VMware Workstation Pro 12.5: "failed to initiate policy on cpu:" on boot

ArchiTech89
ArchiTech89 used Ask the Experts™
on
Host:
Windows 7 Enterprise
16GB RAM
Core i7
Only one VM active
Guest:
Kali Linux (current rolling edition)
4GB RAM
2 processors, 1 core each


At bootup, I get
cpufreq: cpufreq_online: Failed to initialize policy for cpu:
and then the number of the cpu (in my case, 0 or 1 --  I get the same message from both).

I've searched the web, and one guy had the same thing recently (Ubuntu, this time) and posted it in several places, but no answers. I thought perhaps our great experts here might just know what's going on.

As an aside, this VM seems to degrade my workstation performance, but I'm not positive -- something's giving the PC fits, but I can't be sure it's this VM.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I have VMware 12.5 on my laptop here and it works fine.

Is your guest 64-bit?  You need VD-t enabled.

Open the machine without starting, so that you can see the VMX file settings. How many CPU's?  I use 1 CPU with 2 cores for my 64-bit machines.

If this machine won't start, build a new test machine and check that.
ArchiTech89IT Security Engineer

Author

Commented:
Guest is 64-bit. VD-t is enabled in BIOS, right? Should I check that?

Also, I've built other machines and they work as well, I just don't use them as much.

I failed to mention that the guest is booting up -- it skips right past the error messages and let's me log in and do whatever I need to. I'm just wondering if this problem is causing the intermittent but significant slowdowns in the host OS.

As I said above, I use two processors, 1 core each. But an hour ago it was set to 1 processor, 2 cores. I changed it to see if that had an impact.


Thanks...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
Check the BIOS settings to be sure.
I use 1 CPU for a guest machine because even my 4 core machine has 1 CPU. Best I think.

See what happens with these changes.
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VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
cpufreq: cpufreq_online: Failed to initialize policy for cpu:

This is a process within the kernel of the Linux Distro, which enables the CPU to scale up and down, to save power! The same warning can be seen on ArchLinux, and forks of, Centos 7.0

In a virtual machine, this has no effect or meaning! This error is often seen on Distro's which are not currently supported correctly on the Hypervisor.

If the VM is functioning fine, then this messages/warning can be ignored.

As for Performance of the Host, when using a VM...

1. Run virtual machines on SSD/Flash
2. Set VMware Workstation to Reserve ALL Memory. If have a 16GB Host, I would reserve 8GB.
3. Allocate 1 vCPU to the VM.

See what the VM and Host run like....

To be honest with you, when we use VMware Workstation, we have laptops, with 32GB RAM, and Desktops which have between 64GB, 96GB, 142GB, and we now use SSD and Flash Cards, and Desktops with so much RAM, we actually create RAMDRIVES, and run VMs out of RAM Memory for fast performance!
ArchiTech89IT Security Engineer

Author

Commented:
@John - I looked in BIOS, and I had VT-x enabled, but not VT-d. I enabled it and rebooted, and there was no change in the boot process error messages I asked about in this post. I'll change the VM back to 1 processor 2 cores, and if I continue to have problems, I'll try 1 core.

@Andrew - Thanks! Understanding the problem and its cause is for me key to better troubleshoot in the future.
  1. I don't understand what you mean by running the VMs from flash. Are you saying the HDD portion of the VM could/should be on a fast drive, SSD or otherwise?
  2. On your recommendation, I did set Workstation Pro to reserve 8GB of the 16GB. So that's been dedicated at this point, right?
  3. I allocated 1 processor and 2 cores. You're saying I could be better off with just 1 processor and 1 core?

Thanks to both of you. At least I don't have to worry about the errors I'm seeing on bootup, and I have a better feel for the dynamics of host software/VM setup.


Regards,

Noel Oveson
ArchiTech89
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Please keep us posted - Thanks.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
@Andrew - Thanks! Understanding the problem and its cause is for me key to better troubleshoot in the future.
I don't understand what you mean by running the VMs from flash. Are you saying the HDD portion of the VM could/should be on a fast drive, SSD or otherwise?
On your recommendation, I did set Workstation Pro to reserve 8GB of the 16GB. So that's been dedicated at this point, right?
I allocated 1 processor and 2 cores. You're saying I could be better off with just 1 processor and 1 core?

Correct, on all responses.
ArchiTech89IT Security Engineer

Author

Commented:
Thanks for such great, quick help!

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