VMware On SuSE 9.3

VMware 3.2 vs. SuSE 9.3

    An "Out of the Box" version of VMware 3.2 will just flatly not install in SuSE 9.3. This requires some fanagling, like was described in my SuSE 9.1 and 9.2 installs and VMware setups. You might review those in case I forget something in this write-up.

The Kernel

    First off, we have switched from version 2.6.8-24 to version VMware has to have code matched to the version of Linux that it is running on. It needs vmmon and vmnet. Both of these are supplied by VMware. The sources for vmmon and vmnet are in: /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source. The sources for the Kernel are in: /usr/src/linux, which in this case is a link to linux-

    Do a full compile of the kernel before trying the install so that all the dependancies are loaded and in the correct locations. Besides, if you can't compile the kernel, then you can't install VMware. The two go hand in hand.

  1. cd /usr/src/linux
  2. make cloneconfig
  3. make prepare
  4. make modules
There are those who claim the above is not neccessary. However, everytime I have encountered, problems performing all three operations above seemed to be the cure. (In addition to other items mentioned here) The longest operation is "make modules". It takes 77 minutes and 13.5 seconds on my 2.0Ghz P4 with 1GB of SDRAM and a 7200rpm Hard Disk.

Download the patch

    You should check the patch site for new releases.

  The releases are named vmware-any-any-update*.tar.gz.
  I downloaded the most recent patch: vmware-any-any-update90.tar.gz

This info was obtaineed from Markus at KernelTrap.org. I just used a newer version of the update file. I was able to use this info when all that was required for SuSE 9.1 was an update.

Patching BEFORE Install:

     We need to make some changes. You must be root to do this. Of course I am making the assumption that you work like I do. In case you don't, I untar'd both archives into a /TRinstalls directory that I created and work from there. The files can be removed afterwards.

  1. In vmware-distrib/bin you will find vmware-config.pl which is read-only. Change that with: chmod u+w vmware-config.pl
  2. Bring vmware-config.pl up in your favorite programmer's editor.
  3. Change every occurance of ksyms to kallsyms and re-save the file.
  4. copy vmware-any-any-update90/vmmon.tar to vmware-distrib/lib/modules/source/
  5. copy vmware-any-any-update90/vmnet.tar to vmware-distrib/lib/modules/source/
  6. Note: The reason for the above two is... in order to use update90 VMware must be installed. Because of changes in the new SuSE the Out of the Box version won't compile and therefore will not get installed. So, we replace the two items that need compiling, and won't, with two items that will compile.
  7. In the vmware-distrib dir execute ./vmware-install.pl to install VMware. You will possibly see an error or failure notice at the end of this. But do not fear... continue.
  8. Now in the vmware-any-any-update90 execute ./runme.pl This will complete the updates.
  9. Install and update is now done.

All is not Well

    Hmmmmm... When I try to start VMware I get the following:

Starting VMware services:
   Virtual machine monitor                                            failed
   Virtual ethernet                                                   failed
   Bridged networking on /dev/vmnet0                                   done
   Host-only networking on /dev/vmnet1 (background)                    done
   Host-only networking on /dev/vmnet8 (background)                    done
   NAT service on /dev/vmnet8                                          done
This is not good.

    Allllrighty now. This looks like something ain't working or setup right or both. So in Windows fashion I will re-boot the system. (mainly cause I ain't smart enough to do otherwise) After the re-boot we will see what happens.


    The restart accomplished the "fix". As the system was comming up I watched the messages and I saw VMware get started ... correctly and fully. So I can now continue and setup my Win2K. Need to remind myself and any reading this that we need to use the following in order to run this:

   LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.4.21 /usr/bin/vmware

The above is for the initial setup of Windows (or whatever). In the actual running you will need to execute this one:

   LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.4.21 /usr/bin/vmware /home/ctaylor/vmware/win2000Pro/win2000Pro.cfg

Naturally, the ctaylor will be changed to your home dir name.

    Ok. if you got this far ... you are now on your own (unless I think of something later)


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