Mouse click not working after update of virtual Linux Mint 17.3

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Published on March 19th 2018 - Listed in Linux


Today I installed updates on a virtual Linux Mint 17.3 VM, running in VMware Player 6.0.7. This also included updating the Kernel to a newer version (4.4). After the updates were installed and a reboot of the VM, the mouse didn't work anymore. Or to be more precise: The mouse movements worked but clicking did not.

A re-installation of open-vm-tools did not work. Even installing the VMware tools from the VMware Player didn't change anything.

When the display manager was restarted, the following error showed up in the console:

# service mdm restart
vmmouse failed to fetch status data

And the display manager was not started (staid on console).

I then tried to manually download and install a newer VMware Tools version from vmware.com. I downloaded VMwareTools-10.2.0-7253323.tar.gz and tried to install it, unfortunately with the same result (maybe not correctly supported by VMware Player). But during the setup an important hint was shown, that for Linux Kernels newer than 4.0, VMware Tools at least 10.0 or higher must be used. This can also be found in bin/vmware-uninstall-tools.pl:

# grep "For kernels >= 4.0.0" bin/vmware-uninstall-tools.pl -A 8
            $ans = get_answer('For kernels >= 4.0.0, the ' . $cOvtProdName .
                              ' need to be of ' .
                              'version 10.0.0 or higher for VMware Host Guest Filessystem ' .
                              '(vmhgfs) to function with ' . $gVmtoolsProdName .
                              '. Please upgrade ' . $cOvtProdName .
                              ' and rerun this installer, or uninstall ' .
                              $cOvtProdName . '. Alternatively, you can disable using ' .
                              'vmhgfs when ' . $gVmtoolsProdName . ' are configured.' . "\n\n" .
                              'Enter yes to proceed.', 'yesno', ($gOption{'force-install'} == 1) ? 'yes' : 'no');

So I changed /etc/default/grub and set the GRUB_TIMEOUT=10 (default 0) and set GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT_QUIET=false (default true) and updated grub, followed by a reboot:

# update-grub
# grub-install /dev/sda
# reboot

Now during the grub countdown I was able to get into the grub menu by pressing ESC. And from here I booted into the old and still existing Kernel 3.19. And surprise surprise, here the mouse worked correctly.

Summary: LinuxMint 17.3 on VMware Player: Do not install the newer Kernel above 4.0 (unless you don't use the mouse).

Added: After this I still experienced another problem: Copy+Paste between the host and the VM didn't work anymore. I solved this by uninstalling open-vm-tools and installing the VMware Tools version integrated in VMware Player (Manage -> Reinstall VMware Tools...), followed by a final reboot.


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