Author Topic: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox  (Read 3491 times)

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Online nctnico

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Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« on: December 26, 2018, 01:15:43 pm »
I'm trying to get Allegro 17.2 (the latest version) to run in Virtualbox on Linux but I'm getting weird artefacts when moving traces:


No, this isn't a hacked version and yes I installed the latest version.

Anyone have a clue to what is going wrong here? Until now I have never seen an application misbehave in Virtualbox.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 01:18:28 pm by nctnico »
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Online nctnico

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2018, 09:46:45 pm »
As a last resort I tried VMware. That doesn't seem to suffer from the problem however it would mean shelling out another 180 euros  :rant:
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Online Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2018, 01:48:04 am »
All versions of Allegro always seem to leave digital dirt on the screen every so often. Does pressing F5 get rid of it? If not, there's probably options in user preferences you can play with, relating to the display.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2018, 11:12:04 pm »
Thanks. I found the option to disable OpenGL and then it seems to work OK in Virtualbox as well with slightly less slick looking graphics. So now I at least have the choice to stay with Virtualbox or move to VMWare. Running Virtualbox and VMware at the same time results in a crash of the system so if I go for VMware I have to migrate all my virtual machines.
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Offline Whales

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 11:53:43 pm »
Are you using the Virtualbox guest extensions that provide graphics accel?  You have to manually install these on the guest.  They provide a "better" openGL experience, but there are two variants (you are asked which you want to use when you install them) that can behave differently.

I have no experience with vmware so I can't comment there.  Other than stories about recurring license fees and Microsoft style audits  >:D

Online nctnico

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2018, 12:02:40 am »
I've tried with and without 3D accelleration and support. With full 3D support the PCB layout window gets completely garbled. But thanks for your heads-up about VMWare licensing. I'll check if the license is perpetual.
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Offline asmi

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2018, 06:19:38 pm »
I wouldn't recommend running Allegro under VM if you work on anything more-or-less complex as it will be annoyingly slow.

Online nctnico

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2018, 12:32:45 am »
I wouldn't recommend running Allegro under VM if you work on anything more-or-less complex as it will be annoyingly slow.
I don't really have a choice; no Windows on my PC. Besides that I have tried a reasonably complex reference design for a 10 layer board with a SoC on it and that seems to work quick enough for shoving tracks and components around. The performance seems to depend greatly on the graphics accelleration supported by the VM. Emulated 3D support is terribly slow indeed. Also the PC I have is bought specifically to have good support for VMs (lots of memory bandwitdh and SSD for fast disk access).

Anyway, I've decided to use Virtualbox with OpenGL disabled in Allegro. That should be OK for now. I can't run Virtualbox together with VMWare and I have standarised on Virtualbox for a whole bunch of VMs. All in all if I switch to VMWare I'd have to buy multiple Workstation Pro licenses for 280 euro each. 180 euro turns out to be just for the player which can only run one VM at a time. Perhaps Virtualbox fixes the 3D support at some point.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 02:52:46 am by nctnico »
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Offline asmi

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2018, 04:38:58 pm »
I don't really have a choice; no Windows on my PC.
You're running Linux, right? If so - there is a Linux version of Allegro - have you tried running it?

Online nctnico

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2018, 05:59:01 pm »
I don't really have a choice; no Windows on my PC.
You're running Linux, right? If so - there is a Linux version of Allegro - have you tried running it?
I tried to install the Linux version but the installer doesn't produce an install which is ready to run and the documentation from Cadence is rather poor.

I'm also not sure whether I have a license for the Linux version and the dongle can be shared between a VM and Linux so I can run Capture and Allegro at the same time. It might be something I look into later on but for now I'm not going to sink more time into it.
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Offline LTimko

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2018, 08:52:21 pm »
Hi,

We've been using Orcad 16.6 under Ubuntu Linux since we bought.
It is not an officially supported method, but we downloaded the Linux version from download.cadence.com, installed, and it worked. Allegro runs flawlessly under Linux and is very fast  :)
You can run Capture and Allegro at the same time with your dongle. AFAIR Capture checkout pcb_designer named license, while Allegro checkout pcb_editor license. A standard license server supply both of them. This is for 16.6, but I suppose it has not changed in later versions.
Unfortunately, the Linux version of Allegro is optimized for Red Hat Enterprise, so some workaround were necessary on a Debian based distro. I can share details if someone's interested.

Anyway, I can confirm that VMWare is also a working option. If you have a good computer, it will run pretty well. By the way, which version of VirtualBox are you using? The recent 6.0 version uses VMSVGA driver from VMWare! I haven't tested it yet, maybe it's worth a try.

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Online nctnico

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2018, 09:07:54 pm »
Please share any info on how to run Allegro on Debian Linux  :) Thinking about it... I can probably use the Linux system as a license server for the Windows VM in order to share the dongle.

