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VMWare Server 2 on Gentoo (amd64)

I recently decided to switch from vmware server 1 to vmware server 2 as I had some trouble to get the vmware modules running with my 2.6.29 gentoo kernel. It was not a big deal to get it emerged on my machine, but it I had to do some fixes to get it running on my amd64-system as it was not possible to log into the web interface with the "out-of-the-box" configuration. Theese are the steps I had to do to get it running:

1. Emerge VMWare Server


First, make sure you have unmasked the desired version of the server. I added the following lines to my /etc/portage/package.keywords:

=app-emulation/vmware-modules-1.0.0.24  ~amd64
=app-emulation/vmware-vix-1.6.2.156745*  ~amd64
=app-emulation/vmware-server-2.0.1.156745*  ~amd64

 


If you have a x86-machine, you would prefer the ~x86 keyword instead of ~amd64. Afterwards you should be able to install the vmware-server ebuild using

 

emerge -av app-emulation/vmware-server


After you installed the server you have to run the configuration by calling

emerge --config app-emulation/vmware-server


The configuration script will ask you some questions about network configuration and licensing. Just set the configuration on your own needs or preferences.


2. Fixing It


After installing the vmware-server ebuild, the server has started successfully on my system, but I have not been able to log into the web interface. Everytime I tried to log into my system I got some "Login failed due to a bad username or password."-messages.

I found the reason for this in my /var/log/messages-file. VMware complained about an invalid ELFCLASS32 while loading /lib32/security/pam_unix.so. This ended in an failing pam authentication. All I had to do was changing my /etc/pam.d/vmware-authd to use the 64-bit libraries instead of the 32-bit ones:

#%PAM-1.0
auth       required         /lib/security/pam_unix.so shadow nullok
account    required         /lib/security/pam_listfile.so item=group sense=allow file=/etc/vmware/vmwaregroup onerr=fail
account    required         /lib/security/pam_unix.so


After changing theese lines, the authd complained about a missing /etc/vmware/vmwaregroup-file. The file defines the user group that is allowed to log into the vmware server web interface. If this file does not exist, just create a plain file containing the vmware group name:

cat /etc/vmware/vmwaregroup || echo "vmware" > /etc/vmware/vmwaregroup

3. Shipped GTK


Having trouble using the vmware-server console from the web interface? It might depend on your local GTK version. If you started your browser from an terminal you would notice that the browser plugin tires to call some fancy named method that does not exist. You can fix this using the GTK-version shipped with your vmware-server installation by running your browser (i.e. firefox) like this:

VMWARE_USE_SHIPPED_GTK=yes firefox

By calling your browser this way, you set the environment variable VMWARE_USE_SHIPPED_GTK temporarily to yes and vmware does not use your systems GTK anymore.

If this works, you might add the following line to your /etc/profile

 

export VMWARE_USE_SHIPPED_GTK=yes

to set the variable permanently.