I’m a pretty big fan of VMware Server, I’ve been using it for almost a year now. It is great in a development enviromnent for testing different scenarios. It also lets me test/play with multiple software packages without having to dedicate resources to testing. I can also deploy production “toasters” to run specific and optimized apps.
This is a Soup to Nuts walkthrough on running VMWare Server2 on Ubuntu Server 8.10.
First, install Ubuntu Server 8.10. Since my host machine isn’t going to be running anything except the VMware Server, I don’t want to install anything extra, including any form of xwindows or desktop which will just be overhead (even if it’s not used). I installed Ubuntu Server with pretty much all of the defaults. When the install gets to the Software Selection screen, select “Virtual Machine Host”.
Once the install completes and the CD ejects, the rest can be done remotely. I prefer to work via SSH so I can copy/paste commands and have side-by-side reference from my terminal to my browser.
Now that Ubuntu Server is installed, there are a couple key components that will need to be added to the system before VMWare Server can be installed. Before we do the next steps, let’s make sure we have an up-to-date apt repository.
sudo apt-get update
build-essential – VMware Server needs to recompile certain aspects of itself to match your systems architecture. So you’ll need to have the appropriate tools installed to compile. To install these essential tools, simply enter
sudo apt-get install build-essential
Next we need to make sure we have the appropriate kernel headers from which VMware will compile it’s neceesary components. The following commands will figure out what version kernel headers your system currently has, and then install the appropriate headers.
apt-cache search linux-headers-$(uname -r)
(On my system this returned: linux-headers-2.6.27-7-server – Linux kernel headers for version 2.6.27 on x86/x86_64)
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
Now all of the necessary components are installed to install VMware server. Download the latest version of VMware Server. In my case, this is VMware-server-2.0.0-122956.i386.tar.gz (You need the tar version for Ubuntu).
Once VMware Server is downloaded, extract it into your user directory.
tar -zxvf VMware-server-2.0.0-122956.i386.tar.gz
Next, run the installer.
Install VMware Server with all of the default options. After it is installed, the installer will ask you if you want to run the configuration script. Run it now. If you choose not to run it, you can run it manually.
After agreeing to the terms and conditions of the VMware EULA, it will ask you if you have a compiler installed on the system (if you installed the build-essential packages as listed above, you’re all set). It will then ask you the location of the C header files that match your running kernel. It should auto-fill with the directory containing the previously installed header files. (In my case: /lib/modules/2.6.27-7-server/build/include)
VMware will now build multiple modules to customize itself to your system. When that is done, it will ask you if you want networking for your virtual machines. The networking questions can be confusing the first time you run the install. I typically set up a Bridged connection for each network interface on the host server. (This is like creating a virtual interface for each physical interface for your VM’s to use). I then set up a NAT interface with a separate subnet, and a Host-Only interface with another separate subnet. After configuring the network interfaces, it will then compile the networking components.
Next it will ask for the port for remote connections to access the VMware server. The defaults are
- 802 for remote connections
- 8222 for http
- 8333 for https
Ubuntu does not have a root user, and VMware server usually defaults to the root user for it’s admin user. So when the configuration says “The current administrative user for VMware Server is ”. Would you like to
specify a different administrator? [no] “ Choose “YES”. At the prompt, enter your username.
After setting the path to the directory that will store the Virtual Machines, you will enter the serial number VMware assigned to you. Then the configuration will finish with the final VIX components.
If the configuration script exited without any errors, then congratulations! You now have your very own Ubuntu Server 8.10 host running VMware server 2.0!
Open up your web browser and browse to https://ip.of.vmware.server:8333 If you use a new version of FireFox, you’ll have to add a security exception for the unsigned SSL certificate that VMware server uses. Enter your username and password and you can now start configuring Virtual Machines through the web interface.
Unfortunately, in order to use the remote console to actually view the virtual machines and interact with the guest OS’s, you’ll need to be accessing it from a Windows desktop.
I hope you find this little article helpful!