Thoughts of a geek

4 November 2009

Fixing VMware mouse grab bug on Ubuntu Karmic

Filed under: Computers — Tags: , , , — qwandor @ 9:23 am

I just upgraded my work machine from Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) to 9.10 (Karmic) and came across a couple of problems with VMware Player (version 2.5.3 build-185404). It seemed wise to document the fixes I found here so that other people experiencing the same problems might find these solutions when they Google for it.

The first was an error when it tried to launch my VM complaining that the virtualisation extensions of my CPU were already in use, saying “The virtualization capability of your processor is already in use. Disable any other running hypervisors before running VMware Player.” and then a number of other errors. This was fixed by removing the KVM kernel modules:
$ rmmod kvm_intel kvm

The second problem was that the VMware window would lose its mouse capture whenever I moved the mouse pointer outside the top-left of the VM screen (apparently a 640×480 region), unless I had a mouse button held down. This made it impossible to actually use the VM. This was eventually fixed by adding the following line to /etc/vmware/bootstrap:
This forces VMware Player to use its own version of the GTK library rather than the Ubuntu one, which apparently avoids the mouse grab bug.



  1. Thanks for the post Andrew. After I upgraded from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10 yesterday, VMWare Player 2.5.2 stopped working. So I upgraded to VMWare Player 2.5.3 build-185404 and the mouse input couldn’t be grabbed outside the 640×480 region. Adding the configuration option to vmware’s bootstrap file worked just fine for me.

    Comment by Aseem Bajaj — 4 November 2009 @ 12:05 pm

    • Great, I am glad that my post helped someone so soon.

      Comment by qwandor — 4 November 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  2. Thanks, saved my day.

    Comment by Mikael — 5 November 2009 @ 7:10 pm

  3. Thanks for the tip. It put an end to a very annoying morning

    Comment by Josh — 10 November 2009 @ 12:32 am

  4. Thanks

    Comment by jlello — 13 November 2009 @ 8:26 am

  5. Thanks! I owe you a beer!

    Now if you can tell me how to get vmware-server 1.x to compile it’s modules and run under Karmic’s 2.6.31 kernel, I’d owe you the whole keg! I’m only using the player because the Jaunty->Karmic upgrade broke vmware-server. The only fix for that I’ve seen so far involves patching and compiling a customer kernel. If I wanted to do that I’d be running slackware.

    Thanks again, great tip.

    Comment by Freeman — 22 November 2009 @ 12:49 am

  6. that should be “custom kernel”. shoulda proofread…

    Comment by Freeman — 22 November 2009 @ 12:51 am

  7. You just made my evening. I was about to lose my mind. Thank you.
    I’m using VMWare Workstation v6.5.3 build-185404 on Ubuntu 9.10.

    Comment by Randall Sanborn — 3 December 2009 @ 1:48 pm

  8. Thank You!

    Comment by Richard Ayotte — 6 December 2009 @ 1:58 pm

  9. Freeman, I had the same issue and followed this tutorial to fix it

    No custom kernal required, just patches the VMWare modules and you’re sorted.

    Comment by Scott — 7 December 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  10. thanks so much

    but it’s really irritating that your comment system says ‘discarded’ if I try to say so little….

    Comment by xoddam — 10 December 2009 @ 6:02 pm

  11. Thanks, save me a lot of trouble.

    Comment by mchibani — 11 December 2009 @ 7:28 am

  12. Thanks man, you saved my bacon. 🙂

    Comment by In2Naos — 12 December 2009 @ 6:39 pm

  13. Thanks for the correct syntax! I found this from an Ubuntu tutorial that was supplying a similar but incorrect constant.

    Comment by josh — 30 December 2009 @ 5:48 am

  14. Thanks – works on Mandriva 2010 also!
    I was sure it was xorg..

    Comment by Nop — 2 January 2010 @ 8:49 am

  15. Brilliant! Was having the same annoying issue with Workstation 7 on 9.10 and this has fixed it. Cheers!

    Comment by notoriousone — 23 January 2010 @ 5:18 am

  16. Thanks – worked perfectly with karmic and Workstation 4.5.3

    Comment by Ian Reissmann — 31 March 2010 @ 10:55 pm

  17. Wow, I was hammering at this for a couple of hours this morning, trying to get vmware server to run – went through all sorts of hoops, finally got it patched… and then I get the processor virtualization error! Thank you sooo much for posting the rmmod. That was the final piece in my puzzle.

    Comment by Goldenpanther — 28 April 2010 @ 6:02 am

  18. That fixed my mouse phasing problem very well. Thanks you.

    Comment by Tyler Gillispie — 20 July 2010 @ 10:16 am

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