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:
- Download the install set: http://www.vmware.com/beta/server/registration.html
- 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.
- Once finished, I had to edit the /etc/vmware/hostd/authorization.xml file, and renamed the admin user from root to my own user account. From this forum post: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/112671
- 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.