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Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

(UNSOLVED) Shift/Capslock/Ctrl/Alt keys don’t work after using VMWare Server

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Warning: This is a “noise” post (as opposed to “signal”). I have no solution for this yet.

Problem: When using VMWare Server 1.06 on Ubuntu Hardy 8.04, going into full screen mode, and using the Ctrl-Alt “release cursor” keyboard sequence, all modifier keys stop functioning. Can’t use Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get out of X, or Alt-F2, or Shift at the terminal, etc. etc. This seems to only affect users running Xorg 7.3.

Many more details here:
Ubuntu #195982: Shift key (and caps lock) stop working when using VMWare

Terrible workaround #1:

Running setxkbmap at the console will restore the keys. Unfortunately, getting to the console might be more than difficult without any modifier keys. Therefore, create a launcher on your GNOME panel (or desktop or whatever) that runs setxkbmap. You will have to click this launcher every time you switch to and from VMWare console.

Alternately, use rdesktop (mstsc) or vnc where possible, which avoids the issue altogether.


  • Unlike others who have commented, I am not using evdev for my keyboard, rather the kbd driver.
  • Going to System->Preferences->Keyboard->Layouts has a “Selected layouts” list. USA is there and it is not selected as the default. Selecting it does NOT fix the problem, contrary to some reports.
  • It happens whether you run VMWare Tools or not.
  • As a terribly wonderful side effect, GTK apps (read: gnome-terminal) may segfault on any keypress, when the modifier keys aren’t set (you can the list is empty by looking at xmodmap). This is apparently fixed in a GTK development tree somewhere, but hasn’t reached Ubuntu yet.
  • Removing old GTK libraries in /usr/lib/vmware/lib was also a dead end.
  • Editing /etc/vmware/config (or ~/.vmware/config) to add xkeymap.keycode does not help (even after modifying the keycodes to reflect output from xev).

Other people with the same problem:
Web 0.2 – VMware modifier keys bug status
nthrbldyblg – VMWare and the fubar keyboard effect
VMWare Communities – VMware Causing Keyboard Issues in Ubuntu


Written by jbopensrc

July 1, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Linux, Unsolved, VMWare

Quickfix: VMWare Server WinXP Pro Guest: install hangs at “installing devices”

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Problem:When installing Windows XP Pro as a guest on VMWare Server 1.06 (host Ubuntu, not that it matters), Windows XP setup hangs at “Installing devices”.

Cause: Windows XP needs a driver for the “virtual LSI Logic SCSI adapter”, which is the default in VMWare Server. Previous versions of VMWare did not use this device, so an F6 driver wasn’t needed.


Download vmscsi- (1.4 MB), and mount it as a floppy image in your VM. Hit F6 when Setup asks, hit S, select “VMWare SCSI Controller” and hit ENTER.

VMware Communities – SOLVED: XP Pro 32-bit Guest install hangs during “Installing devices” on Debian Etch Host

Written by jbopensrc

July 1, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Posted in Linux, Quickfix, Windows

Quickfix: Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy – Flash won’t share the sound device (PulseAudio)

with 3 comments


Play an .mp3 file in mplayer via pulse (the default in Hardy). Open Google Video. The Flash plugin (flashplugin-nonfree) has no sound.


sudo apt-get install libflashsupport

PulseAudio – Ubuntu Wiki

Written by jbopensrc

May 1, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Posted in Linux, Quickfix

Quickfix: Ubuntu Hardy dual monitor with Intel 945GM troubles – can’t escape Clone mode

with 19 comments

On a Thinkpad T60 with Intel 945GM, Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy, the external VGA monitor is always cloned. Going into System->Preference->Screen Resolution lets you alter the resolution of the LCD and the external monitor, but it stays cloned whether “Clone Screens” is checked or not. Putting monitor to the left or right of the LCD does nothing (stays cloned). However, putting monitor above or below LCD does work (two desktops, one on top of the other).

xrandr is complaining behind the scenes:

xrandr: screen cannot be larger than 1600x1600 (desired size 2560x1024).

The GUI offers no feedback that the operation has failed so it is quite confusing to the user. You can confirm this by trying manually, xrandr --output LVDS --left-of VGA and see if it complains.

NOTE: This workaround means you will lose direct rendering, so no Compiz or Google Earth. No big deal for me, but a dealbreaker for some I’m sure.

Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and add the following subsections into Section "Screen":

EDIT: Subsection should have been SubSection. Thanks fahoo. (jb -20080501 2203 -0500)

SubSection “Display”
Virtual 2560 1024

Virtual is the resolution of your double-monitor desktop: if you have an LCD at 1280×800 and a CRT to the right of it at 1280×1024, you would put 2560×1024 as in the above example. (Think x1+x2, max(y1,y2)).

Note that the maximum supported size of the virtual desktop for the Intel 945GM series of chipset with 3D acceleration enabled, is 2048×2048. The virtual screen can be larger but DRI will be disabled.

ThinkWiki – Xorg RandR 1.2


$ lspci |grep -e VGA -e Display
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)

Written by jbopensrc

April 29, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Posted in Linux, Quickfix

Quickfix: bash tab completion doesn’t work with mplayer

with one comment

Problem: “mplayer fo[TAB]” won’t work because “foo.bar” is not a “recognized media extension”, like .avi or .mpg. bash tab completion decides what files can be opened by which commands.

echo "complete -r mplayer" >> ~/.bashrc


Written by jbopensrc

March 28, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Posted in Linux, Quickfix

Quickfix: AR5418 with ndiswrapper

with one comment

Problem: madwifi is buggy with this wireless chip. If using 32-bit, ndiswrapper is possible and far more stable.

03:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5418 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)

Solution: (Kubuntu 7.10, YMMV)
wget ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccbbs/mobiles/7iwc28ww.exe
sudo apt-get install cabextract ndiswrapper-utils-1.9
cabextract 7iwc28ww.exe
sudo ndiswrapper -i WINXP_2K/NET5416.INF
sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
echo ndiswrapper |sudo tee -a /etc/modules

Written by jbopensrc

December 3, 2007 at 2:07 am

Posted in Linux, Quickfix

Quickfix: Weird KDE menu (“_: Entries in K-menu”)

with one comment

Problem: KDE menu shortcuts prefixed with “_: Entries in K-menu: ” (screenshot)

Cause: Selected English (Canada). en_ca broken in Kubuntu 7.10.

sudo qt-language-selector --mode select

Change to English (United States of America).

Bug #135084 in kdebase (Ubuntu)

Written by jbopensrc

December 3, 2007 at 1:57 am

Posted in Linux, Quickfix