VMware Workstation

 View Only

 Workstation Pro 17.5.2 build-23775571/Fedora 40 multiple display problem

Mark Kennedy's profile image
Mark Kennedy posted Jun 03, 2024 01:23 PM

Multiple display support was a tad flakey from the get-go.  Even after it is configured, you have to use 'View/Cycle Multiple Monitors' to make it use multiple displays.  While annoying, it worked.  Until recently.  The Fedora kernel upgrade from version 6.8.7 to 6.8.8 broke it.  Choosing 'Cycle Multiple Monitors' is ignored with 6.8.8.  The current kernel version (as of 06/03/24) is 6.8.9 and this problem is still there.  Kernel version 6.8.7 continues to work.  When I brought this up with the Fedora people (since the problem seemed to be caused by the kernel upgrade), I was told Vmware proprietary blah blah blah bring it up with Vmware.  So I am :-).

I use Workstation Pro on two other single display systems and have no problems.

Thoughts/comments?  Post the Broadcom change, how are bugs supposed to be reported?

I should add this is a windows 10 host running the Fedora 40 guest.

Technogeezer's profile image
Technogeezer

Opinion (FWIW):

If you suspect that the bug is in the implementation of the VMware SVGA video adapter or the Windows VMware Tools packages, Fedora is correct. That would be a bug/incompatibility with Workstation and needs to be reported to VMware/Broadcom. That's easier said than done; you can only officially open a support case if you have a support contract/subscription. Otherwise you post here and hope that some kind soul from VMware can forward to the responsible group. 

One would assume that a minor kernel version update shouldn't have broken things.  But remember, we're talking Linux here, so that assumption would be incorrect. Like Apple, Linux doesn't really want anyone mucking with kernel modules. If an application has to interface directly with the kernel through modules (like VMware), all bets are off that a kernel update won't change something that you're depending on.  There's no such thing as stable kernel interfaces for Linux, IMO. . 

Also consider that there have been a lot of changes in Fedora lately -- especially F40 -- that broke stuff. In F40, they not only moved to a newer kernel, but they moved to newer versions of GNOME, GTK4, and Mesa 3D libraries. Things have broken that worked before (especially since GTK4 is using a new renderer) because of this - and they haven't gotten them all fixed yet.

Ian Forbes's profile image
Broadcom Employee Ian Forbes

What exactly do you mean by not working? Describe the behavior, or lack thereof, in detail. Can you check that there are no scrollbars in the main window and that the second screen isn't simply being draw off-screen in the scrollable area.

Can you perhaps try with Fedora Rawhide?

Mark Kennedy's profile image
Mark Kennedy

can't try rawhide.

by "not working", i mean multiple-monitor support for 2 displays never works when configured for 2 displays (or more).  this is easily verified by a search showing many others with the problem.  the workaround from vmware is to invoke 'Cycle Multiple Monitors' from the View menu.  typically this causes it to recognize & use the 2nd monitor.  this workaround stopped working across the fedora 40 kernel upgrade from v6.8.7 to v6.8.8.   invoking 'Cycle Multiple Monitors' was simply ignored and the display stayed at one monitor.   'Cycle Multiple Monitors' continued to fail in this way with the update to kernel v6.8.9.  i brought this to the attention of fedora and their response was "not our problem" (which i can kind of see).  their suggestion was to bring it to vmware (or broadcom).  

Technogeezer's profile image
Technogeezer

Extremely doubtful that Rawhide is going to fix this since it's running the same (or newer) kernel as F40. 

Fedora is right and wrong here - they are wrong since obviously the Linux kernel change (along with who knows what other updated packages) have broken Workstation. But they are right in that the only folks that are going to figure out what exactly caused the breakage is VMware.

What's the configuration of your PC (especially, what video card and what driver for the video card are you using)? That may help VMware figure out what's going on. Also consider that F40 is not officially supported by VMware for Workstation 17.x (VMware doesn't do a very good job of keeping up with the latest Linux releases and kernel updates to make sure that they don't break their products). 

Ian Forbes's profile image
Broadcom Employee Ian Forbes

Multi Mon is handled by vmtoolsd. Can you ensure it's installed and running. Also if you can upload your vmware.log it should be more clear as to what is happening as window creation and resizing is logged by default.