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Sunday, August 31, 2008

How to install VMWare on Ubuntu 8 -- includes VMWare Console, and Web Console (MUI)

This weekend I decided to dump my 2nd PC's Windows XP operating system in favor of Ubuntu Linux. The goal? To get more flexible use out of that second PC, create an image of the Windows XP OS and then restore it to the VMWare server as a virtual machine. That would enable me to access my old Windows XP, and install other Virtual Machine operating systems I may want instead.

Setting up Ubuntu was super easy. All I had to do was got to the Ubuntu website and download the latest Linux version, 8.0.4. From there, I burnt it to a DVD -- rebooted the Windows XP machine and installed Ubuntu Linux with most of the defaults.

That was the easy part. Installing VMware into Linux however was not so easy. Thanks to searching on about 10 different sites -- I was able to pull off the install. To make it easier for folks installing VMWare on Ubuntu Linux, I wanted to put this quick guide together so all could benefit from my learnings. This may be especially helpful if you are a beginner or novice on Ubuntu Linux -- I have previous experience with AIX and Red Hat Linux.

Before we get started, here are a couple of the assumptions I am making:

1. You just installed the base Ubuntu operating system on you PC with most of the standard options. Mine happened to be the 32-bit version on the Intel x86 architecture.

2. You may or may not have installed a Desktop GUI for UBUNTU -- the preferred is GNOME (which I installed), but KDE and Xfce are other possibilities.

3. You know that we will be using the command "sudo" instead of logging in as root.

So, here we go.

1. First, I downloaded the VMWare Desktop version from the VMWare website, here. I downloaded the most current, 1.0.7 -- although you can install older versions like 1.0.6, 1.0.5, and 1.0.4.

2. Before you get started extracting and installing the VMWare software, you need to add some tools to your base Ubuntu 8.X (8.0.4 in my case). Add these tools by entering:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r` xinetd

3. One other package needs to be installed in order to allow your VMWare server to be monitored and managed remotely. Go to your terminal / telnet session and type:
sudo apt-get install xinetd
I reloaded the machine after both installations just because I am used to Windows. :-)

3. Next, extract your downloaded file to a directory on your local machine. I extracted to /home/user/vmware/server. Now go to your terminal / telnet session, chdir (change directory) to the server installation folder. Now type:
sudo ./
Accept all of the defaults as your run through the installation. You must also have a serial number (even though it is free) from the VMWare site to complete. It will automatically run the for you configure your VMWare installation.

4. After the installation and configuration completes, you need to execute two command lines in order for VMWare to run. Otherwise, when you try to start up the VMWare console, it will just bomb out. Here are the two lines:
sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/gcc/i486-linux-gnu/4.2.3/ /usr/lib/vmware/lib/
sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/vmware/lib/

5. Now you should be able to run and configure Virtual Machines by connecting on the default port of 902.

6. Continuing, you can also install the VMWare Console and Web Management Interface (MUI) by downloading from here:

7. Download, extract, and install the components in a similar fashion of above and accept the default choices (unless you have specific reasons to choose other options).

8. Make sure you execute the following commands / install packages to complete the installation and have a fully functional VMWare Server, VMWare Console, and VMWare Web Console (MUI):
sudo apt-get install xinetd
change directory to /usr/bin
sudo ln -s -f /bin/bash /bin/sh

Congratulations, you should have a fully working VMWare solution. Hopefully this article saves you the couple of hours I spent figuring this out! If these steps helped you install VMWare Server, VMWare Server Console, and VMWare Web Console -- please let me know with a comment below!


Anonymous said...

This worked out great. Installed and entered both additional commands and worked fine first try. Already building my first VM...



Anonymous said...

Worked like a charm.
Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

installation went fine (thank you for the instructions), but, I can't start virtual machine. once I type
vmware start
it takes me to web page where I need to enter username and password, but I don't now what to enter. Tried mu local user name and pass but it didn't work.
Do you have any idea what to do?



KP said...

I am a complete novice. What do you mean by:

You know that we will be using the command "sudo" instead of logging in as root.

Ken Hanscom said...

KP -- please see my commands below. Rather than switch to the root user in Ubuntu, you will simply use the command "sudo" as a prefix to gain root access when issuing a command.

Good Luck.


Mike Mallory said...

Thank you! After days of a frustrating and painful discovery process, I discovered your page. When followed exactly, your advice worked great!

nettech said...

as everyone else said thanks very simple very to understand thanks for saving me the hassles of hours of reading

Anonymous said...

I was able to successfully install it , but how do i launch vmware now, i want to install winxp on it..please advice. the steps were really helpful

Zach said...

I'm running a 64bit version of 8.0.4. Will these steps work for this version as well or not?


Anonymous said...

Following the directions to your post right now. So far I like what I have read. One thing that I think you could add, is on the second STEP 3. You state extract your downloaded file to a directory.

Here I think for the Newbies, you could have put in the actual TAR command you used to extract it.

Ex. tar -xjvf blah vmware.version.blah...

Just my two cents... Other than that great article!


Anonymous said...

I don't know what is the user name and password :-(

The current administrative user for VMware Server is ''. Would you like to
specify a different administrator? [no]

Using root as the VMware Server administrator.

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