How to fix VMware Workstation VM freezing issue when running GNS3 along side an Ubuntu VM for an Automation Lab – Time to lab!!!

Depending on VMware Workstation version, you may not get an error dialogue!

The lack of labbing Ansible has been a struggle of VMware Workstation 15 freezing up with no errors, the Ubuntu VM just wouldn’t load when GNS3 was running, and if I starting the Ubuntu VM first GNS3 was throwing errors that it couldn’t find the VM Server – Fixed!!!

In Workstation 15 it just froze up with no explanation, nothing in logs, in 10 I got the error which I was so excited to get rid of I didn’t save the screen snip, but I do have its message:

“Failed to get exclusive lock on the configuration file. Another VMware process might be running using this configuration file”

Note that before this with Workstation 15 it gave me no error boxes, but same issue!

I finally found a fix for this in this YouTube video, this guy is my hero:


At least not right away, as I did not delete it as it was 4GB large, and just seemed like that was maybe a step too far, though I am not sure if it would break anything I skipped this step and just deleting those lock files (as they populate – see below) worked 100%. Finally!!!

That said deleting the lock or “.lck” files shown in the video worked immediately:


As shown in the YouTube video, I also got prompts saying “Try Again” and just clicked through them / skipped until I was done, and once I refreshed the folder they were gone.

After I rebooted I did open the VM Folder before starting Workstation and did a search for “.lck” to verify the files were still gone, and found that when I started the VMs some lock files populated it again and I deleted them as they popped up, and as you can see my lab is once again pinging from my Ubuntu Ansible Control Node into GNS3 Switch Numero Uno!

Now that I have my VMware Workstation working again, I am going to lab some Ansible!

One thing I would stress is that I did not get an error for 1-2 weeks, I think it was Workstation 10 that actually created it, otherwise there was no logs or errors, it would just freeze.

So if your VM is freezing when you start it with GNS3, delete those lock files!

Time to lab!!! 🙂

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