"FreeBSD 9.2 on VMware Workstation 9.0.2"

Posted on Thu 10 October 2013 in ops

Tonight I decided I really wanted to switch to freebsd from Ubuntu. The move was not because ubuntu had issues, but rather because I felt that I would enjoy the experience of freebsd more than that of linux. It was going to be a new world, with a different way of making things work.

So the items I list below will show the steps that I went through to get freebsd working smoothly on vmware.

Note: I will assume you have already installed freebsd and will not walk through those steps"

  1. Installing gnome2
  2. Installing rc.conf
  3. Install VM tools
  4. Configure Xorg
  5. Installing Screen Tools
  6. Acknowledgements

Install gnome2

To install gnome2 the steps that I took are below.

  1. Install gnome2

    cd /usr/ports/x11/gnome2
    make install clean
  2. Install xorg

    cd /usr/ports/x11/xorg
    make install clean
  3. Create the initial xorg.conf file

    Xorg -configure
    cp /root/xorg.conf.new $HOME/xorg.conf

At this time the gnome2 desktop should be installed so we can complete.

Configure rc.conf

The next step is to configure rc.conf to startup by default. This can be done by adding the below two lines to /etc/rc.conf and than rebooting.

    # DBus and HALd

    # VMware tools

Install VM tools

There are a few tools that you will want to install to make it so that your vm exprience is the best.

  1. install open-vm-tools

    cd /usr/ports/emulators/open-vm-tools
    make install clean
  2. install the mouse tools

    cd /usr/ports/x11-drivers/xf86-input-vmmouse
    make install clean
  3. install the vmware tools (from the vmware dvd)

    tar -xvf vmware-freebsd-tools.tar.gz
    cd vmware-tools-distrib

Configure Xorg

You will need to configure the screen and input devices to make them work correctly with a virtual system.

    Section "ServerLayout"
      Identifier "X.org Configured"
      Screen 0 "VMScreen" 0 0
      InputDevice "VMMouse" "CorePointer"
      InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard" 

    Section "InputDevice"
      Identifier "VMMouse"
      Driver "vmmouse"
      Option "Protocol" "auto"
      Option "Device" "/dev/sysmouse"
      Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5 6 7"

    Section "Monitor"
      Identifier "VMMonitor"
      VendorName "VMware, Inc"

    Section "Device"
      Identifier "VMware SVGA"
      Driver "vmware"

    Section "Screen"
      Identifier "VMScreen" 
      Device "VMware SVGA"
      Monitor "VMMonitor"

Install Screen tools

To install the screen tools you need to install a few development tools like git, wget and dependencies.

  1. Install the gsed dependency

    cd /usr/ports/textproc/gsed
    make install clean
  2. Install the newt dependency (include python support)

    cd /usr/ports/devel/newt
    make install clean
  3. Install tmux

    cd /usr/ports/sysutils/tmux
    make install clean
  4. Install byobu (for tmux support need downloaded version) - Last version used 5.60

    cd $HOME
    wget https://launchpad.net/byobu/trunk/5.60/+download/byobu_5.60.orig.tar.gz
    tar -xvf byobu_5.60.orig.tar.gz
    ./configure --prefix="$HOME/byobu"
    make install clean
    echo "echo "export PATH=$HOME/byobu/bin:$PATH" &ltsp;&ltsp; $HOME/.bashrc
    source $HOME/.bashrc


As you can imagine the majority of this information was info that I found while online. As such, I like to share links to the sites that I used to access this information.

If you have been searching, this is one of the first links that comes up, it is a great site and has tons of useful information, I highly recommend checking it out.

This was a useful blog as well, but especially the comment by HW. This comment included the information to install xf86-input-vmmouse which is what was able to halt the odd stuttering effect that was happening when the mouse would lose/get focus.

This section included the details on installing the missing pieces for byobu (especially the byobu config).