This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to install VMware Server 2 on a Debian Lenny desktop system. With VMware Server you can create and run guest operating systems (“virtual machines”) such as Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, etc. under a host operating system. This has the benefit that you can run multiple operating systems on the same hardware which saves a lot of money, and you can move virtual machines from one VMware Server to the next one (or to a system that has the VMware Player which is also free).
Also, with VMware Server you can let your old Windows desktop (that you previously converted into a VMware virtual machine with VMware Converter, as described in this tutorial: http://www.howtoforge.com/vmware_converter_windows_linux) run under your Debian Lenny desktop. This can be useful if you depend on some applications that exist for Windows only, or if you want to switch to Linux slowly.
I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!
1 Preliminary Note
I’m using the user name falko with the home directory /home/falko here – please adjust this appropriately.
2 VMware Server
To download VMware Server, go to http://www.vmware.com/products/server/ and click on Download
Then open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal), become root…
… and run the following command to install some necessary packages:
apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential xinetd gcc-4.1
The Debian Lenny kernel was built using gcc 4.1, however we now have gcc 4.3 installed. The VMware installer will complain about this and fail, unless we make /usr/bin/gcc a symlink to /usr/bin/gcc-4.1:
ln -sf /usr/bin/gcc-4.1 /usr/bin/gcc
Then go to the location where you saved the VMware Server .tar.gz file, e.g. /home/falko/Desktop (replace falko with your own username!):
Unpack the VMware Server .tar.gz file and run the installer:
tar xvfz VMware-server-*.tar.gz
The installer will ask you a lot of questions. You can always accept the default values simply by hitting <ENTER>.
When the installer asks you
In which directory do you want to keep your virtual machine files?
you can either accept the default value or specify a location that has enough free space to store your virtual machines.
At the end of the installation, you will be asked to enter a serial number:
Please enter your 20-character serial number.
Type XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX or ‘Enter’ to cancel:
Fill in your serial number for VMware Server.
After the successful installation, you can delete the VMware Server download file and the installation directory:
rm -f VMware-server*
rm -fr vmware-server-distrib/
If you have accepted all default values during the installation, root is now the VMware Server login name.
VMware Server 2 does not have a desktop application for managing virtual machines – this is now done through a browser (e.g. Firefox/Iceweasel). You can access the management interface over HTTPS (https://<IP ADDRESS>:8333) or HTTP (http://<IP ADDRESS>:8222); the management interface can be accessed locally and also remotely. If you want to access it from the same machine, type https://127.0.0.1:8333 or http://127.0.0.1:8222 into the browser’s address bar.
If you’re using Firefox/Iceweasel 3 and use HTTPS, Firefox/Iceweasel will complain about the self-signed certificate, therefore you must tell Firefox/Iceweasel to accept the certificate – to do this, click on the Or you can add an exception… link: