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We no longer use VMWare! See the kvm page for information on our virtualization.

VMWare Server (Host) and Guest Setup Procedure
Virtual Hosts and Guests
Copying VM from one machine to another
Using VMWare vmrun
Using VNC to connect to Virtual Machines
VMware vSphere Hypervisor

Using VMWare Server 2 Web Interface

VMWare uses a web interface for managing virtual systems. These interfaces are not accessible from outside the farm network for security reasons. If you are not connected to the farm you can forward the ports used by VMWare to your local machine over an ssh connection. To do so use the following command:

ssh -L 8222:localhost:8222 -L 8333:localhost:8333 -L 8334:localhost:8334 user@host

Once you've done that you can connect to the VMWare interface by pointing your browser to http://localhost:8222/

Note: Port 8333 is the SSL secured port for connecting to VMWare. It is generally a good idea to connect using this port, but for some reason it doesn't seem to work quite right when forwarding over an ssh connection. In this case it's ok to use the unencrypted port (8222) because the data is being sent over and encrypted ssh connection.

VMWare Appliance Sites


VMWare Server Utilities

vmnet-bridge - Checks the status of the virtual bridges setup on each physical interface.
vmnet-dhcpd - Creates a DHCP server for any virtual machine connected to the virtual network.
vmnet-natd - Creates NAT tables to be used by dhcp and virtual machines.
vmnet-netifup - Used to force the start of the virtual interface needed by the virtual machine before it starts.
vmnet-sniffer - Used to sniff packets on a virtual network in vmware
vmrun - Will start, stop, restart a virtual and can also be used to take snapshots of virtual machines.
vmstat - Shows the status of virtual machines. THIS IS BULLSHIT - IT SHOWS THE STATUS OF VIRTUAL MEMORY!
vm-support - This will create a tarball of info based on attributes of your computer to submit with an incident report to vmwares support page.
vmware-authtrusted - Used to authenticate vmware server against a domain.
vmware-cmd - This tool allows you to change system variables, get status on different virtual machines and alot more.
vmware-config.pl - Used in initial setup and can be used to change hardware parameters, such as network bridges and web server configuration.
vmware-loop - Used by vmware-mount to mount virtual drives.
vmware-mount.pl - Used to mount a virtual hard disk on the host operating system.
vmware-ping - Will send a ping to a remote host at a specified interval.
vmware-uninstall.pl - Uninstall script for vmware server.
vmware-vdiskmanager - Resize a virtual disk.

VMWare Terminology and Concepts

 VMWare Server User Guide
 VMWare Server Administration Guide
 VMWare Virtual Network Concepts
 VMWare Server Tips and Tricks

External Links

 Virtual Machine Creator
 virtuatopia.com VMWare Server 2.0 Essentials

Important Configuration Issues

Hostd (vmware-mgmt the web management interface) crashes

This is a known issue between VMware and the glibc-2.5-42 release, which appears in Red Hat 5.4 and CentOS 5.4 releases. The trick to fix it is documented here: Centos Bug 3884.

mkdir /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libc.so.6
cd /tmp;  mkdir tmp; cd tmp
wget http://mirror.centos.org/centos/5.3/os/x86_64/CentOS/glibc-2.5-34.x86_64.rpm [^]
rpm2cpio glibc-2.5-34.x86_64.rpm | cpio -ivd
mkdir /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libc.so.6
mv lib64/libc-2.5.so libc.so.6  /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libc.so.6/
Use editor to edit /usr/sbin/vmware-hostd and add the line: 
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libc.so.6:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH 
to the one but last line of the file.

I implemented this fix on both Taro and Gourd (the new einstein). It appears to work fine. At a later date, the edit of the

Firefox 3 compatibility issues

The VMWare virtual console plugin is not compatible with Firefox 3.6 or greater. This creates a significant problem for us since all of our systems run distributions that now ship 3.6 as their default version of Firefox. My solution was to track down a copy of Firefox 3.5 (codename Shiretoko) and install it on my workstation (Feynman) as well as all of the systems currently acting as VMware hosts. The only pre-built package available (that I could find) for 3.5 was for 32-bit systems, so I downloaded the source and compiled a 64-bit version. There is a package in /root/packages on Gourd which contains the 64-bit compatible build of Firefox 3.5.11.

The files for firefox 3.5 are installed in /opt/firefox on all VMWare host systems. The executable is symlinked to /usr/local/bin/firefox-35 so that you can run it by simply typing firefox-35 from the console. If you already have an instance of another version of Firefox running you will need to close it before running firefox-35, or it will just open another instance of the version you're already running. It's not a perfect solution but it will work until we can come up with something a bit more universally effective (or until VMWare fixes their browser plugin).

Keyboard and Mouse issues in Virtual Guests

There is an issue with the VMWare console plugin which causes the mouse and keyboard to not be captured correctly by the virtual guest's graphical interface. This leads to all sorts of problems, mainly not being able to click on things in the guest interface in the web console window. This can be fixed by setting the following environment variable before launching Firefox:


A convenient way to set this permanently is to add this line:


To the top of the script located in your Firefox profile located at

~/.mozilla/firefox/<your profile>/extensions/VMwareVMRC\@vmware.com/plugins/lib/wrapper-gtk24.sh

This should automatically set this variable whenever you run an instance of the VMware plugin.