Gentoo/Linux freezing under VMware ESX/ESXi
We recently got in trouble with two Gentoo machines that where running under VMware ESX & ESXi.
The hosts froze randomly (Even the console in vmware froze). Especially when putting a little load on the machines. After hours of testing we found that removing virtual CPU’s from the host solved the problem. More that one CPU got the machine to freeze after some time.
!! Unsatisfied solution !! So after a couple of more hours we found a working solution….
The solution was to disable the time stamp counter hardware in the host. This is done by passing notsc on the kernel command line.
We found people running Ubuntu with a similar problem and some of them solved the problem with passing clocksource=acpi_pm on the kernel command line. The clocksource problem is known by VMware and more information can be found here http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1007020. This did however not solved our problem but some readers may find it helpful.