VMware

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This article is about installing VMware in Arch, you may also be interested in Installing Arch Linux in VMware.

Note: This article supports only the latest major VMware versions, meaning VMware Workstation 8 and VMware Player 4

Installation

Note: VMware Workstation/Player will not be manageable with pacman as the files are not installed with it.

1. Download the latest VMware Workstation or VMware Player (you may also try the testing (Beta/RC) versions).

2. Start the installation (--console uses terminal instead of the GUI):

# chmod +x VMware-<edition>-<version>.<release>.<architecture>.bundle
# ./VMware-<edition>-<version>.<release>.<architecture>.bundle --console

3. Read & accept the EULA to continue.

4. Set System service scripts to:

/etc/rc.d

5. (Optional) If Eclipse is installed, enter the directory path to the Integrated Virtual Debugger.

6. You will now get an error about the "rc*.d style init script" not being set. This can, however, be safely ignored.

7. Create links for the daemons:

# ln -s /etc/init.d/vmware /etc/rc.d/vmware
# ln -s /etc/init.d/vmware-workstation-server /etc/rc.d/vmware-workstation-server

Configuration

VMware module patches

VMware Workstation 8 and VMware Player 4 only support kernels up to 3.0. Any later requires patching of the VMware modules.

Tip: There is also a package called vmware-patchAUR in the Arch User Repository with the intention of trying to automate the patching process (it also supports older VMware versions).

3.2 kernels

The patch for 3.2 kernels is available here or here:

$ cd /tmp
$ curl -O http://weltall.heliohost.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/vmware8linux32fix.tar.gz
$ tar -xvzf vmware8linux32fix.tar.gz
# ./patch-modules_3.1.0.sh

An updated version for VMware Workstation 8.0.2 / Player 4.0.2 can be found here or here.

3.1 kernels

The patch for 3.1 kernels is available here:

$ cd /tmp
$ curl -O http://weltall.heliohost.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/vmware8linux31fix.tar.gz
$ tar -xvzf vmware8linux31fix.tar.gz
# ./patch-modules_3.1.0.sh

VMware module installation

8. At this point you would want to install the modules. First you need to either change the lsmod binary path in Template:Filename from Template:Filename to Template:Filename:

# sed -i "s|/sbin/lsmod|/bin/lsmod|g" /etc/rc.d/vmware

or create a symlink with:

# ln -s /bin/lsmod /sbin/lsmod

9. Now you can install the modules. You can do this by either launching VMware (as root) and letting it install the modules with the GUI or executing:

# vmware-modconfig --console --install-all

10. (Optional) Add vmware to the DAEMONS array in Template:Filename so that the service is started automatically on boot.

11. Now, open your VMware Workstation (vmware in the console) or VMware Player (vmplayer in the console) to configure & use!

Warning: When upgrading the kernel you will have to rebuild the VMware modules with the following command:
# vmware-modconfig --console --install-all
Failure to do so may result in a system crash upon powering up virtual machines.

Tips & Tricks

Extracting the VMware BIOS

To extract the VMware BIOS, which can be manipulated and later used with your virtual machines:

$ objcopy /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx -O binary -j bios440 --set-section-flags bios440=a bios440.rom.Z
$ perl -e 'use Compress::Zlib; my $v; read STDIN, $v, '$(stat -c%s "./bios440.rom.Z")'; $v = uncompress($v); print $v;' < bios440.rom.Z > bios440.rom

Using the modified BIOS

If and when you decide to modify the extracted BIOS you can make your virtual machine use it by moving it to Template:Filename:

$ mv bios440.rom ~/vmware/<Virtual machine name>/

then adding the name to the <Virtual machine name>.vmx file:

~/vmware/<Virtual machine name>/<Virtual machine name>.vmx
bios440.filename = "bios440.rom"

Troubleshooting

Could not open /dev/vmmon: No such file or directory.

The full error is:

Could not open /dev/vmmon: No such file or directory.
Please make sure that the kernel module `vmmon' is loaded.

This means that at least the vmmon VMware service is not running. All VMware services can be started with:

# rc.d start vmware

Kernel headers for version 3.x-xxxx were not found. If you installed them[...]

Install them with:

# pacman -S linux-headers

gcc and kernel headers must be installed

See previous for kernel headers

What package is needed for gcc headers?  It is something besides base-devel.

The installer fails to start

If you just get back to the prompt when opening the .bundle, then you probably have an old version of the VMware installer and you should remove it (you may also refer to the uninstallation section of this article):

# rm -r /etc/vmware-installer

USB devices not recognized by VMware workstation 8

For some reason, some installations are missing the vmware-USBArbitrator script. To readd it manually see this forum post.

Uninstallation

To uninstall VMware you need the product name (either vmware-workstation or vmware-player). To list all the installed products:

# vmware-installer -l

and uninstall with:

# vmware-installer -u <vmware-product>

Manually included symlinks in /etc/rc.d have to be removed manually:

# unlink /etc/rc.d/vmware
# unlink /etc/rc.d/vmware-workstation-server

Remember to also remove vmware from the /etc/rc.conf DAEMONS array.