VMWare recently released Fusion 2.0 beta for the Mac, which we’re all desperately looking forward to. When you rely on stable software to earn your living, it’s not always a good idea to jump in to the latest beta releases with wild abandon. Unfortunately, the latest stable release (1.1.3) has some known problems with the latest releases of several Linux distros built on newer kernels that came out after the Fusion release. And guest OSes with no VMWare tools are not fun to use.
However, where the nice folks at VMware open sourced their Virtual Machine Tools late last year, the OSS community has been quietly building in compatibility for newer Linux distributions at the Sourceforge hosted openvmtools project. Getting a working vmtools installation into a freshly upgraded Ubuntu 8.04 is a simple matter of rebuilding the right modules against the newer kernel and rolling them up into a tarball where the
vmware-install.pl script can find them:
- Delete any broken attempted build directories from the distributed VMwareTools and unpack a fresh tree from the mounted
$ tar zxvf VMwareTools-*z
- If you don’t have them already, install the compilers and headers needed to rebuild the kernel modules:
$ sudo apt-get install build-essentials libproc-dev \ libdumbnet-dev xorg-dev libgtk2.0-dev
- Fetch the latest open-vm-tools sources from sourceforge.
- Unpack and build the modules from open-vm-tools:
$ tar zxvf open-vm-tools*z $ cd open-vm-tools- $ ./configure ... $ make ...
- Now, roll up your newly built modules so that the standard
vmware-install.plscript can find them:
$ dest=$(cd ../vmware-tools-distrib/lib/modules/source; pwd) $ rm -f $dest/* $ for dir in vmblock vmhgfs vmmemctl vmsync vmxnet; do \ mv modules/linux/$dir modules/linux/$dir-only; \ tar cf $dest/$dir.tar modules/linux/$dir-only; \ done
- Run the
vwware-install.plscript as usual, but without the compilation errors:
$ cd ../vmware-tools-distrib $ perl ./vmware-install.pl
As open-vm-tools are developed to keep pace with changes in the Linux kernel, and distro specific kernel patches between stable releases of VMware Fusion (and VMware for Windows and Linux too), this is the easiest way to be sure you’re getting the best possible experience with virtualized Linux.
You can also check out our Seamless Virtualbox installation guide over here.
If you liked this article, please share it on del.icio.us, StumbleUpon or Digg. I’d appreciate it. :)