VMware Server 2 beta

I managed to spend some time this morning playing with the new VMware Server 2 beta.
Firstly, a few things I had to do to get it working on a fairly vanilla Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10) install:

  • Install xinetd:

$ sudo apt-get install xinetd

  • Get a VMware Server (1.x) serial number from here:
  • Untar the tar.gz file and run the vmware-install.pl (with sudo)
  • When prompted, run the vmware-config.pl script. The default answers should suffice for most set-ups. I already had some VMs in my home folder, so I changed the default location for the datastore.
  • I then had to reboot my laptop, as a “vmware-mgmt restart” still wouldn’t allow the web interface to start.
  • There was no menu items added, but opening a browser to https://localhost:8333 allows you log into the Web Interface.

The Web Access is obviously based on the same tomcat Web Access as VI3, with a few extras. It seems to have more host options than the ESX3/VC2 Web Access (but I don’t have any access to one right now so I can’t be sure). There is no native console anymore, you can see plenty of disapproving comment about this in this forum post: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/112788

The Web Access is obviously the way that VMware are pushing for their Server product. This allows a smoother upgrade to VI3, and makes Server more like a baby ESX, rather than a free Workstation. I can understand why they want to do this, but it highlights a missing piece of the puzzle – there is still no VI Client for Linux/Mac users. I’ve never understood the reason for VMware creating its VI Client as a Windows only .net application. The old Server console (and Workstation) is based on a native console (GTK based?), which works very well in Windows and Linux.

This brings me on to an even bigger bug-bear, which is why the VC Server isn’t a Virtual Appliance based on a LAMP stack. The VC server can happily use a mySQL database. The web server is already there. If they had just written the VC server component in a cross platform way then we could install this on Linux (or a Windows server). I don’t see any point in paying for yet another Windows license, when this could be a downloadable VM. Anway, that’s for another post…

So rather than begging VMware to re-instate the old native console for this, I would rather see then drop the existing VI Client and re-write this as a cross platform client.

3 thoughts on “VMware Server 2 beta

  1. Ok I didn’t use above guide to install vmware server 2 on my linux, I came here after installation because I’m stuck with installation of guest system (winxp). First a comment, with the new RC1 build of the server the standard port is 443 instead of 8333.

    Now a question, I dont know how to access a guest system window, where do I get the guest system window? I’m confused?

  2. I think I understand it, I need VMware Remote Console Plug-in for my browser (Firefox 3), unfortunately it does not support Firefox3 (default on ubuntu 8.04). I tried also Opera 9.27, but I couldn’t even login. I’m f*****, I will not downgrade Firefox

  3. Hi wide-blue,

    its been a while since I played with this, so I had to hunt around a bit.

    try this:

    On the server-side, go to (adjust as necessary):

    There, you’ll find several .xpi packages. Unzip the one you want to a temporary directory:

    $ mkdir /tmp/xpi-out && cd /tmp/xpi-out
    $ unzip /usr/lib/vmware/webAccess/tomcat/apache-tomcat-6.0.16/webapps/ui/plugin/vmware-vmrc-linux-x86.xpi

    Edit the install.rdf file in the unzipped output, and change the compatibility (there’s a field that says 3.0.0., you should change that to 3.0. – or 3.0.1.*).

    Then zip up the file again and replace the original (making a backup first):
    $ cp /usr/lib/vmware/webAccess/tomcat/apache-tomcat-6.0.16/webapps/ui/plugin/vmware-vmrc-linux-x86.xpi
    $ zip -r /usr/lib/vmware/webAccess/tomcat/apache-tomcat-6.0.16/webapps/ui/plugin/vmware-vmrc-linux-x86.xpi *

    This is from rrdharan over here:

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