vinicole
Contributor
Contributor

Workstation Pro 16.x support with Debian 11.x

Hello,

I don't see Debian 11.x in the list of supported Host OSes on https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/80807
Will it be added in the near future?
Anyone has some experience running VMware workstation on this OS? Does it work?

Thanks,
Vincent

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bluefirestorm
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This thread shows running version 16.2.1 on Debian 11 host (although there is an issue with XP guest 3D graphics).
https://communities.vmware.com/t5/VMware-Workstation-Pro/Windows-XP-guest-stuck-in-640x480-4-bit/m-p...

The primary issue for Linux hosts is the kernel version as the vmmon and vmnet modules have to be rebuilt everytime there is a kernel update. For that this GitHub site would be useful

https://github.com/mkubecek/vmware-host-modules

 

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vinicole
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Hi Bluefirestorm,

Thanks for your message.
Does this mean that Debian 11 is not officially supported due to this XP guest 3D graphics issue?
Or is it just a matter of time for this host OS to appear on the official list of supported host OSes?

Regarding the kernel modules rebuild, you are correct but in my experience, VMware workstation Pro detects when a kernel update has been applied on the system and rebuild the modules before to start. So the update process is managed automatically by VMware workstation.

Kind regards,
V

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bluefirestorm
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I don't work for VMware and have no idea of their timetable for official support for Linux distros.

As for the XP VM guest 3D problem, it looks like it was also broken even with 15.5.7 on Ubuntu 18.04. The 3D problem is not exhibited in Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 VMs. The XP 3D problem also does not appear on a Windows 10 host. Anyway the eventual workaround that I got to try is to use the nouveau driver instead of the Nvidia proprietary. So it is hard to say where exactly the root cause(s) of the problem lies.

Yes, VMware Workstation will build the vmmon and vmnet automatically. But if you upgrade the kernel on an officially supported distro/version (for example Ubuntu 18.04 but you upgraded the kernel to some newer version), it is possible that the vmmon/vmnet build will then fail. So it is really more about the kernel version rather than the distro/version. That is why the mkubecek's Github repository would be of use; although personally I haven't had the need to use it.

If I am not mistaken, the original intent of that Github repository was to allow older versions of VMware Workstation/Player that were no longer supported by VMware to be able to build vmmon/vmnet with newer Linux kernel version that might be supported in a newer Workstation/Player version (e.g. get Workstation 14.x to work with a Workstation 16.x supported kernel version on a Linux distro host). But there are some posts here who are able to get the right source to get an existing supported Workstation/Player version (such as the current 16.x) to work with even newer versions of Linux kernels.

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mkubecek
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If I am not mistaken, the original intent of that Github repository was to allow older versions of VMware Workstation/Player that were no longer supported by VMware to be able to build vmmon/vmnet with newer Linux kernel version that might be supported in a newer Workstation/Player version (e.g. get Workstation 14.x to work with a Workstation 16.x supported kernel version on a Linux distro host). But there are some posts here who are able to get the right source to get an existing supported Workstation/Player version (such as the current 16.x) to work with even newer versions of Linux kernels.

Not exactly. The primary reason is that I'm running Workstation/Player on machines with recent kernels myself so that I have to do the patching to be able run them without waiting for VMware which lives in the old "supported distribution releases" mindset and is usually 1-2 kernel version behind. And while doing it, I decided to publish the patched module sources so that other people running VMware software on recent kernels can use them. Maintaining branches for older VMware products (one per major version - the basic idea is that if you are deliberately refusing a free upgrade, you are on your own) is rather a good will activity and those will be only maintained as long as possible with reasonable effort. (Not that there are any promises or guarantees about current version but I'm obviously likely to try harder there.)

bluefirestorm
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mkubecek,

Thanks for the clarification and the work that you do with the vmmon/vmnet modules.

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