[USRP-users] B210 with VMware

Ralph A. Schmid, dk5ras ralph at schmid.xxx
Thu Dec 4 02:44:47 EST 2014


sorry for posting this to three lists, but it affects them all. I kindly ask
you being wise when sending a reply, if it really should go to all lists,
too :)

With my relative new USRP B210 I was not very lucky by means of stability,
especially at higher sampling rates USB3.0 totally crashed, pulling the
whole virtual USB subsystem in some non-responsive black hole, when using
Kubuntu 14.04 with VMware 10 on a Windows 8.1 machine. Similar crashes
occurred when using Kubuntu 14.04 and Debian 7 on the bare metal (same
hardware, directly booted from µSD card). I tested this many weeks ago, so I
don't know if this would be better now with all the changes made in uhd in
the meantime. In the VM it also got a bit better over the time, at least at
lower sampling rates, but it did not completely vanish.

The real breakthrough came yesterday with an upgrade from VMware 10 to 11!
For the very first time OpenBTS ran through the whole night using the B210,
keeping a phone call alive between to test phones all the time. Gqrx ran in
the old config only for minutes, yesterday after this change it ran through
the whole afternoon at full 32MHz bandwidth. This morning I was able to
start OpenLTE with a 1.4MHz wide LTE carrier, and it ran for 15 minutes,
crashing only when I opened Outlook in the host system, probably stealing
too much cycles from the guest system. In the previous setup it only ran for
seconds up to a minute. 

So although many factors seemed to influence the issue (see my various
frustrating bare metal experiences), one main factor was VMware what got
much, much better now. I must check the release notes if they mention the
overworked USB subsystem. Still some sour taste remains as the very similar
BladeRF with its identical FX3 USB controller never ever showed such
annoying behavior :)


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