Jeff Dickens wrote:
Jeff Dickens wrote:
John Nielsen wrote:
On Tuesday 03 October 2006 12:58, Jeff Dickens wrote:
I have some Freebsd systems that are running as VMware guests. I'd like to configure their kernels so as to minimize the overhead on the VMware
host system.  After reading and partially digesting the white paper on
timekeeping in VMware virtual machines
( it appears that I
might want to make some changes.

Has anyone addressed this issue?

I haven't read the white paper (yet; thanks for the link), but I've had good results with recent -STABLE VM's running under ESX server 3. Some thoughts:

As I do on most of my installs, I trimmed down GENERIC to include just the drivers I use. In this case that was mpt for the disk and le for the network (although I suspect forcing the VM to present e1000 hardware and then using the em driver would work as well if not better).

The VMware tools package that comes with ESX server does a poor job of getting itself to run, but it can be made to work without too much difficulty. Don't use the port, run the included install script to install the files, ignore the custom network driver and compile the memory management module from source (included). If using, use the built-in vmware display driver, and copy the vmmouse driver .o file from the VMware tools dist to the appropriate dir under /usr/X11. Even though the included file is for 6.8, it works fine with 6.9/7.0 ( 7.1 should include the vmmouse driver.) Run the VMware tools config script from a non-X terminal (and you can ignore the warning about running it remotely if you're using SSH), so it won't mess with your X display (it doesn't do anything not accomplished above). Then run the rc.d script to start the VMware tools.

I haven't noticed any timekeeping issues so far.

What is the advantage of using the "e1000 hardware", and is this documented somewhere? I got the vxn network driver working without issues; I just had to edit the .vxn file manually: I'm using the free VMware server V1 rather than the ESX server.


I've got timekeeping running stably on these. I turn on time sync via vmware tools in the .vmx file:

 tools.syncTime = "TRUE"

and in the guest file's rc.conf start ntpd with flags "-Aqgx &" so it just syncs once at boot and exits.

I'm not using X on these. They're supposed to be clean & lean systems to run such things as djbdns and qmail. And they do work well. My main goal is to reduce the background load on the VMware host system so that it isn't spending more time than it has to simulating interrupt controllers for the guests. I'm wondering about the "disable ACPI" boot option. I suppose I first should figure out how to even roughly measure the effect of any changes I might make.

Well, I've done some pseudo-scientific measurement on this. I currently have five freebsd virtual systems running, and one Centos 4 (linux 2.6), This command give some info on the background cpu usage:

(The host is a Centos 3 system, linux 2.4)

[EMAIL PROTECTED] root]# ps auxww | head -1
[EMAIL PROTECTED] root]# ps auxww | grep vmx
root 18031 12.7 1.5 175440 39916 ? S< Oct09 345:50 /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx -C /var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines/Goose/freebsd-6.1-i386.vmx -@ "" root 18058 12.9 1.4 174772 36916 ? S< Oct09 351:01 /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx -C /var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines/Duck/freebsd-6.1-i386.vmx -@ "" root 18072 16.2 5.5 246372 141776 ? S< Oct09 440:16 /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx -C /var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines/BlueJay/freebsd-6.1-i386.vmx -@ "" root 18086 12.9 1.4 174688 38464 ? S< Oct09 351:47 /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx -C /var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines/Heron/freebsd-6.1-i386.vmx -@ "" root 18100 9.4 4.1 385712 107348 ? S< Oct09 256:25 /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx -C /var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines/Newt/freebsd-6.1-i386.vmx -@ "" root 18139 12.2 2.5 299388 65132 ? S< Oct09 330:35 /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx -C /var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines/Centos4/Centos4.vmx -@ ""
root     28930  0.0  0.0  3680  672 pts/3    S    14:08   0:00 grep vmx

As one can see the one called "Newt" is consistently lower in the "%CPU" column. Curiously enough, this *is* the one I built a custom kernel for. The config file I used is posted below: Besides commenting out devices I wasn't using & NFS, etc, I commented out the apic and pctimer devices. Do you think I'm on the right track for reducing interrupt frequency?

Also, if I were to want to move this kernel to other FreeBSD systems, how much has to move, the whole /boot/kernel directory?

Finally I did have to re-run the script after rebuilding the kernel.
Could anyone perhaps share their thoughts on just this part of my question? Thanks in advance.

--->Also, if I were to want to move this kernel to other FreeBSD systems, how much has to move, the whole /boot/kernel directory?

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