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VMware server 1.x guests
vmware-tools prerequesties
Make sure you've got those packages installed,
yum install glibc-kernheaders kernel-smp-devel gcc
yum update kernel-smp
Note. rhel4 dependencies : cpp, glibc-devel, glibc-headers, glibc, glibc-common, libgcc
Note. kernel packages need to have the exact same version (hence the update)
Kernel packages (and running kernel) need to have the exact same version. Otherwise you could just disable the [updates] paragraph from YUM configuration. Make sure you've got those packages installed,
yum install \
kernel-headers \
kernel \
kernel-devel \
yum update \
kernel-headers \
kernel \
kernel-devel \
Note. for a XEN dom0 inside VMware server 1.x (yes it works),
yum update \
kernel-headers \
kernel-xen \
kernel-xen-devel \
also for xen dom0's bridge we need promiscuous mode (not sure it's the default),
ethernet0.noPromisc = "false"
Disable the hardware clock,
mv /sbin/hwclock /sbin/hwclock.dist
touch /sbin/hwclock
chmod +x /sbin/hwclock
otherwise we get that error at system startup & shutdown,
select() to /dev/rtc to wait for clock tick timed out
vmware-tools installation
Provide the VMware Tools virtual CD to the VM,
VM > Install VMware Tools
install the RPM,
cd /mnt
mkdir cdrom
mount /dev/cdrom cdrom
cd cdrom
rpm -ivh VMwareTools-*.rpm
cd ..
umount cdrom
configure VMware Tools (don't use SSH on this one, network gets disconnected),
cd ~/
apply immediately,
service network stop
service vmware-tools restart
service network start
lsmod | grep pcnet32  # should be empty
lsmod | grep vmxnet  # should return "vmxnet"
Note. you should install ntp, configure /etc/ntp.conf and make sure the daemon is enabled at startup. So time isn't out of sync when you start the machine after a while.
Shared raw disk
Let's say you've got two cluster nodes VM and you want them to access the same shared raw disk. Software iSCSI sometimes isn't enought (e.g. for Veritas and MC/SG) because of missing low level SCSI features. Here's how to proceed with VMware Server 1.x.
Create a new disk on VM node1,
^D > Add > Hard disk
Path : d: mwareluster_common\shared.vmdk
Mode : independent / persistent
Edit the .vmx configuration file for each VM node, add/change,
scsi0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"

scsi0:0.fileName = "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.vmdk"
scsi0:0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0:0.redo = ""

disk.locking = "FALSE"
diskLib.dataCacheMaxReadAheadSize = "0"
diskLib.dataCacheMaxSize = "0"
diskLib.dataCacheMinReadAheadSize = "0"
diskLib.dataCachePageSize = "4096"
diskLib.maxUnsyncedWrites = "0"

scsi1.present = "TRUE"
scsi1.sharedBus = "VIRTUAL"
scsi1.virtualDev = "lsilogic"

scsi1:0.deviceType = "disk"
scsi1:0.fileName = "D: mware rts_common ence.vmdk"
scsi1:0.mode = "independent-persistent"
scsi1:0.present = "TRUE"
scsi1:0.redo = ""

scsi1:1.deviceType = "disk"
scsi1:1.fileName = "D: mware rts_common\shared.vmdk"
scsi1:1.mode = "independent-persistent"
scsi1:1.present = "TRUE"
scsi1:1.redo = ""
Note the added scsi1 LSI logic controller
VM template
To make a Linux template :
- usual post-installation
- vmware-tools
- disable eth0 from startup and remove its MAC address from the configurations
- use a dummy hostname e.g.
Once you extract the archive, you can rename the VM,
displayName = "RHEL5"
and remove all the ethernet lines,
ethernet0.addressType = "generated"
ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:da:7d:e5"
ethernet0.generatedAddressOffset = "0"
Note. you may need to increese memory and add a disk for the needs of the VM (e.g. for Oracle), therefore it's preferable to shut the VM down before you create the archive, instead of using Pause.
Note. also disconnect the virtual CD player
Note. once the VM is up, configure hostname and network (don't forget /etc/hosts).
Note. in case you didn't remove the MAC address you might have to fix this on RHEL,
cd /etc
find . | grep .bak$
rm ....bak
When trying to install (an old version of) slackware as guest, the default kernel (bare.i) sees no disk. In VMware Server's guest configuration, choose,
Linux / kernel 2.4 (provides BusLogic SCSI)
and use that kernel to boot the installation media,
Note. more recent slackware versions using the hugesmp.s kernel should work by default.
When trying to install a netbsd guest, you can use that guest configuration in VMware Server,
Other / FreeBSD
With SLES or OES, you need to manually load the network module to startup a network installation (,
X on a VMware workstation VM
On VMware workstation, here's a working 1024x768 X11 configuration,
Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Default Layout"
Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Monitor0"
HorizSync 1.0 - 10000.0
VertRefresh 1.0 - 10000.0

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Keyboard0"
Driver "kbd"
Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"

Section "Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "vmware"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "Videocard0"
Monitor "Monitor0"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "1024x768" "800x600"

Last update: Dec 29, 2011