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Workstation 11.1, Tools 9.9.2 build-2496486: Not compatible with GCC 5.1.0 on linux (Arch, Debian, Ubuntu, etc)

First, there are some compilation problems with the latest linux kernel and Tools 9.9.2's source of vmhgfs: vmhgfs module not compilable for VMware Tools 9.9.0 (Fusion7.1) after Ubuntu Linux kernel update to ...

In short, you have to patch the source to get it to compile: rasa/vmware-tools-patches · GitHub

Arch linux is a "rolling" distro, meaning we always have latest - and are usually the first to find problems before it trickles down to Ubuntu, Mint, Debian and other Linux distros. Well, now there is a serious problem that is unresolvable.

The vmhgfs source is not compatible with linux kernels built with gcc 5.1.0.  It hard locks the VM, requiring a hard reset when the kernel module loads.  It also hard locks during vmware-tools-install.pl torwards the very end when it says, "Guest filesystem driver" enabling.  And on boot, it is vmhgfs that is being loaded when the VM hard locks.

I was able to get around this earlier when gcc 4.9.2 was in core - i just rebuilt the kernel under 4.9.2: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=196915

Obviously that isn't a long-term solution.  But now that gcc 5.1.0 has been pushed out to core, that means recompiling the kernel under 4.9.2 is no easy feat since dependencies now depend on gcc 5.1.0.

@Developers: We have a big problem with VMware Tools vmhgfs and kernels compiled under gcc 5.1.0.  Given it make take years before the Debian distros get the latest and greatest, it's coming.

Because of this, and the wasted time in me having to support this mess, I may recommend to my company we no longer continue with our Enterprise account of 100 licenses of Workstation and Fusion.  It is obvious in the previous thread vmhgfs module not compilable for VMware Tools 9.9.0 (Fusion7.1) after Ubuntu Linux kernel update to ... that VMware is no hurry to resolve even the simple build errors that the community has resolved last year with patches.  Good thing too, renewal comes up in two months.

I shiver to think how long it will take VMware to release a fix for gcc 5.1.0.

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Additional info...

The hard lock is a panic when mounting the /mnt/hgfs partition, which is what is configured in my fstab:

.host://mnt/hgfsvmhgfsdefaults0 0

The reason the above is just "./host:/" is for the auto-mounting of shares on the fly, or all shares on boot.  Specifying a share doesn't change anything.

Even mounting it manually panic's the kernel:

mount -n -t vmhgfs .host:/<shared_folder> /home/user1/shares

Again, this all worked fine with a kernel built on 4.9.2, but not 5.1.0.

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VMware Employee
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Let me confirm a few things:

1) What is your Linux kernel version?

2) When you install vmware-tools, have you re-compiled vmhgfs driver using GCC5.1? When you use "sudo ./vmware-install.pl" to install tools, choose "no" when prompted whether to run "vmware-config-tools". Then you manually invoke "sudo vmware-config-tools -c" to force to recompile kernel modules. Please let me know if this works for you. Thanks!

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Thank you for replying Bonnie!

1) linux-4.0.5

2) as mentioned above, the tools will not build at all with compilation errors.  The code simply needs to be updated.  I have to run the patches in rasa/vmware-tools-patches · GitHub, which is a community-driven project who's aim is to patch the broken VMware Tools installation on Linux guests.

Now, once I patch it I am able to compile.

Today, I attempted to remove vmware-tools again and try your advice.  I ran vmware-config-tools (the patched version as noted previously) and selected "no".  Then I run "sudo vmware-config-tools -c" and focused on the vmhgfs compilation.  Same results: since compiling under GCC 5.1, even with the older 3.7.x kernel, it still locks the machine up on boot if I enable this kernel driver/module.

Steps to reproduce:

(since Arch uses the latest Linux kernels, I am going to use that as an example)

1) Install Arch Linux in a Guest VM, or use a 5.1.0 compilter.  I am using Workstation 11.1, the latest version.

(Arch has several kernel modules already included, but vmhgfs is not one)

2) Attempt to install the VMware Tools 9.9.2 (latest edition) via the cd mount/linux option using the default GCC 5.1.x compiler.

You will get compilation errors on vmhgfs because the source hasn't been compatible with Linux kernels for well over a year.

3) to get the source to compile, patch it by git clone of the remote: rasa/vmware-tools-patches · GitHub .  Follow the directions and patch your 9.9.2 tools so they will now compile vmhgfs.

4) attempt to run the vmware-config-tools from the patched location.  vmhgfs will compile now.

5) reboot and attempt to use vmhgfs in any capacity.  fstab for auto-mounting into /mnt/hgfs as I posted above.  manually mounting with mount -n -t... as I posted above as well.

During #5, any attempt to mount will lock up the VM guest.

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VMware Employee
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Thank you for your response. I am just aware that we already had an internal bug to track this issue. I will update that bug with your comments. Thank you again for your effort!

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Hi there,

I am the main VMware developer for the VMware Shared Folders feature.

I have fixed this issue and it has been added to the next release which should be released imminently.

There is a compiler optimization which breaks on our driver software.

There are also a few other fixes now going into the same release and it will enable the vmhgfs kernel driver to be built and work correctly with Linux 4.2 kernels which are used currently with Fedora 22 and Ubuntu 15.10.

As of my recent tests the vmhgfs kernel driver also should work on Ubuntu releases like 14.04 with their latest kernel updates. I regularly run and update the kernels and recheck the feature too.

So please watch for this next release.

Thanks

Steve

Thanks. Steve
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