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Date:      Fri, 08 Apr 2011 17:18:27 -0400
From:      Christopher Hilton <>
To:        Sascha Vieweg <>
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD VMWare Mac screen resulution and keyboard map
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <alpine.OSX.2.02.1104081808050.15924@vyvhz.ybpny>
References:  <alpine.OSX.2.02.1104081808050.15924@vyvhz.ybpny>

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On Apr 8, 2011, at 12:22 PM, Sascha Vieweg wrote:

> As a curious beginner I am running FreeBSD on VMWare Fusion 3.1.2 on a MacBook Pro 13'' i5, and I want to do two things on the normal (startup) console:
> (1) use my apple keyboard, especially, scroll through console output

The Apple Keyboard should just work. The FreeBSD console has a special mode where you can scroll back and forth in console output after hitting Scroll Lock. I'm just not sure what key on the Apple Keyboard VMware maps to Scroll Lock.

> (2) have a screen resolution of at least 800x600.

To start, the X log file: /var/log/Xorg.0.log file is a good source of information about what X is doing if you are trying to tune things.

Getting a good screen resolution should just be a matter of setting the refresh rates to match your monitor. You may be able to put any values you like in there since your screen and video adapter are virtual. All of this gets configured in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. I believe it's considered gauche to hand configure this anymore but since many modern displays, the Apple laptops included, don't conform to the VESA standard modes it's helpful to be able to tune things by hand. The problem is compounded by the fact that again, in VMware you probably aren't talking to the real hardware. Any modern hardware should just tell the X server what it's Sync and Refresh rates are.

One final tip: Check the amount of VideoRam that VMware assigned to the virtual machine. I noticed that it was a little skint at 2Mb or something and I bumped it up to something larger than 8Mbso I could have a  1920x1080x24bpp display. 

Here's my xorg.conf file which I started on an Acrylic MacBook running Parallels and them moved to and retuned for a unibody 15" MacBook Pro. I'm following up my first post since I revisited this file this afternoon to fix a couple of issues that I had worked around. My box is FreeBSD 8.2-STABLE built from sources on 4/6/2011. I'm running xorg-7.5.1 from ports


Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier     " Configured"
        Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
        InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
        InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"

Section "Files"
        ModulePath   "/usr/local/lib/xorg/modules"
        FontPath     "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/misc/"
        FontPath     "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/TTF/"
        FontPath     "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/OTF"
        FontPath     "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/"
        FontPath     "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/"
        FontPath     "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/"

Section "Module"
        Load  "extmod"
        Load  "record"
        Load  "dbe"
        Load  "glx"
        Load  "dri"
        Load  "dri2"
        Load  "vmmouse"

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "Keyboard0"
        Driver      "kbd"

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "Mouse0"
        Driver      "vmmouse"
        Option      "Protocol" "auto"
        Option      "Device" "/dev/sysmouse"
        Option      "ZAxisMapping" "4 5 6 7"

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier      "Apple MacBook Pro A1286 Display"
    VendorName      "Apple"
    HorizSync       27.0-86.0  ## These shouldn't matter
    VertRefresh     50.0-72.0  ## 

    ## 15" MacBook Pro
    Modeline "1440x900" 106.47 1440 1520 1672 1904 900 901 904 932 -HSync +Vsync

    ## 13" MacBook and possibly 13" MacBook Pro
    Modeline "1280x800" 83.46 1280 1344 1480 1680 800 801 804 828

Section "Device"
        Identifier  "VMware Legacy Emulated SVGA II Adapter"
        Driver      "vmwlegacy"
        VendorName  "VMware"
        BoardName   "Legacy Emulated SVGA II Adapter"
        BusID       "PCI:0:15:0"

Section "Screen"
        Identifier "Screen0"
        Device     "VMware Legacy Emulated SVGA II Adapter"
        Monitor    "Apple MacBook Pro A1286 Display"

	## Purge the display modes that I don't need from here.

        SubSection "Display"
                Viewport        0 0
                Depth           24
                Modes           "1440x900" ## 15" MacBook Pro
                Modes           "1280x800" ## 13" MacBook/MacBook Pro

-- Chris


     __o                                                 Chris Hilton
   _`\<,_                            e: chris /at/ vindaloo /dot/ com 
                  "All I was doing was trying to get home from work."
                                                          -Rosa Parks

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