Installing Open-VM Tools on Ubuntu Server

I have been using Ubuntu Server to host many of my projects here at home; everything from my media servers, testing systems and web/blog site. I have install the VMware tools in the past and ran into issues or just found them to break. At best I just need the minimal the tools offer, and this is where the opensource tools play a good substitution. Best of all, they are supported by VMware.

So all you need to do is use apt-get and your done. Here are my steps.

The “–no-install-recommends” disables the selection of all the X components; We wouldn’t want a desktop environment to be installed.

What are some of the things provideded with this? Well this package provides the vmxnet hardware, as well as the majority of the other VMware Tools functionality (Shutdown, Restart etc).

Boot a VMware Virtual Machine from a USB Drive

This has been one of the features that never seem to have made it to VMware products such as Player and Workstation; The ability to boot from USB. Well with some 3rd party magic this is possible

Using Plop Boot Manager all you need to do is boot from the provided floppy image or CD image and this gives you a pre boot environment that can be used to select the boot device of your choice.

This is all possible because the plop boot manager has a built-in ide cdrom and usb driver to access that hardware without the help/need of bios. You can boot the operating systems from hard disk, floppy, CD/DVD or from USB. You can start the boot manager from floppy, CD, network and there are many more ways to start the boot manager

Plop Boot Manager 5.0 – Download

Goodbye Configuration Issues Warning

So you are running VMware ESXi 5 and enabled remote and local shell access.
What you have found by doing this is a nice warning screen like the screenshot below waiting for you each and every time you are logged in.

Getting rid of this is simple.

Go to your host, click the configuration tab, click “advanced settings”, go to UserVars” and scroll all the way down to “UserVars.SuppressShellWarning” change the value from 0 to 1.


Command-line + ESXi Fun

I had some time to tinker after an upgrade of my system
Wanted to learn something new, and play I found some useful commands

The first useful command i could run is to list all registered guest on my host.

vim-cmd /vmsvc/getallvms

Get power state of a VM

vim-cmd /vmsvc/power.getstate <Vimid>

From the image above you see the power state of the vm named pms

… and here are a few more:

Unregister a VM
vim-cmd /vmsvc/unregister <Vmid>

Register a VM
vim-cmd /solo/register /path/to/file.vmx

Power off a VM
vim-cmd /vmsvc/power.off <Vmid>

Power on a VM
vim-cmd /vmsvc/power.on <Vmid>


Upgrade Install of ESXi 5.0 Update 1

I wrote some steps on this in a previous post.  I am back again to take you for my ride in upgrading to update 1 for ESXi 5.

Direct download update link: https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/OFFLINE/release-328-20120312-212851/update-from-esxi5.0-5.0_update01.zip

Once you have the upgrade zip, you will wan to SCP this over to the ESXi 5 server.
I use my datastore as it has the most space aviable.
Issue the following command:
esxcli software vib update –depot=/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/…  *path to zip file*
This may take a few minues to return some results.
When it does you will know and it may look something like this:
Reboot you server (just type reboot)
That’s it, you are done.

ESXi 5.0 Update 1

  • Resolved / New: No error message is logged when VMkernel stops a virtual machine on a datastore that is in PDL state
    When a SCSI device goes into permanent device loss (PDL) state, all the virtual machines that use datastores backed by that SCSI device are affected. Some third party HA solutions incorporate a VMX option where disk.terminateVMOnPDLDefault is set to True. With this option the VMkernel stops such affected virtual machines. Starting with this release, when VMkernel stops affected virtual machines, a warning message similar to the following is logged in vmkernel.log once for each virtual machine.
  • NewEnablement of session timeout to ESXi Tech Support Mode (TSM)
    After you log in to an ESXi host at the console and then log in to the Tech Support Mode (Mode) as root user and initiate a remote server console access session, a non-privileged user might obtain root access to the ESXi host, if the remote access session has not timed out or remains idle.Starting with this release, you can configure a session timeout to exit ESXi Tech Support Mode (TSM) as follows:

    1. Log in to Tech Support Mode (Mode) as root user.
    2. Edit /etc/profile file to add TMOUT=<timeout value in seconds>.
    3. Exit Tech Support Mode (Mode).

System Administrator role in Lab Manager

Today one of the Administrator users of VMware Lab Manager was attempting to import templates she had created.  Unfortunately she ran into a snag.  She was lacking the security privileges need to complete the tasks she was attempting.

The level of administration required was that of a system administrator role.

Info:  The Systems Administrator Role can only be defined in the Global Organization.
To enable this role:

1.  Log in as a user with System Administrator access in Lab Manager

2.  Change the Organization view to Global

3.  Under Manage > Users and Groups | Select the user and click properties

4.  Under “User Role in Global Organization, change to “Systems Administrator”

5.  Save


After this have the user log out of Lab Manager and log in again and the new role should be active.


Windows 8 Say Hello to VMware Player 4.0.2 build-591240

In a previous post I went over using Virtual Box because I was unable to run Windows 8 (* preview) in a VMware Player and it required me to have Workstation 8.   Well my wait is over and now the latest version of VMware player will run Win8.

Oh happy day…

About:VMware Player

With its user-friendly interface, VMware Player makes it effortless for anyone to try out Windows 7, Chrome OS or the latest Linux releases, or to create virtual “sandboxes” to test pre-release software in. VMware Player can also be used to run a virtual copy of an old PC so that you can recycle the old machines you have under your desk or stored in the closet.

  • Run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single computer
  • Experience the benefits of preconfigured products without any installation or configuration hassles
  • Share data between host computer and virtual machine
  • Run 32- and 64-bit virtual machines
  • Use 3rd-party pre-configured virtual machines and images
  • Share data between the host computer and virtual machine
  • Broad host and guest operating system support
  • Support for USB 2.0 devices
  • Gain easy access to virtual machines via an intuitive home page interface

DownloadVMware Player 4.0.2 build 591240 116 MB (Freeware, registration required)

Windows 8 on vSphere 5

So I have had this desire to run Windows 8 in VMware  vSphere 5 for a long time now.   Knowing I could run it in Workstation 8; I wanted to also run this on my ESXi 5 host, but could not… So I waiting waited for an update.  I wasn’t going to hack my way to what I wanted.  I did it the right , stable and supported way.

And well, here it is.

Importing Virtual Machine Templates: vCenter

In most cases, only system administrators can import virtual machines from vCenter

To import a virtual machine template from vCenter

In the left pane, select VM Templates.

Click Import VM Template.

Type a name.

(Optional) Type a description.

Select vCenter and select a virtual machine that is not managed by Lab Manager.

Click Next.

(Optional) Deselect the Perform customization check box if you do not want Lab Manager to customize the network settings for the virtual machine template or virtual machines based on the virtual machine template.

Specify the networking information for each NIC in the imported virtual machine template:

Select the Connected check box.
Choose a default virtual or physical network.
Choose a default IP addressing mode.

Select a storage lease.

Select a deployment lease.

Select the datastore to which you want to import the virtual machine template.

Select whether to copy or move the source virtual machine template.

If you copy the virtual machine template, it continues to exist in the original location, but if you move the virtual machine template, it will not exist in this location.

Click Import and then you wait…

Lab Manager imports the virtual machine template into the current organization and displays it on the VM Templates page.