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Installing VMware Server 1.0.4 (Free Version)

Started by Donald Darden, November 16, 2007, 11:40:58 PM

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Donald Darden

VMWare offers some for pay Virtual Machine software, but also graciously offers a VMware Player and a VMware Server which are free.  Obviously the free versions should not be as powerful as the pay versions, but it gives you a chance to get your hands dirty.

The VMware Player seems to fill the role of allowing you to download and use Virtual Machine configurations that other people create using VMware Server.  I guess from my viewpoint that it might be better to take a stab at the VMware Server, since it gives you more to work with, and leaves you less dependent on what others might have done.

Finding and getting VMware software should be no problem - just search for it, go through several links to reach the Download page, and get several gigabytes of software off the server.  Obviously you really need a high speed internet connection for this to be feasible.  You also have to register and give your email address when you do this.  I got an email that gives you sort of an introduction to the product as a result, so this might help.  You can also download a trial version of the for pay product by registering, in which case they give you a temporary license that you will need for registering it.

The package is available as an RPM or a TAR.gz (binary) file.  Since you can use alien to convert from one package type to another, and I need a Debian package for either Ubuntu or Knoppix, I chose to download the RPM.  There is also another package that has additional software - something about APIs, Perl, and a VMware server console for accessing a Virtual Machine remotely, which I downloaded but have not dealt with yet.

The program alien will let you attempt to install straight from a RPM file by using the -i switch, but that was not sufficient for me in this case.  I ended up trying again, and just used the -d -c switches, which convert it to a DEB package and also converts any scripts that are included.  This went smoothly, but it takes awhile.  The actual command was alien -d -c VMware-server-1.0.4-56528-i386.rpm.  I used this command in the same directory where I had temporarily placed the downloaded file.  No complaints were made by alien as a result of this process, but again it took some time to complete.  I repeated it again, this time adding the -v switch so I could see some of the process involved.  Again no complaints by alien when done. 

Then I sort of cheated, and switched back to the GUI interface, used the Kmenu button to select Home Personal Files, then negotiated to the same folder where the new deb file was located and clicked on it.  This brought up the Kpackage program, which showed where it would install the package.  I just went to the bottom button which is named Install, and on the next page just selected Install again.  And that was it.  I haven't figured out how to use it yet, but getting it installed turned out to be simple once you sort of get a handle on the process.  That was so easy I went back and repeated the same steps for the VMware server console that is in the second download (the zip file, which I used ark to extract).  Yes, it all starts to come together after awhile.  It's just a lot to take in at once.

Donald Darden

Jmm.  Turns out that while VMware is installed on Knoppix, it is not properly configured.  You don't even know it is there until you use the Terminal Console and type in vmware.  Then it wants you to enter vmware-configure.bi.  It then looks to see if it already is configured for your distribution or not, and seeing that this is Knoppix, that fails.  So it wants to gain access to your source files and use the C compiler to regenerate itself for use with your distribution.  But when it looks for the source files, particularly the C header files for Linux, it can't find them.

It turns out that the LiveCD version of Knoppix does not have them - they were sacrificed in an effort to squeeze additional apps onto the CD.  In order to get these needed files, it appears that you have to go back and download the ISO image for the DVD version and burn that to disk.    I have that already, but I am not going to mess with it tonight.  I just wanted to bring this report up to date in case someone else is struggling through the same process.  I also noted some postings on the internet that indicate that Ubuntu users may face a similar problem.  I have not read through the responses to those posts, so I did not know what the recommended course of action is in that case.