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samtregar (2699)

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Journal of samtregar (2699)

Wednesday April 23, 2008
06:15 PM

VMWare's Jerky Mouse

[ #36233 ]
This isn't the least bit Perl related, but I figured this was an easy way to get some useful info out to Google. I searched in vain for a solution and managed to hit it only by accident. Maybe I can save someone else the trouble.

In short, I installed Fedora 8 as a guest in VMWare running on Windows XP. Everything was fine but the mouse movement was jerky. Not jerky like a video performance problem, but more like wiggly and jittery. It looked a little like my hand was shaking on the mouse, but I was calm as can be.

Reading through the logs, I realized that X had somehow detected my mouse twice. I guess it was getting conficting signals from each movement. I fixed it by opening /etc/X11/xorg.conf and commenting out the entire mouse configuration section and the reference to the mouse config in the screen section. I restart X and my mouse was auto-detected fine.

Most of the advice I could find on the topic of funky mouse movement in VMWare advises you to install VMWare tools. Don't bother - it won't work under Fedora 8 and you'll waste a lot of time trying. You don't need it anyway - Fedora 8 comes with working VMWare display and mouse drivers.


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  • Recent distros will include the appropriate drivers. VMWare tools is only needed if you want extended functionality between the host and the guest OS such as shared folders, copy/paste, time synchronization, etc.
  • I'm a bit surprised that the Xorg autoconfiguration script didn't get it right. Recent releases of it are pretty slick; you can totally remove your configuration and it'll reconfigure everything the next time you try to use X.
    • Well, I'm not sure what part of Xorg to blame. The config actually looks fine - just one mouse configured to use the VMWare driver. But when I start X it finds the mouse twice. Some kind of conflict between the config and the auto-probe code perhaps.

      Ultimately it comes down to the fact that Fedora 8 isn't actually supported by VMWare. It's reasonable to expect a bit of pain when playing outside the lines. I was mostly surprised I couldn't find a solution after a lot of searching - most VMWare bugs a

      • I've installed unsupported OSes in VMWare in the past with no problems. Perhaps there's something new in Fedora 8 that is interfering somehow.

        This is probably a stupid question but here goes anyway. Did you enable Desktop Effects in Fedora 8? I can see how that might cause problems.

        I suppose the new virtualization features in Fedora 8 could be wrecking havok with VMWare.

        • No, no desktop effects. I know it sounds like a rendering problem but I'm sure it wasn't. The rest of the display was snappy, the mouse pointer was just shaking!


  • Just starting using FC8 on VMWare and I know exactly what you are talking about :)