation 15 and Linux is running via VirtualBox. And actually i can connect Linux to some routers and switches in GNS3, for now everything is working 🙂

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