TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

TKL Moodle not working with ESXi acceleration

gbrehm's picture

ESXi 4.1 U1.  TKL Moodle, current version.  Installed using ovf.  Also tried ISO.  I have successfully installed Ubuntu Server 11.04 from ISO on this ESXi box.

Couldn't get TKL Moodle installed.  Seg Fault.  Someone reccomended turning off acceleration; Edit Settings > Options > General.  With acceleration turned off install is flawless.  It is so slow though it is unusable.  So after it boots I turn acceleration back on and Moodle runs nice and quick!  But then other things don't work.  I found out by trying the "Forgot your username or password?" function.  It seems Postfix doesn't like the acceleration mode either.  Turn off acceleration, email works, turn on acceleration email doesn't work.

I'm working on doing a native install of Moodle on a Ubuntu server but I really like the idea of the TKL and would liek to succeed.  It seems to be certainly related to acceleration.  Help?



Jeremy Davis's picture

Known issue

This is a bug that seems to occur with the combination of default TKL kernel, VMware ESX/ESXi v4.1 & certain hardware. Previous versions of ESX/ESXi seem to be ok. As you have found disabling accelleration is one workaround. Others have have reported that swapping out the kernel is another (superior) workaround. Although I can't recall which one they used and for some reason it didn't turn up in a quick search.

Alon (one of the TKL core devs) recently posted on how to install the PAE kernel. Obviously the purpose of his post is to get around the 3GB memory limit, but perhaps the PAE kernel will also solve you problem? Be great if you could give it a go and report back.

apt-get update
apt-get install linux-generic-pae

Then reboot.

gbrehm's picture


Thanks for your input, I've read your other posts on this topic.  I also found one other post that recommended the generic-pae kernel as a fix.  It did not help in our case, same symptom after re-enabling acceleration.



gbrehm's picture


Based on the discussion here;


I upated the kernel to 2.6.35-23-generic and that seems to have fixd it.  I'll do a lot more testing to be certain but the system boots with acceleration turned on!

I am going to post a question on Alon's thread you referred me to about the future ramifications of manually updating the kernel on a TKL system.



Jeremy Davis's picture

Good find!

That bug report show some interesting info. Out of curiosity did you try the workaround mentioned here at all? I read on there that the newer Ubuntu 10.04 PAE kernel (2.6.32-x) now has the issue too (verified by your experience). Doh!

Also how did you install the newer kernel? Did you just download the deb? Or did you add the repo and pin the kernel to it? IMO that would probably be the best way as you will still get updates. I guess another option would be to add the kernel-dev PPA, although obviously the risks of new issues being introduced are higher than ideal. Regardless I'm sure others would be interested to hear how you did it. Especially seeing as it seems to have done the trick for you.

At one point there was a Maverick kernel in the Lucid-backports repo but it doesn't seem to be there anymore.

gbrehm's picture


Yes, I had tried using a different Guest Operating System identifier but it did not help.

I'm not real hip on the the different methods of kernel installation.  I used the apt-get method Alon used for the generic-pae.  Are you thinking that may cause issues in the future?  If so, can you provide the best alternative?  I asked that question on Alon's post too.





Jeremy Davis's picture

What you have done should be ok

Sounds like you've just updated from the standard/official repos. TKL has the Ubuntu lucid-updates/main repo enabled by default and that's where the backported Maverick kernel can be found (2.6.32 is the Lucid kernel & 2.6.35 is the Maverick kernel).

IMO installing the Maverick kernel from 'updates' (as you've done) is your best option (for a non-standard kernel) but there may be some shortcomings. I'm not sure 'updates' has the same degree of maintenance. I'm not even sure if Cannonical guarantee security patches (although obviously there have been updates). I'm not clear but I strongly doubt there will be updates after Maverick support ends (late 2012). Hopefully that won't be too bad though as the new TKL version should at least be getting close by then (around the same time).

All in all I think it'll be ok :). Glad to hear it works.

[update] Following discussion on another thread it has been confirmed that the backported Maverick kernel in the lucid-updates repo will be maintained at least until the next LTS release (Ubuntu 12.04) so it will be fine at least until then.

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