VMware WS 6.5 on Ubuntu 8.04 with ATI fglrx and Win95 guest keeps crashing

Randall J. Parr RParr at TemporalArts.COM
Fri Oct 10 22:34:42 UTC 2008

I have (several) Ubuntu 8.04 systems with AMD 780G motherboard (Gigabyte 
GA-MA78GM-S2H) with onboard ATI video.  The newest ATI Catalyst 8.9 
fglrx X drivers are installed.

I have VMware workstation/vmplayer 6.5.0 118166.  I had installed VMware 
6.5.0 beta but then upgraded them to 118166.

I have a Win95 guest into which I have installed the VMware Tools from 
6.5.0 11816 which resulted in installation of VMware Tools 7.7.0 114891.

The Win95 guest keeps hanging/crashing.  Sometimes the crash just hangs 
and the guest will no longer respond to keyboard/mouse input.  Sometimes 
the crash freezes and/or takes the whole X down leaving a screen which 
will not respond to keyboard/mouse or just a black screen.  When it 
crashes the Win95 appears hung (won't respond to ping, etc.) the console 
X may be frozen but the underlying host is still fine (can ssh to the 
host and all the non-X stuff still running fine.)

This same guest can be run on an older Red Hat 8 machine with 
workstation 6.0.x just fine. It's way slow but it doesn't crash.  It has 
also been run on another workstation with Ubuntu 8.04 but an nVidia 
video board.  It has not been run as extensively on these other 
workstations but, to the extent it did run, it never crashed.

A purusal of the log files has not yielded much of use.  When it 
hangs/crashes it does not seem to have time/ability to log the problem.  
(Or maybe I'm not seeing something).

I believe there is some kind of problem/interaction between the ATI 
fglrx driver and VMware video.  I believe this, in part, because the 
problem was much, much more pronounced when running the original Ubuntu 
8.04 ATI fglrx based on Catalyst 8.3.  The problems got much better 
after upgrading to the newest Catalyst.

1) Is anyone else having problems like this?

2) Any suggestions for settings in VMware/Win95 and/or X that might 
alleviate these problems?

3) Any suggestions for how best to isolate the problem.

Thanks.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I am trying to help 
someone turn half-dozen workstations inside-out; that is from Win95 
machines running Cygwin X to Ubuntu machines running Win95 in VMplayer.

R.Parr, RHCE, Temporal Arts
Portland, OR  U.S.A.

P.S. I also posted this in the VMware forums but thought it might be 
more general fglrx and better posted here as well.

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