On 6/6/07, Mikel King <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> On 6/6/07, Sean Murphy <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> Is anyone running virtualization of FreeBSD servers on VMware or
>> other
>> virtualization software?  What experiences have you had, good or bad?
> At home I run have several FreeBSD installs running on Windows 2003
> VMWare Server. The only reason I'm doing this is because FreeBSD
> doesn't support my raid controller, so I'm stuck with windows.
> Overall it works fine. However, you do have terrible disk (and to a
> lesser extent network) performance. I use these installs mostly for
> developing and testing software, so it's not a big deal for me. Here
> are a few tips for getting the most out of a FreeBSD server on VMWare
> (this is for Windows only):
> - If you have enough memory, add prefvmx.minVmMemPct = "100" and
> prefvmx.useRecommendedLockedMemSize = "TRUE" to VMWare config.ini (App
> Data under All Users). That will keep all the VM memory in ram instead
> of swapping it to the disk. The rest of the settings go into your
> FreeBSD.vmx file.
> - Disable named memory file: mainMem.useNamedFile = "FALSE"
> - Disable page sharing: sched.mem.pshare.enable = "FALSE"
> - Disable memory trimming: MemTrimRate = "0"
> - Be sure to use Intel gigabit network adapter:
> ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000"
> In previous versions of VMWare Server you had to configure your
> kern.hz sysctl to be 100. Otherwise your clock would run very slow. I
> think they fixed it in the latest version, but just keep that in mind.
> Disk performance is quite bad. For example, doing a full extract of
> the ports tree takes my server around 16 minutes. On my old laptop
> with a crappy hard drive it takes only 8 or so minutes. So that's
> something to keep in mind, you're not going to be able to use VMs as a
> file server. For most other uses it works fine.
> - Max


        Thanks for this useful info. Where ever did you come across this?

        Ever observe any oddities in the Windows SysLogs regarding LAN
adapter errors?


You mean the info in general, or the e1000 part? I never had any
errors in my Windows sys log. However, if you use the default network
adapter you will have problems. I don't remember what the exact error
is, but I remember that when downloading the ports tree, for example,
it will periodically interrupt the transfer. Something about dropped
packets, or something else like that. Never had problems with e1000,
but the network only seems to perform at about 1/2 of what the host OS
can handle.

Most of those configuration options I just gathered over time of
reading the VMWare forums, people's blogs, and other places. The disk
problem is the only one I couldn't find a decent solution to. I tried
using IDE and SCSI disks, but the results are the same. If you read
the release notes for VMWare Server, you'll notice that they actually
don't claim FreeBSD 6.2 or 6.1 support, only 6.0. I never tested 6.0,
but I get the feeling that FreeBSD is in general not very high on
VMWare's to-support list. Maybe in the future they'll improve things.

Oh one more thing I forgot to mention. After you install FreeBSD,
install perl5.8 and then the VMWare tools. That will let you do a
clean shutdown of the system by using the off button on VMWare console
(more useful when the host OS is going down). However, the script that
comes by default with VMWare tools doesn't actually power down the
machine. Instead it does shutdown -h, so the thing keeps running. To
fix this, open /usr/local/etc/rc.d/vmware-tools.sh, do a search for
'--background' and on the next line add
'--halt-command "/sbin/shutdown -p now"'. That will allow the VM to
properly shutdown. Keep in mind that because VMWare tools depend on
the /proc system to know when it is running, doing things like
`vmware-tools.sh status` will not give you accurate information.
Instead use `top` to make sure 'vmware-guestd' is in there.

- Max
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