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Ubuntu as a VMware host

Installing from the .bundle

Tested with:

  • VMware Workstation 6.5.1 Build 126130, Ubuntu 8.10, AMD64
  • VMware Workstation 6.5.1, Kubuntu 8.10, AMD64
  • VMWare Workstation 6.5.0, Ubuntu 8.10 x86
  • VMWare Workstation 6.5.0, Super Ubuntu 8.10 x86


  1. Install required packages build-essential, linux-kernel-headers and linux-kernel-devel

    sudo aptitude install build-essential linux-kernel-headers linux-kernel-devel
  2. Navigate to where the .bundle VMWare file is, then type this in

    gksudo bash ./VMware-Workstation-6.5.0-118166.i386.bundle 

And that's it! Enjoy your VMWare Workstation installation!

Alternate Installation from .bundle

Tested with:

  • VMWare Workstation 6.5.0, HackBuntu Alpha 3 8.10 x86 (PM me for DL link)

  • VMWare Workstation 6.5.0, Super Ubuntu 8.10 x86

In the terminal, navigate (cd) to where your installation resides. Then type this in

sudo ./VMware-Workstation-6.5.0-118166.i386.bundle

Installing on Jaunty

Credit to: judgen


0. Same as above, but then you have to remove the broken module:

sudo mv /usr/lib/vmware/modules/binary /usr/lib/vmware/modules/binary.old

1. then simply rebuild the module.

sudo vmware-modconfig --console --install-all

Installing from the .rpm


It’s relatively easy to convert VMWare’s .rpm to a .deb and install VMWare inside the package manager. Here’s how:

  1. Make sure you have the kernel headers and compiler first, with:
    • sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential gcc-3.4
  2. Download VMWare Workstation 6.0 from their site in .rpm format, and get a serial number from them while you’re at it.

  3. Convert the .rpm to a .deb with

    • fakeroot alien --scripts VMware-workstation-6.0.*.rpm
  4. Install the .deb with
    • sudo dpkg -i vmwareworkstation_6.0.*.deb
  5. Edit /etc/vmware/locations as root and add the following three lines (not necessary on 6.0.5):

    1. Just after
      • answer BINDIR /usr/bin
        answer SBINDIR /usr/sbin
    2. Just after
      • remove_answer BINDIR
        answer BINDIR /usr/bin
        remove_answer SBINDIR
        answer SBINDIR /usr/sbin
  6. Run vmware-config.pl (and answer the questions accordingly; this hasn’t really changed since VMWare 4.5. You will have to give the correct location for the kernel headers, i.e. /usr/src/linux-uname -r/, although you must know in advance what uname -r will return.) with

    • sudo /usr/bin/vmware-config.pl
  7. Unzip the EULA, which VMWare expects to be uncompressed but which is installed compressed:
    • sudo gunzip /usr/share/doc/vmware/EULA.gz
  8. Start vmware, accept the EULA, and enter the serial number.

Ubuntu as a VMware Guest

VMware version 5 is reported to work with Ubuntu out-of-the-box. Try using NAT rather than bridging when using VMware 5 with Ubuntu as a guest OS.

Initial Install

  1. Download the iso from http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ this demo used the ubuntu-5.10-install-i386.iso image.

  2. Create a new Virtual Machine.
    • Virtual Machine Configuration: Typical

    • Guest Operating System: Linux

    • Version: Other Linux 2.6.x kernel

    • Virtual Machine Name & Location: Pick as you will. (for the record I chose Ubuntu and O:\VPC\)

    • Network Connection: Use bridged networking (Refer to this VMware documentation for information on the other network connection configurations.)

    • Disk capacity: Again the choice is yours, I chose 4GB and turned on Allocate all disk space now and Split disk into 2 GB files. Allocating the disk space will increase performance, while spliting the disk into 2GB chunks will minimise any file size limitations if transferring a virtual machine using Samba.

  3. Change the settings of the new virtual machine:
    • Memory - Increase the memory given to the guest OS from 256 (the default) to 512. Although not necessary since I've got the RAM, why not.
    • CD-ROM - Use ISO Image: set to the location of the downloaded is, mine was O:\BitTorrent\ubuntu-5.10-install-i386.iso

  4. Start the virtual machine.
  5. At the boot menu, press enter.
  6. Configure the Ubuntu installation:
    • Language & Location: Doesn't matter

    • Keyboard: I stuck with the default, American English

    • Hostname: Doesn't matter, I went with Ubuntu

    • Disk Partition: Erase entire disk: SCSI (...

