VMware/Installing Arch as a guest

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Installing archlinux inside a VM (e.g. in VMWare running on Windows XP) works without trouble; however, VMWare-tools for Linux guests will not install onto an archlinux on VM 'out of the box.' Below is a rough guide that may help (this needs revision, since it was written by a n00b :P).

Remark: you may not need VMWare-tools at all, depending what you want to do. You need them for higher X screen resolutions, shared folders with the host OS, and some other things.

The Procedure

(Most of this expects that you are root. Versions of things used at time of writing: archlinux with kernel 2.6.15 installed on VMWare Workstation 5.5.1 build-19175 running on Windows XP Pro Servpack. 2.)


(Some important parts of this procedure were adapted from/inspired by a page called VMWare on Slackware Linux; more technical information that this author does not pretend to understand is there.)

This guide assumes the user is installing from the .tar.gz package (not the .rpm).

Problem #1: The VMWare-tools install script (vmware-install.pl) expects a directory containing rc0.d to rc6.d, but archlinux doesn't have those.

Go into /etc and mkdir rc0.d through rc6.d, as well as init.d .

Start the Installer

Go to the place you extracted the installer and run ./vmware-install.pl .

"In which directory do you want to install the binary files?": /usr/bin

"What is the directory that contains the init directories ... ?": /etc

"What is the directory that contains the init scripts?": /etc/init.d

For the rest: accept default locations; say yes when a directory creation is needed.

When the installer asks you to run vmware-config-tools.pl answer 'no'

The installer part is done.

tty0 Interlude

Problem #2: The config script (vmware-config-tools.pl) expects /dev/tty0, but archlinux doesn't have that.

In /dev, symlink tty0 to point at /dev/vc/1 (ln -s /dev/tty0 /dev/vc/1). To make sure it works, send something to tty0; e.g. when you say "echo foo > /dev/tty0", 'foo' should magically appear on the first console.

Run the Config Script

Problem #3: The config script expects a .current in /usr/src/...-- so cd into /usr/src/linux-xxxx-ARCH/ (xxxx is your current archlinux kernel version (from uname -a), and copy .config to .current (cp .config .current). This is for the --compile switch, which you will pass to vmware-config-tools.pl.

Run "/usr/bin/vmware-config-tools.pl --compile" -- it will prompt for some headers corresponding to the current running kernel, which should be OK as defaults. It will then compile some things, and may complain a bit (e.g. about high-speed network drivers or shared folders); hopefully these are unimportant complaints. It will detect Xorg and ask for an X screen resolution; choose one.

It may try to run X, which seems to happen unsuccessfully, but afterwards, startx should work and use the new resolution (and be a lot faster than it was before).

See Also

Installing VMWare and Installing vmware player -- the opposite of this ;)