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UncleQ
Contributor
Contributor

VMWare 17.5.0 update causes workstation keyboard and mouse disfunction after a period of time

Prior to the latest upgrade everything with my VM's was nearly perfect.  After the upgrade they have ALL developed a problem, where after a time, maybe 10 to 15 minutes - they stop responding to the mouse and keyboard.  You can get to the console, and pause or terminate them, but nothing brings the mouse or keyboard back.

 

28 Replies
Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal

Seems to be a common problem. Many folks have reverted back to 17.0.x in order to get around this.

- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
nathanbbeach
Contributor
Contributor

I am having this exact problem too. Had to downgrade to 17.0.2.

DhairyaT
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

@UncleQ Ticket has been raised internally. Relevant team will look into the same.

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banackm
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Two things people can try:

(1) Power off the VM, and add the config option:

keyboard.allowBothIRQs = FALSE

This might cause your Linux VM's input to hang if the Guest tries to Sleep/Hibernate, but it may work-around the problem.

(2) Power off the VM and make sure the VM has a USB controller, and add this config option to switch to the virtual USB keyboard:

keyboard.vusb.enable = TRUE

That will switch from using the PS/2 keyboard to the USB keyboard, but may make your key-repeat get stuck more often.

 

I think (1) should be sufficient to fix this, but if not try (2) as well.

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dm44
Contributor
Contributor

Recommendation #1 fixed the original problem, but now I'm getting repeating key behavior quite frequently.  No, #2 isn't set.

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banackm
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Like it's hitting key repeat briefly when you don't want it to?  Or like the key is still getting stuck down and you can't release it?

I suspect that there's some underlying stall on your host that's triggering this, and probably the places you're now seeing the key repeat used to hang the keyboard entirely.

You can turn down the key repeat delay in the Linux guest is probably the best work-around I can give you short of solving the underlying host stall.

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dm44
Contributor
Contributor

Like I'm typing the word "const" and sometimes I'll get "const" and other times I'll wind up with "ccccccccoooonst".

This VM was running fine on Workstation 16.2 thru last week.  Work bought the 17 upgrade for everyone, I migrated the VM, and got the first issue.  Made the changes you suggested in the config file and now I'm getting this issue.  If its the "host stall" as you indicate, why would I not have seen it while working in Workstation 16.2?

I'm kicking myself for updating my VM hardware version at this point.

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banackm
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

If the VM is powered off, you can normally downgrade the hardware version just by changing the virtualHW.version config in the vmx file. to a lower number and it will work fine. 

Occasionally the hardware version upgrade changed the attached devices, and then you might be missing something after you downgrade, so back up the vmx file and/or the full VM if it's critical.  But we don't generally plug/unplug virtual devices on upgrades, so you should be able to get Workstation 16 running the VM again if that's what you want.

As for why Workstation 16 doesn't have the key-repeat issues for you I couldn't say without knowing what it was... By "host" I don't necessarily mean your Host OS, it could be a Workstation product issue causing the stall, it's just outside the Guest itself, and outside the console keyboard handling.

Possibly Workstation 16 is more performant for your particular configuration/workload, or we might be tweaking something on your Host OS differently.

The reason they hit is usually that guest time stalls for a second, and when we try to catch it up the guest mistakenly thinks the key is held down longer than it should be (due to the time warp).  We used to have more control over this, but most modern Linux distros switched to running the key-repeat themselves in software rather than allowing the virtual device to control it.

 

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dm44
Contributor
Contributor

Gotcha and thanks.  I'm going to see if I can live with this as is and hope a patch to 17.5 comes out soon to address the underlying issues, but nice to know I've got a fallback.

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UncleQ
Contributor
Contributor

Another symptom of the problem, rather perplexing.  I ran a debian 12 VM for over an hour yesterday, until finally the lockup occurred.  This time I happened to be in Libre Writer, and while the VM would not take any input from me at all -- when I typed into a browser on the host - the cursor position in Libre Writer would advance one position for each key that I pressed.  To be clear - focus is outside the virtual machine, in a Windows native application - and somehow the VM is receiving some sort of message for each character that is being typed into the host.  It's been a while since I wrote any code like that, but it looks as though the context switch (Active VM verses Active Host) is screwing up.  Probably a race condition and that results in a corrupted state that isn't being detected and cleaned up.  Without a deeper set of tools on it that's the best impression of the problem I'm getting now. 

Also - when I moved between virtual desktops -- copying from Chrome in one, into nano on the other (cut and paste) - it would cause the lockup.  It's reasonable to suspect the same mechanism is at work  here.  In this case it was just a hard lockup in the VM, no side effects as described above.  

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banackm
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

@UncleQ 

So that sounds more like a Host OS interaction than the Guest-side Linux keyboard hang issue by itself...

You might want to try some of my general suggestions on this thread:

https://communities.vmware.com/t5/VMware-Workstation-Pro/Ubuntu-22-04-freezes-randomly-on-VMWare-Pro...

It would also be helpful if you can post a vmware.log file where hits happens, to see if we can find anything odd about the VM state or your host configuration.

There appears to be another issue affecting specifically Win 11 hosts and Linux VMs that we haven't been able to pin down, where it looks like the 3D stack is implicated and the guest display might not be updating properly?  You have some similarities to that issue but not the full profile.

So I would specifically try toggling 3D on/off on your VM (in addition to the general things above), or else some users have reported that running a continuously drawing application in the Guest (like glxgears) would help.

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UncleQ
Contributor
Contributor

I will run for a while this evening, and send the log during a failure when it occurs.  I will do this and then apply the changes that you have suggested.  In the past I have not needed to make any changes and VM's run hosted OS without issue.  Understand tweaking as necessary, but wanted to note that fact as point of reference.

tneiva
Contributor
Contributor

I have been having this issue for some time, it did not start with 17.5.

Just now my Ubuntu 22.04 VM stopped responding to keyboard/Mouse input. But the VM was running and doing screen resizing for example. I an active browser session  to a site with sessiont timeout and a wraning appeared from the site informing the session would be closed, and it was. So the VM is running. It just lost keyboard / mouse input.

Ha to restart the VM

jeremysteele
Contributor
Contributor

I have been able to repeat (hehe) this issue several times  by holding down a key and moving my cursor off the VM's screen then clicking back in. End up needing to restart or power off the VM to get it back, even suspend doesn't work. 

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jeremysteele
Contributor
Contributor

keyboard.allowBothIRQs = FALSE seems to fix my issue

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unluckier
Contributor
Contributor

I'm definitely seeing this, but just to get an idea of what may be involved:

In my case, I'm accessing my Windows host that has VMware Workstation on it via the Microsoft RDP client on a Mac.  For anybody else that's experiencing this, do you have a similar setup?  Or can you see it with a Windows machine where you're using a mouse + keyboard physically connected to it?

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Cyb3rC3lt
Contributor
Contributor

Just to add mine to this. I've a recent version of Kali and every few hours if I go to select text with my mouse and before even copying it I get a hang up. I can see downloads complete in Kali and timers ticking away fine but I can't access it with keyboard or mouse. Killing my pentests recently. I will try the suggested config change today as a fix.

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skb13
Contributor
Contributor

My Ubuntu VM was working just fine in 17.02.  I upgraded to 17.5 and all hell broke loose.

Unplugging a USB stick caused an Access Violation on the Host OS from VMWare.exe

And at random points when I searched within an editor I would get complete keyboard/mouse lockup where nothing else worked within the VM other than "power off".

I have reverted to 17.02. 

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RauZionn
Contributor
Contributor

Hi, firstly thanks for your solution. Where can i find version 17.02, can you help me?

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