Some OpenSuse update made it very slow in VMware

I have been using OpenSuse Tumbleweed occasionally as a guest system in VMware (the host system is Windows 11). From time to time I would update the OpenSuse system to the newest. Recently I noticed that it had become very slow and laggy. For example typing in a terminal or in emacs would have a significant (and random) lag. If I keep a button pressed for a few seconds and then release it, it will keep repeating the button long after I have released it (at worst it can keep repeating it for over 5 seconds after I release the button!)

It did not exhibit this problem before. In fact, in order to corroborate that this is a problem in OpenSuse itself and not VMware, I tried other distros and there’s no such problem there. Moreover, I took an older backup I had of this same OpenSuse system and ran it, and the problem was not there. I then did a “zypper dup” on it and lo and behold, the problem started after a restart. So quite clearly some OpenSuse update caused this to happen.

Problem is that I can’t really say when this problem started, ie. when the update that caused this happened. Could have been yesterday, could have been six months ago. I can’t really tell.

Does anybody have any idea of how to fix this? Perhaps it has something to do with the VMware drivers in OpenSuse? Or perhaps something else?

This is a very bad problem because the system is effectively unusable like this. I use Linux mainly for coding, and I just can’t code when it behaves like this (very laggy input, and extremely bad input buffering delay that makes continous presses of a button, eg. a cursor key, completely unresponsive.)

Welcome back !!

Interesting you can’t identify a timeframe. :+1:

Have you posted in a VMWare forum about this, considering that’s where TW is running in / subjected to (?).

If I were in this predicament, I’d backup /home , then reinstall … or revert to a snapshot (VMWare s.s.). An hour’s time and you’re done :+1:

What good would that do? I already said that I used an older backup, it worked fine, and after a “zypper dup” the problem appeared.

What desktop environment are you using?

The default one, ie. Plasma.

Can you provide the output to top while it is lagging?

Immediately after startup it seems to work intermittently, in other words, there may be no lag of any kind for 5-10 seconds, then there’s lag for another 5-10 seconds, and so on back and forth, with random durations. After a few minutes it seems to settle down. Problem is that it settles down into the wrong mode, ie. the lag becomes permanent.

When keeping a button pressed and then releasing it (after which the character just keeps appearing for many seconds), the top processes are kwin_x11 and Xorg.bin. However, they only take about 1.5% to 2% of CPU each.

Are you able to SSH into the VM and run the free command and post it’s output when lagging?

It just says 1.2 GB used out of 16 GB.

Try XFCE or GNOME, there might be an issue with KDE

Turns out that I was wrong. I thought that the problem was with OpenSuse, but turns out that it was with VMware after all.

The problem does appear in other distros as well. It’s just that due to sheer coincidence the others I tried happened to be in the no-lag portion of the intermittent behavior (which I mentioned above). Same with the older install of OpenSuse that I had restored from backup. Due to pure sheer coincidence I got the picture that only an updated OpenSuse exhibited the problem. (The severity of the problem does depend on the distro, for some reason, but it does definitely appear in all of them.)

Apparently the exact source of the problem is still unknown, it happens only in certain configurations (Windows11 host, possibly some of the side channel and/or system protections turned on, VMware version 16.2 or newer, GPU acceleration may have some effect on it), and the VMware developers have still not fixed the problem even though it has been over a year.

Apparently the only solution (as of writing this) that works for all people is downgrading VMware to version 16.1.2. And, indeed, it seems to work for me as well.