Monday, 15 October 2007

VMWare Workstation & Server console

VMware Workstation prerequisites:
  • You need the linux headers installed
  • also install build-essential package (this has the C compiler and make utility required for the vmware modules)
Installing VMware Workstation is straight forward:
  • Download the installation package from VMwares webpage.
  • Unpack the zip-file in a directory
  • sudo ./ and answer the questions about directory location
  • confirm that you want to run the script as well
  • add bridged, NATed and host network adapters. I chose the ones suggested
You will get a working installation with icons available under Applications -> System Tools. Start the Workstation and enter a license. Viola, you are ready to go.

There is also a VMware Player installed which is free of charge and does not require a license.

If you run into trouble the most likely causes are that you do not have the latest VMware build. On several occasions I found that there was a newer build on the web. Incidences included:
  • Could not compile vmnet and vmmon utilities (I tried the vmware_any_any_update113 patch and it worked partly but not on every machine, so I could not recommend it)
  • Installation routine finds wrong network adapter. This is the case when you work with a notebook connected to you LAN via wireless adapter. The scripts suggests eth0 as the default bridge. This is no good if you use eth1 or wlan0 to connect to you LAN.
  • Wrong set of kernel module drivers. I tried to install the kernel module drivers that come with Ubuntu. They never worked for me.
To fix problems, run sudo /usr/bin/ and recompile the kernel modules. You can keep the network settings by skipping network discovery.

VMware Server console:
  • Same prerequisites as with VMware Workstation.
  • Decompress the vmware_server_linux_client archive. Take the vmware_server_console archive and decompress it in a directory
  • in the vmware-server-console-distrib run sudo ./
  • again answer the questions. You can change the port the client communicates with the server. But this has to be done on the server as well. I recommend you don't change this.
  • The installation script asks whether you want to run the configuration, which you want to do.
After the installation, you are left without any menu entry. I manually added a lauch icon under Applications -> System Tools and chose the icon that comes in the /usr/lib/vmware-server-console/share/pixmaps directory.

Most likely errors are:
  • Your server does not run the console service (default on port 902)
  • You haven't installed the prerequired components
  • You do not run the latest vmware build (in 7.10 only 1.0.4 build 56528 worked on my machines)
To fix problems, run sudo /usr/bin/ and recompile the kernel modules if required.

During the latest updates I got a vmware kernel components from the Ubuntu repository. They prevent you having to recompile kernel modules after each kernel update.

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