VMware server 2.0.2 and centos 5.5 - resolutions

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VMware server 2.0.2 and centos 5.5 - resolutions

Postby theorist » 2010/05/26 09:17:03

The issues with VMware server 2 and centos since 5.4 are well documented in various places on the web including some of these fora (though buried under more general subject headings). Though some people report everything working under CentOS 5.5 this is not my experience (on an x86_64 host running CentOS 5.5). I recently found two solutions to the two problems I was having which are not so well documented but are working for me.

Recall there are at least two separate issues:
(A) glibc libraries break vmware-hostd which cause it to crash and sometimes bring down the virtual machines with it.
(B) firefox on the local machine is unable to connect to the web interface over ssl (https)
These are distinct, though confusingly have been reported in the same bug report http://bugs.centos.org/view.php?id=3884

The resolutions:

(A) glibc and vmware-hostd issue

The two old solutions have been well publicized:
which both involve retaining the old glibc libraries (either for the whole machine, or by attempting to load the old library in the vmware startup script). Though the first solution did work for me (the second did not), I am reluctant to retain these old libraries. You can also install a vnc server on your guests to access them without the web interface, though I often found that crashing vmware-hostd would kill the VM machines too.

There is another option which does not involve maintaining the old glibc libraries which I found here (solution 2):
http://webalution.com/techshare/2009/11 ... rkarounds/
You modify the vmware startup script (/etc/init.d/vmware) to avoid the dynamic loading of the library and start the vmware-hostd process directly: The modifications to the script are shown below:

Code: Select all
# Start host agent
vmware_start_hostd() {
    export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/vmware/vmacore:/usr/lib/vmware/hostd:/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libxml2.so.2:/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libexpat.so.0:/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libstdc++.so.6:/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libgcc_s.so.1:/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libcrypto.so.0.9.8:/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libssl.so.0.9.8
   vmware_bg_exec "`vmware_product_name` Host Agent" \
      "$vmdb_answer_LIBDIR/vmware-hostd" -a -d -u "$vmware_etc_dir/hostd/config.xml"
#      "$vmdb_answer_SBINDIR/vmware-hostd" -a -d -u "$vmware_etc_dir/hostd/config.xml"

This fix has given me a stable interface to the vmware system and my virtual machines for over a week. Your mileage may vary.

(B) Connecting via ssl using firefox to the web interface locally to the server
Obviously one work around is to connect over the non-ssl interface on (default port 8222).
There is another way (which I found here http://planetvm.net/blog/?p=1087).
You enable ssl2 in firefox: You go to the advanced configuration in firefox by typing about:config in the location bar (note and accept the warning) and then scroll down to the setting:
and click on it to toggle the boolean to true, then restart firefox. I was then able to connect to the vmware web interface using port https 8333 and open consoles as I once was able to previously under CentOS 5.3 and earlier. (No deleting of certificates needed despite the suggestions on the web).

As many people have reported, vmware server does not seem to be actively maintained by vmware, so the long term solution for me is probably to migrate to kvm, but that will have to wait for a slower day when I can muddle though usb pass through. Note that for those of you experimenting with both kvm and vmware, if your virtual machines fail to start (hanging at 95%) it is because you have forgotten to unload the kvm kernel modules before restarting vmware.

I hope this is of use to some people.

[Moderator edited to insert code tags to preserve the formatting.]
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Re: VMware server 2.0.2 and centos 5.5 - resolutions

Postby pschaff » 2010/05/28 15:17:38

Added a link to this post to bug #3884.
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Re: VMware server 2.0.2 and centos 5.5 - resolutions

Postby theorist » 2010/07/01 17:21:01

With the update to firefox 3.6 there is another issue which is that the remote console plugin will not work with firefox 3.6

A resolution of this is to run the remote console from the command line (or create a launcher for the command). The executable is called "vmware-vmrc" and will be located somewhere in your extensions directory under your firefox profile. For example:
Code: Select all

Just run the command and then connect to the local server ( with the vmware userid and password you would use to connect to your server.
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