I have been using Ubuntu on VMware Player; today when I logged into VMware, it showed updates available for Ubuntu 15.xx. I allowed the updates and after downloading all the packages it restarted automatically, but never booted back. It is throwing messages like

Piix4_SMBus: 000:00:07.3: Host SMBus controller bus not enabled
failed to start /etc/rc.local compatibility

Please describe a way to fix it!

  • Updated received was 'Wily Warewolf'
    – Murali G
    Oct 29 '15 at 23:46
  • There has been a fix for this problem for a while, but you need to access your Ubuntu installation 'hard disk' to edit the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and add the line blacklist i2c-piix4 . You may be able to do this by booting the VM from an ISO file for Ubuntu, and choosing 'Try Ubuntu' Oct 29 '15 at 23:58
  • Hi Charles, thanks for your quick response. Could you please elaborate the steps as I am not really good in doing this. How do I access Ubuntu Installation hard disk? Please provide the navigation. I am using VMware Player and installed Ubuntu on VMPlayer. Apologies for the trouble.
    – Murali G
    Oct 30 '15 at 0:13

First, add this line in your vmx file to increase the boot time to 50s

bios.bootDelay = "50000"

Start the VM, hold the left shift key down, then hit Enter.

In the grub menu, choose Advanced options for Ubuntu -> Recovery mode. Once the system boots, choose 'Root' to drop into a root shell.

In the root shell, enter the following commands

mount -o remount,rw /
nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

go down a few lines (almost anywhere) and enter the line

blacklist i2c-piix4

Then press ctrl+o to save the file, and ctrl+x

Finally, enter the command


  • 1
    Thanks Charles for the detailed answer. I am able to resolve the first issue. I almost shouted 'Eurekha', but it did not boot yet :-(, still another issue is pending, Error: failed to start /etc/rc.local compatibility see "sstemctl status rc-local.service" for details. Request you to provide your valuable solution. Appreciate your time & patience.
    – Murali G
    Oct 30 '15 at 6:43
  • Sorry to hear continues problems. Oct 30 '15 at 13:39
  • Yeah...hopefully everything gets resolved with the solution you are going to provide. But blacklist i2c-piix4 is a good learning for me. Your crystal clear answer helped me in resolving that.
    – Murali G
    Oct 30 '15 at 19:44
  • Did you happen to remove the vmtools from your virtual machine before updating? Oct 30 '15 at 19:49
  • 1
    I had to additionally run update-initramfs -u after editing blacklist.conf
    – TimD1
    Jul 5 '19 at 14:07

The method above didn't work for me on Ubuntu 16.10 and VMWare Workstation 12.5.1..

Boot into Ubuntu Recovery Mode --> drop into the root shell and open the kernel blacklist config file.

nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

Then add this line into the file and save.

blacklist intel_powerclamp

I found this solution from this post:



At first, open *.vmx file from your VMware folder via notepad. Then add this line to the file and save it.

cpuid.1.eax = "0000:0000:0000:0001:0000:0110:1010:0101"

The problem will be fixed.

  • 1
    This option worked for me, but only with one CPU -- had to reduce number of CPUs, before it worked. Now I can disable smbus in /etc/modprobe.d. I tried blacklisting from grub but none worked - OpenSUSE Tumbleweed 20180124 - Thanks! Jan 25 '18 at 4:14
  • didn't work for me Jan 15 '19 at 22:03

Although I'm late to the party, the solution to your other problem (failed to start /etc/rc.local compatibility etc., as described in the later comments to Charles Green's answer) is most probably (at least was for me), to wipe old, incompatible vmhgfs (shared VM disk) settings/module, since they break a couple of things.

First, the module doesn't load if there are version mismatch etc. Remove vmhgfs from /etc/modules, and now the init should run properly.

Secondly, if you added a fstab entry for your vmhgfs, systemd-fstab-generator generates a systemd startup task for it, also resulting in failed systemctl unit. Comment out or remove your vmhgfs line in fstab, and remove the relevant mnt-*.mount (e.g. mnt-vmhgfs.mount) files from your /run/systemd/generator. That should fix the 2nd part of the problem.


I was able to solve the problem by dropping into safe mode and running clean.


This was done holding shift when rebooting the VM. when in the grub go to "advanced options". Then in that menu run "clean"

  • Could you edit your answer and provide more detail about how to enter safe mode and run clean ?
    – storm
    Aug 24 at 20:20

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