FreeBSD Guest: Questions

Discussion in 'Parallels Workstation for Windows and Linux' started by DrJ, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. DrJ


    I downloaded the trial version of Parallels Workstation yesterday, and installed FreeBSD 6.1 as a guest under XP. I would have preferred to do it the other way round (that is, XP on FreeBSD), but that configuration is not supported at the moment.

    Overall, Parallels looks pretty good: the ISO installed easily, the Ethernet works, and the system is pretty responsive even running Gnome on top of FreeBSD. The disk performance seems to be reasonable, running at about 2/3 the speed of the native drives, which are 15K SCSIs so that is not bad.

    I've a few questions. For context, I run dual 19" CRTs.

    Is it possible to use Xinerama for a larger full screen from within BSD? MergedFB would be better, but it is not supported for the Intel 815. I could reduce the bit depth to gray scale if it helps with buffer sizes. Is support for a higher-end (or at least more full-featured) graphics chip planned that might support MergedFB?

    Is it possible to use full-screen mode in the guest (a single screen now) and switch to a window on the host without the full-screen reverting to its smaller size? That is annoying.

    I was unable to install the Parallels tools, which seems to offer a driver for a higher-speed Ethernet. How do I do so? The slow Ethernet is a limitation.

    Speaking of the tools, is it planned to extend the tools for non-Windows guest systems? The integration features would be very useful, but are not offered for "other" guests. While things work, it feels a bit "clunky" without the full range of features offered in more complete tools versions. Is this planned?

    Thanks for the replies.

  2. tacit_one


    Yes, we have plans to support this feature with our guest Tools video driver in the future.

    This feature is coming in the version 2.2 (as already implemented on osx version) of our program.

    Yes, it is surely planned. Parallels Tools are not yet presented in any system other than Windows. This limitation is to be resolved in the next major version of our virtualization system.
  3. DrJ


    Thanks for the reply.

    It seems to me that the Mac version has been put higher on the priority list than the other platforms. That is a reasonable decision, based on the competition and the market opportunities. As it stands now, the FreeBSD version is not quite ready for prime time.

    In addition to the things I asked about in my original posting, it turns out that Parallels is not that stable for me. It suffers from random panic traps under moderate multitaksing. I found this by ryring to rebuild the world, kernel and ports on FreeBSD 6.1 in the usual way, as I figured this would be the best way to probe for weaknesses. I was never able to build world ("userland") or upgrade the installed ports. If anything was done on the host OS -- XP Pro in my case -- then the panic happened. Minimizing activity on the host lessened the problem, but it was still there.

    This does not happen on a native FreeBSD installation, nor in VMware, so it is not the hardware (which is incredibly stable).

    The company has come a long way in a short time, and seemingly has a good Mac product. If my experience is representative of those on other platforms, then those have a way to go to be useful.


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