Installing VMWARE server on CentOS 5 or Red hat enterprise Linux 64 bit version

VMware virtualization software is an excllent choice for x86-compatible computers. They have both commercial and free version. I received few email regarding VMWARE on 64 bit Linux. Installing VMWARE server on CentOS 5 or Red hat enterprise Linux 64 bit version is a tricky business. In this small howto I will explain vmware installation on 64 bit Linux server without facing any dependencies problem.

Following instructions are tested on both RHEL 5 and CentOS 5 running 64 bit Intel / AMD hardware and software. My kernel:
$ uname -mrs
Output:

Linux 2.6.18-8.1.6.el5 x86_64

My RHEL 5 release (same kernel for CentOS):
$ cat /etc/redhat-release
Output:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5 (Tikanga)

Make sure you have following software installed:

  • Full gcc compiler and development environment
  • Kernel headers and devel packages for current kernel (i.e. kernel-headers and kernel-devel)

 

Step # 1: Download vmware server

You can download VMWARE server here. Use wget command to download:
$ wget http://download3…

Step # 2: Install vmware server

Once downloaded use RPM command to install vmware sever, enter:
# rpm -ivh VMware-server-1.0.3-44356.i386.rpm
Output:

Preparing...                ########################################### [100%]
   1:VMware-server          ########################################### [100%]

Step # 3:Install required files / libraries

You need to install following development package / files on server:

  1. libXtst-devel : X.Org X11 libXtst development package
  2. libXrender-devel : X.Org X11 libXrender development package

Simply use yum command to install packages:
# yum install libXtst-devel libXrender-devel kernel-devel
Output:

Loading "rhnplugin" plugin
Loading "installonlyn" plugin
Setting up Install Process
Setting up repositories
rhel-x86_64-server-vt-5   100% |=========================| 1.2 kB    00:00
rhel-x86_64-server-5      100% |=========================| 1.2 kB    00:00
Reading repository metadata in from local files
Parsing package install arguments
...........
....
...
Running Transaction
  Installing: libXtst                      ######################### [1/8]
  Installing: libXau-devel                 ######################### [2/8]
  Installing: xorg-x11-proto-devel         ######################### [3/8]
  Installing: libX11-devel                 ######################### [4/8]
  Installing: libXdmcp-devel               ######################### [5/8]
  Installing: libXtst-devel                ######################### [6/8]
  Installing: libXtst-devel                ######################### [7/8]
  Installing: mesa-libGL-devel             ######################### [8/8] 

Installed: libXtst-devel.x86_64 0:1.0.1-3.1 libXtst-devel.i386 0:1.0.1-3.1
Dependency Installed: libX11-devel.x86_64 0:1.0.3-8.0.1.el5 libXau-devel.x86_64 0:1.0.1-3.1 libXdmcp-devel.x86_64 0:1.0.1-2.1 libXtst.i386 0:1.0.1-3.1 mesa-libGL-devel.x86_64 0:6.5.1-7.2.el5 xorg-x11-proto-devel.x86_64 0:7.1-9.fc6
Complete!

Step # 4: Install xinetd

You need xinetd the extended Internet services daemon / service in order to use VMWARE console from remote computer. Use yum command to install xinetd:
# yum install xinetd

Step # 5: Configure VMWARE server

Use vmware-config.pl script to configure VMWARE networking and other aspects.
# vmware-config.pl
Output (make sure you setup VMWARE as per your requirments, following is just a sample output):

Making sure services for VMware Server are stopped.

Stopping VMware services:
   Virtual machine monitor                                 [  OK  ]

You must read and accept the End User License Agreement to continue.
Press enter to display it.
......
......
will provide you with a copy of our
distribution agreement for your signature.   

Do you accept? (yes/no)    yes

Thank you.

Configuring fallback GTK+ 2.4 libraries.

In which directory do you want to install the mime type icons?
[/usr/share/icons] 

What directory contains your desktop menu entry files? These files have a
.desktop file extension. [/usr/share/applications]
In which directory do you want to install the application's icon?
[/usr/share/pixmaps] 

Trying to find a suitable vmmon module for your running kernel.

None of the pre-built vmmon modules for VMware Server is suitable for your
running kernel.  Do you want this program to try to build the vmmon module for
your system (you need to have a C compiler installed on your system)? [yes] 

Using compiler "/usr/bin/gcc". Use environment variable CC to override.

