VMware Server & Ubuntu 10.04

Wow, what a ride. Upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS worked flawlessy, as always (hint: use aptitude -V dist-upgrade this time, it's a bit more sophisticated than apt-get). But VMware Server 2.0.2 (i386) didn't like the new 2.6.32-22-generic-pae kernel too much. Lot's of warnings and the compilation errors were enough to look for solutions elsewhere. Finally, after hours of searching and trying, I propose 4 patches to be applied:

  • 00-vmware-2.6.32_functional.diff - this one fixes the actual compile errors and has been provided by drgr33n back in October 2009.

  • 01-vmware-2.6.32_cosmetic.diff - this one fixes (hides?) all the warnings. The patch is not mandatory (the modules will compile without it) but it makes it a lot easier to catch real error messages when it's applied. This patch is basically just implementing what rbihlmeyer proposed back in September 2009.

  • 02-vmnet-include.diff - while we're at it: I noticed that in vmnet.tar all the header- and source-files were in one directory, while they're located in include/ resp. linux/ for all the other modules. Again, not mandatory, but it's a nice cleanup, maybe the VMware guys will pick it up.

  • vmware-config.pl.diff - and finally, vmware-config.pl needs to be patched, so that the vsock.ko module can use the symbols from vmci it requires, otherwise the module fails to build. Thanks again, drgr33n!

With all these patches applied, running vmware-config.pl should look like this. You can use this script to do all the patching for you (be sure to alter the DIR and PATCHES variables to your needs).

A few more notes on the whole VMware shebang:
  • In my case it helped to boot both the host and the guest with clocksource=acpi_pm, otherwise the clock would skew away. YMMV though.

  • In the /var/log/vmware/hostd.log logfile, the following error message can be seen:
       An error occurred while loading configuration "../vmware-server/lib/vmware/settings",
       not all entries are being read. It is strongly encouraged that you manually 
       inspect the file and fix any corruptions.
    However, /opt/vmware-server/lib/vmware/settings does not even exist. VMware Server and its guests continue to run. Don't know what to make of this error yet...

  • As the old VMware console GUI has been discontinued, one is left with a Web GUI (https://server:8333). To access the actual console, one must install either vmware-vmrc-win32-x86.exe (for IE, but install-privileges are needed) resp. vmware-vmrc-{win32|linux}-x86.xpi (for Firefox, user rights sufficient). Of course, the VMware vSphere Client can also be used to access the VMware installation, but one has to pay for it, IIRC.