FreeBSD 7 under VMWare Server 2 - sanity check

Hi folks, I am just trying to run a little sanity check before I pull the trigger. First a quick background - I've used Linux and FreeBSD since 0.99 pl 97 and 2.0.5, respectively, but I've had a multi-year gap (started about the same time as Jordan joined Apple (coincidence? ;)), save for running m0n0wall on a Soekris box and Knoppix on CD on a lab server.

I am looking to install a FreeBSD guest on VMWare Server 2. The installation would NOT include X. Only characted-based stuff (practically all access will be remote). The platform will be Lenovo 500 laptop with Core2 Duo P8400 @ 2.26GHz, 2GB of RAM, with Win XP Pro as host OS. The objective is to provide up to 12 simultaneous logins to folks during presentations and training sessions with ability to use some simple networking utilities (console for terminal access, etc). I might also use tcpdump on the overhead. I read the FreeBSD under VMWare page for caveats, and it appears that due to the issues with lnc driver, it is better to run FreeBSD ver 7. What I am not sure about yet, is:

1. Is it better to pre-dimension the disk under VMWare, or let it dynamically grow and shrink? If pre-dimensioned, what would be the right size?

2. Any other pointers that may be helpful to my task (besides those in the aforementioned "FreeBSD under VMWare" page).

Thanks.
 
I have a 7-STABLE with X running perfectly on VMWare server 2.0. I used the standard disk VMWare suggested and used that same 8GB standard. The 8GB would be more then you need.

I think the simplest would be to enable sshd and use putty to login on the fbsd guest. No need for a 'console' window. You can change the font in putty so it'll be easier to read during the presentation.

A general user without X install should suffice.
 
SirDice said:
I think the simplest would be to enable sshd and use putty to login on the fbsd guest. No need for a 'console' window.
Attendees would use putty to log in. "console" would be an internally running program on FreeBSD that would have all the mappings necessary to access serial ports through a terminal server on hardware boxes we will be looking at as part of the presentation. I think it might be a part of the conserver package. Here are the relevant parts of the man page:

---
NAME
console - console server client program
[...]
AUTHORS
Thomas A. Fine, Ohio State Computer Science.
Kevin Braunsdorf, Federal Express (ksb@sa.fedex.com)

SEE ALSO
conserver.cf(5L), conserver(8L), autologin(8L), kill(2)
---

BTW, just remembered another important question: I believe from what I remember from older distributions, that everything I need would be on CD 1, correct? No need to download CD 2 or CD 3? I did try to RTFM for contents of those ISOs, but so far to no avail (I've probably missed some obvious page somewhere).

I used the standard disk VMWare suggested and used that same 8GB standard. The 8GB would be more then you need.
Does that include swap? Or should I add 16GB?
 
If you just want the basic routing stuff and tcpdump, that's in the base OS.

And I was referring to the vmware console which gives you direct access to the fbsd guest os console :e

Confusing as all those console names are, I think I know what you mean ;)

For those terminal servers (to access the serial consoles of network equipment) you probably won't need anything more then telnet or ssh, both are in the base too.

And yes, I run the VM with 512MB which is probably a lot more then you'll need and the 8GB includes the swap (just hit A for the partition layout).
 
Well, that didn't last long. I created the VMWare disk, booted from FreeBSD 7 CD 1, get past the kernel load, then get to:

/boot/kernel/acpi.ko text=0x520e8 data=0x23a0+0x186c syms=[0x4+0x85c0+0x4+0xb056]

Progress indicator starts swirling for about a second, then hangs, and that's it. Doesn't matter if I choose default boot, or single user boot, etc. Always same result.

One more thing I need to try. I think there is an "acpi disabled" option there...

Nope, no difference. Bummer.

:\
 
Any ideas, anyone? I searched and tried to find anything relevant, but nothing obvious shows up. Am I the only one who has ever seen this problem?

Entire host system becomes unresponsive when that happens (and it happens every time). I then tried to just boot directly off that CD. Exactly the same story.
 
That's odd, mine works fine with acpi. Did you create a 32bit or 64bit guest? And which architecture cd, i386 or amd64?

Mine is just a basic vmware guest the wizard created. With 1 32bit proc and i installed freebsd-i386.
 
SirDice said:
Did you create a 32bit or 64bit guest?
32.

And which architecture cd, i386 or amd64?
i386.

Mine is just a basic vmware guest the wizard created. With 1 32bit proc and i installed freebsd-i386.
So is mine. I tried both from cd and iso. I tried other OSes, too, to check. Fedora 10 hanged. Debian and Ubuntu loaded and ran fine. Problem with Debian is, it requires tons of updates to run a few things I need. Ubuntu seems rather up to date, although I had to prune some decorations. ;) I might try OpenBSD next.
 
FreeBSD 7.0 i386 should run fine, i am running it on both vmware workstation and ESXi.. Try starting without ACPI..
Try reinstalling vmware server or use ESXi insted..
 
Dara said:
FreeBSD 7.0 i386 should run fine, i am running it on both vmware workstation and ESXi.. Try starting without ACPI..
As I mentioned earlier, I did try that. Same thing. Perhaps something changed on the new Lenovo, not sure.

Try reinstalling vmware server or use ESXi insted..
Not an option, I have other VMs installed. It would be too much work.

Ubuntu is running okay now and does what I need. It's not my first choice (I am a minimalist), but given the choice between my personal preferences and just getting the job done, I will have to go for the second.

When I have more time, I am sure I will at some point mess around with the BSD again.
 
I have the problem with the swirrling \ and then hangs on vmware ESX 3.5, v7.2 amd64 2cores
Has anyone managed to make it go away ?
It only happens *sometimes*.
 
just to show it.
(kern.hz=50 in loader.conf)

It hangs for 10-12 minutes (no sign of life) and then boots normally. Wtf ? Perhaps it is trying to do/access something ?
 

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Check the (host) BIOS options to make sure that Intel Virtualization is enabled. Do not enable VT-d (Direct I/O).
 
GD said:
just to show it.
(kern.hz=50 in loader.conf)

It hangs for 10-12 minutes (no sign of life) and then boots normally. Wtf ? Perhaps it is trying to do/access something ?


GD did you fix your setup. I am seeing the same symptoms on FreeBSD-8 Stable.
 
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