Monday, May 22, 2017

FreeBSD 11 as a Guest OS in VMWare Workstation 12 Player

FreeBSD installer has always been very crude. When VMWare Tools does not work under FreeBSD 10 and 11, it really makes things a lot worse. After all, with relatively very low popularity, FreeBSD's most likely target is VMWare.

Currently, as of May of 2017, the officially supported FreeBSD version by VMWare Tools is 9. Yet if you do try to install FreeBSD 9 in VMWare Player 12, you will find that even "portupgrade" does not build. This was a known problem at the time of the Version 9 release, yet somehow in the official FreeBSD 9 release DVD, this was never fixed. The "UPDATING" file for FreeBSD 9 Ports does provide URLs for DIY fixes, but these URLs refer to the "latest" at the time of the FreeBSD 9 release, so they no longer work.

This shows how chaotic FreeBSD's release process really is. This kind of usage of the "latest" in its release process shows that FreeBSD developers are not following the best practices of the industry.

To make things worse, the FreeBSD website itself is misleading people: 1. It provides suggestions to rebuild the VMWare Tools. The suggestions are not easy to follow, and they do not really work. 2. It provides suggestions to use "Open VMWare Tools", but it then states that the "Open VMWare Tools" approach does not support video.

Thanks to "Linux Video Tutorials" , I was able to find out that "Open VMWare Tools", along with "xf86-video-vmware" and "xf86-input-vmmouse", actually provides most of the features of the official VMWare Tools:

1. Video driver
2. Mouse driver. It supports cursor movements in and out of the guest FreeBSD OS window.
3. It supports copy-paste to and from the guest FreeBSD OS window.

This is obviously different from what the FreeBSD website was saying. What a pleasant surprise.

No comments:

Post a Comment