I'm using Virtualbox 6.0.0. I think I have tried the VMSVGA driver at some point but it may be Windows inside the VM was too messed up already. I ended up creating a new Windows 7 VM. I could try the VMSVGA driver again for kicks and roll back if it doesn't work. Just tried it but the guest additions fail to install the video driver. Perhaps this Virtualbox feature is too new.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 09:12:14 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline LTimko

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2018, 01:11:36 pm »
Here are the installation process I have made on Ubuntu 14.04/x64.
These steps are for 16.6 version of Allegro, but the 17.2 would be similar.

Prerequisites:
Code: [Select]
ln -s /usr/bin/basename /bin/basename
apt-get install csh ksh lsb-core libmotif4:i386 libxp6:i386 libxtst6:i386 libglu1-mesa:i386
As far as I know the 17.2 is a native 64bit application, so installation of i386 libs may not be necessary.

Extract installation archives:
Code: [Select]
find ./*.tar -exec tar -xvf {} \;Then copy all files to /home/foo/install/

Install it:
Code: [Select]
su root
./SETUP.SH
  install directory: /opt/cadence/SPB166
  iscape directory: /opt/cadence/iscape

Under Installscape:
Code: [Select]
  Local directory / Media install
   Browse -> /home/foo/install/SPB16.60.XXX_lnx86.Hotfix/CDROM1
   Continue -> Next
     Select options
     Install directory -> /opt/cadence/SPB166
     Start

Create a new environment file as /opt/cadence/SPB166/cadence.env
Code: [Select]
export CDSROOT=/opt/cadence/SPB166
export CDS_INST_DIR=$CDSROOT
export CDS_SITE=$CDSROOT/share/local/
export CDS_LIC_FILE=5280@192.168.2.128 #replace it with your own license address

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/lib:/usr/lib:$CDSROOT/tools/lib:$CDSROOT/tools/mainwin540_64/mw/lib-amd64_linux_optimized:$CDSROOT/tools/mainwin540_64/mw/lib-amd64_linux:/usr/lib32/nvidia-410
export PATH=$PATH:$CDSROOT/tools/jre/bin:$CDSROOT/tools/bin:$CDSROOT/tools/libutil/bin:$CDSROOT/tools/pcb/bin:$CDSROOT/tools/fet/bin:$CDSROOT/tools/specctra/bin:$CDSROOT/tools/plot/bin:$CDSROOT/stream_mgt/bin:$CDSROOT/tools/fet/concept/bin:$CDSROOT/tools/dfII/bin:$CDSROOT/tools/spectre/bin

The video driver path in LD_LIBRARY_PATH is tricky. You must add it or you will not get proper 3D acceleration.
I use an nVidia card so /usr/lib32/nvidia-410 is my current (32bit) driver path. I suppose /usr/lib/nvidia-410 is needed for 17.2.

Run program:
Code: [Select]
source /opt/cadence/SPB166/cadence.env
/opt/cadence/SPB166/tools/pcb/bin/allegro or /opt/cadence/SPB172/tools/bin/allegro


I hope this will help
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2018, 03:52:43 pm »
Many thanks for taking the time to share all of this!  :-+ :-+ This would have taken me (at least) a couple of hours to figure out.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2019, 01:20:32 am »
With too much noise from fireworks to go to sleep or watch TV I had some time on my hands...  I managed to get Allegro running on Linux as well.

I must say I'm also quite amazed by how fast it redraws the 10 layer SoC board design (this is a real design and not a demo from Cadence). A good start of 2019 I'd say. Now on to designing a first board and tweaking the user interface to my liking.

Edit:
I didn't need to install the 386 stuff on my system but I did need to install an older version of libpng (version 12-0 to be exact) from a previous version of Debian.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 03:26:22 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline asmi

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2019, 04:50:59 pm »
Try opening a real dual-CPU server board file from here: https://www.opencompute.org/wiki/Server/ProjectOlympus This will give you a real taste of how fast (or slow) it is as it's a very complicated (yet only 8-layer) board.

Online nctnico

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2019, 06:50:31 pm »
Found it. 680MB PCB file  :wtf: But I can browse through the design quickly!
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2019, 07:10:39 pm »
As a last resort I tried VMware. That doesn't seem to suffer from the problem however it would mean shelling out another 180 euros  :rant:
you are complaining about 180 euro and yet run CAD that costs 50K+
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Online nctnico

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Re: Image distortions when running Allegro 17.2 in Virtualbox
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2019, 07:58:49 pm »
As a last resort I tried VMware. That doesn't seem to suffer from the problem however it would mean shelling out another 180 euros  :rant:
you are complaining about 180 euro and yet run CAD that costs 50K+
Divide that $50k by 11 and you are getting close to the price of a standard Orcad schematics + PCB package (A cut down version of Allegro called PCB editor). Anyway, at some point you just have to stop adding extra costs & options.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 10:03:39 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 


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