    • Write Changes to Disk: Yes

    • ...wait...
    • Timezone: Doesn't matter
    • Full name for the new user: I chose bob

    • Username for your account: I chose bob

    • Password and Verify: pick one, no restrictions
    • Reboot: Continue, I didn't bother "removing" the ISO.

    • Once you see Restarting system. Ubuntu has shutdown, press Ctrl-Alt to release the cursor and click VM->Power->Reset

    • ...wait...
    • Select video modes...: Don't add anything more than the defaults 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480

At this point Ubuntu is usable but without the virtual tools you can not use some of the higher resolutions. and to release the mouse you must press Ctrl-Alt. So onto the install...

Installing Virtual VmwareTools

There a number of advantages in installing VmwareTools in your Ubuntu guest VM.

  1. Open the System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager

  2. Install the following packages (replace 'kernel version' below with what is reported with uname -r):

uname -r
sudo apt-get install make gcc gcc-3.4 linux-headers-'kernel version'
  1. Goto the desktop and eject the Ubuntu iso.
  2. Ctrl-Alt to get the cursor back, VM->Install VMware Tools...

  3. Wait for the CD to appear on the desktop. This may require going to Places->Computer and clicking on the CD icon to make Ubuntu read the new disk.

  4. Copy VMwareTools-x.x.x-xxxx.tar.gz from the CD to your desktop.

  5. Right click on the VMwareTools tarball and select Extract Here

  6. Open a terminal

export CC=/usr/bin/gcc-3.4
cd ~/Desktop/vmware-tools-distrib
sudo ./vmware-install.pl
  • Accept all the defaults, this should take you through making a few directories and then run the config program. The config program will need to compile the drivers and so it will use make, the gcc you specified and the headers to compile.
  • The first non default is screen size. I know 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768 work, I have had 1280x1024 work (I use this one) and I've had 1600x1200 not work.
  • If you pick one that doesn't work, get to a terminal and run /usr/bin/vmware-config-tools.pl to pick a different one.
  • What you pick here becomes the max setting and you can pick a lower one withing Ubuntu, however the max is used at startup so if it doesn't work you are up the creek.
  1. Restart the system with System->Log out->Shutdown. Wait until Ubuntu has shutdown and either turn off or restart the VM.

Installation tips

  1. The install script asks for the path of gcc. If it isn't automatically found find the path on your system by running

     which gcc 

    . Set the full path to the binary in the variable CC:

     export CC=/usr/bin/gcc-3.4 
  2. When you run vmware-config.pl, if the script can't find your kernel's C headers you must install the appropriate headers package. Do this by running

    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) 

    You must then point vmware-config.pl to the appropriate directory, such as

  3. If the VMware Management Interface (MUI) for GSX complains about a lack of libdb.so.3 and instruct you to get compat-db-3.3.<##>-<#>.i386.rpm. You want the Ubuntu package libdb2 for this.

Enabling Parallel Port Access

VMware allows direct access to parallel ports, which is handy if you've got a scanner that only has Windows drivers. You may need to make the following minor change to VMware's startup script.

  1. Open /etc/iniit.d/vmware in an editor by running

     gksudo gedit /etc/init.d/vmware 
  2. Find the case statement that looks like this (around line 814)

      # See how we were called.
      case "$1" in
  3. Add the following text at the end of the case statement

     rmmod lp
     chgrp lpadmin /dev/parport0
     chmod g+rw /dev/parport0 

Troubleshooting Tips

After a kernel update, VMWare stops working

After upgrading to a newer kernel version, you may find VMWare stops working and displays the error (note: if you're not running it from a terminal the program will just exit with no graphical error messages):

vmware is installed, but it has not been (correctly) configured
for this system. To (re-)configure it, invoke the following command:

This happens even on a minor kernel update (e.g 2.6.12-9 to 2.6.12-10), but is simple to rectify using the steps above. Before running "/usr/bin/vmware-config.pl" as suggested you will need to get the correct kernel headers for your new kernel, and make sure you point the correct version of gcc to the config script.

All this is explained above, so I wont go through it here. Once you've done that run the conifg script, select the defaults for all the options except:

Would you like to skip networking setup and keep your old settings as they are?
(yes/no) [no] 

Select yes, as you're network setting should not have changed.

Once the config file has finished you should be able to run VMWare again with no problems.

Important Note about Updating from Hoary to Breezy

A heads up for people coming from hoary to breezy with a VMWare install. I was trying to reconfigure my vmware install for use in breezy (regenerate kernel modules, etc) using vmware-config.pl; however, doing so would not only fail to make VMWare work, but it would leave my system relatively unusable (specifically, sudo no longer worked!). The solution was to download the distribution tarball again, and reinstall (as per the instructions here). Simply reconfiguring the old install doesn't seem to work.