What is the location of the directory of C header files that match your running
kernel? [/lib/modules/2.6.18-8.1.6.el5/build/include] 

Extracting the sources of the vmmon module.

Building the vmmon module.

Using 2.6.x kernel build system.
make: Entering directory `/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only'
make -C /lib/modules/2.6.18-8.1.6.el5/build/include/.. SUBDIRS=$PWD SRCROOT=$PWD/. modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.18-8.1.6.el5-x86_64'
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/hostif.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/common/cpuid.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/common/hash.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/common/memtrack.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/common/phystrack.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/common/task.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/common/vmx86.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/vmcore/moduleloop.o
  LD [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/vmmon.o
  Building modules, stage 2.
  MODPOST
  CC      /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/vmmon.mod.o
  LD [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/vmmon.ko
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.18-8.1.6.el5-x86_64'
cp -f vmmon.ko ./../vmmon.o
make: Leaving directory `/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only'
The module loads perfectly in the running kernel.

Do you want networking for your virtual machines? (yes/no/help) [yes] 

Configuring a bridged network for vmnet0.

Your computer has multiple ethernet network interfaces available: eth0, eth1.
Which one do you want to bridge to vmnet0? [eth0] eth1

The following bridged networks have been defined:

. vmnet0 is bridged to eth1

Do you wish to configure another bridged network? (yes/no) [no] 

Do you want to be able to use NAT networking in your virtual machines? (yes/no)
[yes] no

Do you want to be able to use host-only networking in your virtual machines?
[no] 

Extracting the sources of the vmnet module.

Building the vmnet module.

Using 2.6.x kernel build system.
make: Entering directory `/tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only'
make -C /lib/modules/2.6.18-8.1.6.el5/build/include/.. SUBDIRS=$PWD SRCROOT=$PWD/. modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.18-8.1.6.el5-x86_64'
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/driver.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/hub.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/userif.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/netif.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/bridge.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/procfs.o
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/smac_compat.o
  SHIPPED /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/smac_linux.x86_64.o
  LD [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/vmnet.o
  Building modules, stage 2.
  MODPOST
WARNING: could not find /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/.smac_linux.x86_64.o.cmd for /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/smac_linux.x86_64.o
  CC      /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/vmnet.mod.o
  LD [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only/vmnet.ko
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.18-8.1.6.el5-x86_64'
cp -f vmnet.ko ./../vmnet.o
make: Leaving directory `/tmp/vmware-config0/vmnet-only'
The module loads perfectly in the running kernel.

The default port : 902 is not free. We have selected a suitable alternative
port for VMware Server use. You may override this value now.
Remember to use this port when connecting to this server.
Please specify a port for remote console connections to use [904] 

WARNING: VMware Server has been configured to run on a port different from the
default port. Remember to use this port when connecting to this server.
Stopping xinetd:                                           [  OK  ]
Starting xinetd:                                           [  OK  ]
Configuring the VMware VmPerl Scripting API.

Building the VMware VmPerl Scripting API.

Using compiler "/usr/bin/gcc". Use environment variable CC to override.

Installing the VMware VmPerl Scripting API.

The installation of the VMware VmPerl Scripting API succeeded.

Generating SSL Server Certificate

In which directory do you want to keep your virtual machine files?
[/var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines] 

The path "/var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines" does not exist currently. This
program is going to create it, including needed parent directories. Is this
what you want? [yes] 

Please enter your 20-character serial number.

Type XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX or 'Enter' to cancel:  XYZZZ-XYZZZ-XYZZZ-ABC91

Starting VMware services:
   Virtual machine monitor                                 [  OK  ]
   Virtual ethernet                                        [  OK  ]
   Bridged networking on /dev/vmnet0                       [  OK  ]

The configuration of VMware Server 1.0.3 build-44356 for Linux for this running
kernel completed successfully.

How do I manage my VMWARE server remotely?

You can now connect from local computer using vmware-server-console program to:

  • Configure VM Guest oses
  • Configure VM hardware
  • Install new VPS / VM guest oses such as FreeBSD, Windows or any other operating systems etc

$ vmware-server-console &
You need to enter host name ip:port, username and password to access vmware server.
vmware-server-console

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