More Info on VMWare, jhalfs & LiveCD 6.2-5

Roger Merchberger zmerch-lfs at
Mon Apr 2 15:04:57 PDT 2007

Here's kind of a "summary" plus extra hints, tips, tricks & whatnot bout 
doing doing a jhalfs LFS build with the LiveCD version 6.2-5 on VMWare:

0) After fixing my glibc issues (and telling jhalfs not to build a kernel 
because I was too chicken [see below]) the rest of the build _seemed_ to go 
flawlessly, so I'm a goodly chunk of the way there.

1) After doing some searching with alternative (easy to install distros for 
another individual) on 64-bit architectures, I stumbled across a distro 
(DreamLinux) that had boot-time options for VMWare help - it didn't 
actually show the boot parameters, but (gasp!) using logic, I figured them 
out and tested it with the LiveCD and it works wonders for improving screen 
response and keyboard key-repeat & missing/doubled keystroke issues I 
mentioned before.

If you want to do your build using a 1024x768 resolution window (which I've 
always used with the LiveCD) but also want good screen response in VMWare, 
you'll have to use the VESA framebuffer drivers - and so when you see the 
LiveCD's boot: prompt, type this in:

linux vga=791 drvr=vesa

2) If you live in the Eastern timezone of the USA, you'll need to manually 
create a link (as root) so the glibc build won't b0rk:

cd /usr/share/zoneinfo \
ln -s America/Indianapolis EST5

3) Here's the output for lspci so those running VMWare will know what needs 
to be enabled in the kernel... When I have a functional kernel compiled, 
I'll upload the .config for all; I was "afraid" of trying to set up a 
kernel compile without have the screen/keyboard response issues fixed... I 
can't afford another heart attack from the stress...

=-=-= snip here =-=-=

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 440BX/ZX/DX - 82443BX/ZX/DX Host 
bridge (rev 01)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 440BX/ZX/DX - 82443BX/ZX/DX AGP 
bridge (rev 01)
00:07.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ISA (rev 08)
00:07.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 IDE (rev 01)
00:07.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 USB
00:07.3 Bridge: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ACPI (rev 08)
00:0f.0 VGA compatible controller: VMware Inc [VMware SVGA II] PCI Display 
00:10.0 SCSI storage controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic 53c1030 PCI-X 
Fusion-MPT Dual Ultra320 SCSI (rev 01)
00:11.0 Ethernet controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] 79c970 [PCnet32 
LANCE] (rev 10)
00:12.0 Multimedia audio controller: Ensoniq ES1371 [AudioPCI-97] (rev 02)

=-=-= snip here =-=-=

I'm guessing that the "VGA compatible controller" is VESA compatible and 
should work with the VESA framebuffer options in the kernel build... I'll 
test it and let everyone know how it goes.

4) Screen output is graphical in VMWare, so the best you can do to save 
things locally is the internal "screen capture" function in VMWare, but 
this is just bitmaps & so is difficult (read: retype) to get the info in a 
text-based form. However, if you do have functional networking with the 
LiveCD and write access to a web server, you can secure-copy (scp) the info 
to the webpage, then open that text page in Firefox, then cut-n-paste into 
your winders program. Rather sucks a bit, until you consider the 
alternatives suck worse. ;-)  That's how I got the lspci info above into 
the email verbatim.


Well, tomorrow there's a kernel to configure & build, Grub to configure, 
and see if the rascal can actually boot. Until then, I hear there's a 
village in search of their idiot, so I have to hit the road.


One question for the maintainers:

If I am successful, would there be space on the LiveCD for a FAQ & the 
kernel .config file for VMWare users? I'll write & maintain it, just asking 
if you sneak a little corner space in the distro for me... ;-)

Roger "Merch" Merchberger

Roger "Merch" Merchberger   | "Bugs of a feather flock together."
sysadmin, Iceberg Computers |           Russell Nelson
zmerch at          |

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