Configuration aborts when updating from Dapper to Edgy

When upgrading from Dapper to Edgy, and then running sudo vmware-config.pl (as explained above), you might find that the configuration aborts with the message:

Unable to build the vmmon module.

The error contains the following line:

/tmp/vmware-config3/vmmon-only/./include/compat_wait.h:60: error: conflicting types for ‘poll_initwait’
include/linux/poll.h:62: error: previous declaration of ‘poll_initwait’ was here

You need to install the vmware-any-any-update patch, which you can find here: http://platan.vc.cvut.cz/ftp/pub/vmware. Just download the vmware-any-any-update file, untar it, and run sudo ./runme.pl It will automatically call vmware-config.pl, which should then complete normally (ignore the warnings generated).

A further explanation is here: http://www.vmware.com/community/thread.jspa?messageID=76957&tstart=0

Configuration aborts when updating from Feisty to Hardy (or any system running the 2.6.24-2 kernel)

When using the 2.6.24-2 kernel, a patch must be applied to get the vmware modules to compile. This applies to you if vmware-config.pl crashes with the message

make[2]: *** [/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.o] Error 1
make[1]: *** [_module_/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.24-2-generic'
make: *** [vmmon.ko] Error 2
make: Leaving directory `/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only'
Unable to build the vmmon module.

The solution is to download a patch from http://platan.vc.cvut.cz/ftp/pub/vmware/vmware-any-any-update115.tar.gz that will correct this issue. Extract the files, then run

sudo ./runme.pl

from the vmware-any-any-update115 directory. Note: This is not my mirror, if someone cares to mirror this file it would be a good thing

Source: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/113938

When running kernel 2.6.24-16, you need the patched patch from http://aldeby.org/blog/?p=113.

Configuration aborts when Installing VMware 6.0.5 on Intrepid (or any system running the 2.7.27 kernel)

You need to replace the three files


with the files available here: http://forum.ubuntu.org.cn/viewtopic.php?p=913873&sid=8b8d9aa85dd0ccd8ff0f4708d37d6dfd

Ubuntu is hosting a guest VM, and the clock gets out of sync

The clock of a Linux guest OS could run much faster than the host computer, if the host computer isusing dynamic CPU speed technology.

To Fix this problem:

  1. Edit your /etc/vmware/config

    sudo vim /etc/vmware/config
  2. Add the following line to /etc/vmware/config

    host.cpukHz = x
    host.noTSC = TRUE
    ptsc.noTSC = TRUE
    x = Max CPU speed in kHz (i.e. 2GHz CPU = 2000000)
  3. Install VMware Tools in Guest OS
  4. Verify that Time synchronization between the virtual machine and the host operating system is selected

VMWare "Snapshot Manager" Crashes

The VMWare "Snapshot Manager" may still crash when clicked on. To work around this problem, set an environment variable in the shell before running VMware. I have these two commands together in a shell script for launching the program:


VMWare Runs Slowly on Pentium-M "Centrino" Notebook

If you have a Pentium-M "Centrino" notebook, you may notice VMware runs very slowly at times. To fix this problem, do as follows in a shell script:

# Script to launch VMware under Breezy:
OLD_CSTATE="`cat /sys/module/processor/parameters/max_cstate`"
echo "1" > /sys/module/processor/parameters/max_cstate
echo $OLD_CSTATE > /sys/module/processor/parameters/max_cstate

Bridged Networking Won't Start

Some people may have a problem starting bridged networking (vmnet0). vmnet0 is bridged to eth0, so try running ifdown eth0 first, THEN running the vmware-config.pl or runme.pl.

VMWare 5.5 breaks after installing the 'vmware-any-any-update' package

VMware 5.5 doesn't need the 'vmware-any-any-update' package. If you did try this, you will get the following sorts of errors:

Version mismatch with vmmon module: expecting 137.0, got 116.0. Try reinstalling VMware Workstation.

To fix this problem, run the version of vmware-config.pl included in the VMware package. If have already run the version in the vmware-any-any-update package, rerun the vmware-install.pl script to reinstall VMware.

Missing Library Files Error

You get an error about missing library files (file extension .so). This will happen if you don't have the X Window system installed. You can either install the libraries one by one or install x-window-system-core, which is simpler, but will also install other unnecessary packages:

sudo apt-get install x-window-system-core


VMware/Workstation (last edited 2010-04-09 02:36:49 by crazybilly)