16 October, 2015

Google Chrome+ OS X + VMWare Fusion 8.0.1 = No Bueno

As those who read my blog know, I recently started a new job with Oracle. A very large part of what i do means being connected internally through the Oracle VPN. Having been a consultant for many MANY years, I’ve come to the realization that putting a fence around VPN is a good idea wherever possible.

So instead of installing the VPN, Proxies, and the required software on my iMac, I created an OS X based VM using VMWare Fusion 8.0.1. This worked great! I could have my VPN up and running and access what I needed to without affecting all the things that were running perfectly on my desktop.

That was until yesterday morning. I woke up, went through emails, switched over to my VM, startup up Chrome and was greeted with this:

Bad Chrome

I had no idea what was going on, and really didn’t even know what to search for.  However, I did know it was working the day before and being a VM, I just restored a snapshot. Hurray. Everything was working again … Until this morning.

Once again I started up chrome and it greeted me with the snowed out display. This time I knew I had to solve the problem. I couldn’t revert to a snapshot everyday and lose all the work I’d done the prior day. That would get me nowhere.

After some searching, cursing, more searching and a couple cups of caffeine, I finally found something on the Chromium forums at Google. According to this thread, it’s a problem with Chrome using it’s in-built hardware acceleration with VMWare 8.0.1. so that feature has to be turned off.  But to turn it off you have to run chrome, navigate to its settings (which is displayed as a web page), uncheck a box and then restart Chrome. No easy task when you can’t ready anything chrome says.

However you can start Chrome from the command line and apply run-time settings to it. Open a Terminal window and type the following:

open -a “Google Chrome" --args --disable-gpu

Then navigate to the Preferences section of Chrome, scroll to the bottom and click Show advanced settings...

 

Scroll down until you find the SYSTEM area and uncheck Hardware Acceleration.

Restart Chrome and you’ll be back on track!

Not sure if this bug affects any other OS’s besides OS X, but just in case ...