Category Archives: Linux

Upgrading VMWare Server 1.0.6 to 2.0 beta 2

Seems to be an easy step to upgrade my local vmware server to the current version. VMWare server 2 changed the administration tool to a web interface like the one from the GSX or ESX server. First step is to uninstall the old vmware server and reboot. The download took a bit longer then before. Nearly 600mb comparing to 150mb for a 1.0.7 server install package for windows. You can change the ports of the administration web interface during installation. I leave this settings to default but changed that the server will not automatically started during windows boot. In the next screen is the possibility to change the default folder of vmware for images. I changed this to my existing folder of vmware server 1.0.6. Like before you have after installation a shortcut to the vmware server in the quicklaunch and on the desktop.

Firefox was a really a pain in the ass as browser for the web interface of beta 1 of vmware server 2. The download page now mention for Beta 2:

Firefox 3 as a supported browser for the management interface.

The icon open https://<hostname>:8333/ui/ as default url. Firefox 3 complains that the ssl certificate is self signed. You must click the link at the bottom to “add the exception” and the “add exception” button. The upcoming dialog request to get the certificate and let you after this download “confirm the security exception”.

Now the login screens ask for the credentials. Good question. The old native admin tool simply ask to login locally without any credentials. During installation where no user created or asked to define. Vmware use the local user database of windows as authentication provider. So define a new local user with admin rights or use a existing one to login.

My main vm image is a ubuntu server 8.04 with just a text console. Vmware use own linux modules for fast networking, folder sharing,… So i tried to upgrade my existing vmware-tools. Just start the vm and click the link to “install vmware tools”. It connects the virtual cdrom to readonly device with the install packages. Enter “mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom” inside the vm to copy install package to the tmp folder. You have to copy the *.tar.gz install package because ubuntu doesn’t work with RPMs like OpenSuse. The extracted folder contains the script. Starting the install as root with ./ or sudo ./ produce a error. VMware tools recognise the old kernel modules and stop the installation. The error message prints the name of the modules like vmxnet. So use “modprobe -v vmxnet” to get the path to the *.ko file. Delete it with rm and do this for all mentioned modules. Delete afterwards the old vmware settings by calling “rm -rf /etc/vmware*”. Now you can call the vmware-tools-install script to install successfully the kernel modules. Reboot the vm to use the new modules. Now you can see in the web interface e.g. the ip of the running vm.

Damn Small Screen

I switched recently on my home server from OpenSuse 10.3 to Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.0.4. Main reason was the package management with zypper as backend. Each Distro use several Software Repositories with RPMs where you can search for new software to install on your machine. Normally between four to eight repo’s are configured independent which distro you use. OpenSuse become more and more a pain in my ass. Main reason was the more and more increasing time which yast needs to show me the available software packages. For a test drive is VMWare Server really nice. Just setup a new VM, install a distro inside and see if it fits your needs.

Under Ubuntu you must first decide if you want the desktop or server edition. On my notebook was the primary requirement to have a back end for application server like Archiva or Nexus. Both very comfortable maven proxies with a web frontend. So i decided to install the server edition. The server edition have no window manager and starts a linux just with a console login. So far so good. A little bit hidden is the possibility to change the default screen solution from 800×600 to a larger one. Scrolling log or config files is not that pretty under such conditions.

The solution is in the /etc/grub/menu.1st file. In the end of the file is a list of linux versions. Each runnable linux configuration has a title, root, kernel and initrd line. For a 1024×768 you can append to the kernel line


according to this howto. Ubuntu has in the last weeks published a new service pack called 8.04.1. Normal updated are installed with a “apt-get update” followed by “apt-get upgrade” to install updates for installed packages. I saw messages about retained packages after the availibity of this new service pack. A “apt-get dist-upgrade” forces to install the retained packages including a new kernel. Remember the line with the kernel paramater in the grub menu file. The update updates this file as well. Grateful it notice my changes and ask me what to do. My first intention was to say ok overwrite my changes and i add that vga parameter as well. That works but it can be handled much smarter. Linux kernel updates can be happen more often.

The solution is to add the vga parameter to defoptions line instead of the kernel line. This line is normally uncommented with a leading # character. So add this line


This 0x317 is the hex definition. Also possible is to write vga=719 with decimal notation.