View Full Version : VMWare GSX Server running on my Workstation.

8th February 2006, 02:29 AM
Following VMWare's announcement yesterday of the free VMWare GSX Server, I downloaded the S/W and put it onto my system. The install was pretty much painless. Download, read the docs, and do the installation. I struggled a bit w/ the Fedora Core build. Tried using the SCSI disks (which is recommended), but there was a kernel panic. The IDE w/ LVM works well. A VMWorkstation build of my Windoze (WinXP Pro SP2) did not like being moved from an Opteron (146?) to the Athlon 64. Kept getting a BSOD. Built out a Workstation and Server version of Ubuntu and CentOS (in addition to FC4 and WinXP). Works well. Good job VMWare. Where's XEN?
My System Specifications:
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor
OCZ 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Platinum System Memory Model2 GB RAM
CHAINTECH SE6600 Geforce 6600 256MB DDR PCI Express x16 Video Card
HYUNDAI L90D+ Silver 19" 8ms LCD Monitor
Shuttle SN25P AMD Socket 939 AMD Athlon 64 FX/Athlon 64/Sempron nVIDIA nForce4 Ultra Barebone
KRUD FC4 2005-11
An overall description of VMWare GSX Server:
<looking for marketing material>
Entry-level hosted virtualization product for Linux and Windows servers. (go to http://www.vmware.com/news/releases/server_beta.html for the 411).
* Try to point out any potential gotchas or helpful hints on installation and use you may have found if at all possible.
I found that using LVM and an IDE disk works. Could never get the SCSI option to work (w/ or w/o LVM).
* A link to some screenshots of the program running under Fedora
(How do I do that?)
* Assessment on the installation out of 5
5 The installation using the RPM was smooth. Tried using the tar.gz and the source... Not that interested. :-)
* Assessment of the ease of use out of 5
5 Very smooth. Especially compared to Xen. I was able to get multiple OS's (Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, and WinDoze) built all this morning.
* Assessment of the features out of 5
5 Way cool. Will try the remote management of guest OSes tomorrow.
* Assessment on the quality of the program out of 5
5 Really smooth for a 'beta'
* An overall assessment out of 10 (All 4 marks added up, and divided by 2)
<Not needing to whip out HP RPN calc> 10

8th February 2006, 08:33 AM
A follow up to my post.
When creating disk space, in addition to using an IDE disk, I have found that a disk size of at least 6GB is best.

8th February 2006, 02:16 PM
as far as the disk space goes, allocate as much as you think you might ever need, i usually go with 20gb, as it only uses the disk space when it actually needs it, so if you create a 20gb vdisk and the guest install only uses 4gb, then the vdisk file on your host hard disk will only be 4gb in size.

if you don't make the vdisk big enough when you start you can have problems making it bigger (usually have to add another vdisk, or i've used acronis to ghost from small to larger vdisk before).

i'm not uninstalling my workstation yet as the server beta still has debugging on, so is slower. i've installed server on my xp box and have run my workstations installs of winxp pro-sp2 and win2k as-sp4 no problem.

i'm surprised you had problems moving from opteron to athlon64, there's not much difference. it is a windows issue though, not a vmware one.

i actually ghosted my athlonxp/winxp box into a virtual machine which runs on my pentium4ht/fc4 machine, and didn't get any bsod's, although i did once have an issue with moving a vm created on an athlonxp2200+ to a regular athlon 1400.

vmware's a great product and making their mid-range product free is a great move. i think xen3 has a lot of catching up to do, especially in the user-friendliness stakes, i guess things will be easier with the intel vt/amd pacifica chips.

8th February 2006, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the info on disk space usage. I have found it to be a PITA to add/resize disks. Can the Workstations and GSX co-exist on the same host instance? I kept getting error messages stating that Workstation had to be removed.
I am sure the WinXP issue was a WinDoze problem, but w/ VMWare, it is really easy to just blow away the image and create a new image.

8th February 2006, 11:49 PM
no, gsx (well it's not gsx it's "vmware server") cannot be installed on the same machine as workstation, you can have vmware player installed though.

this is a link to the vmware server beta forum, you might need to register with the forum to access it, but i think you can use the vmware store login that you used to download gsx server.


14th February 2006, 07:02 PM
Remember too that machines created in Workstation are a little more advanced and may not be compatible with Server or ESX. When you create a machine in Workstation and you choose Typical or Custom, read below Typical and it'll explain what I'm talking about. I believe you'd have to create one with Custom and there's an option for a Legacy image.

23rd February 2006, 04:30 PM
don't know what version of FC you are running on VMware, but with FC5T3 I can't get vmware-tools to install. It can't find the kernel-header files. It worked fine with FC4. I'm using VMware-server beta....any ideas,

23rd February 2006, 05:41 PM
zigzag, i couldn't get fc5t2 to install the tools with vmware workstation 5.5.1.

i was going to try fc5t3 on vmware server beta1, but not if you say it doesn't work either....

although i recall fc4 took a bit of patching of the tools before they would install, rhel4as worked out of the box, but that's based on fc3 and is a "vmware supported product".

23rd February 2006, 05:53 PM
I went as far as installing all the development libraries too. There is something different in FC5T2 &3.
The FC4 install was straight from the iso CD's and vmware-tools didn't complain, but with FC5, I dl'd the dvd-iso's and installed them from a directory on the disc. Not that it should matter, but maybe waiting a while will solve the issue. Then on the other hand, there are vmware images for FC5T2 at their site.
That image, however is outdated now, but might still yield a clue if vmware-tools installs with it.
FC5T3 still works, but the mouse cursor is slow and jerky under certain apps and conditions. Oh well....

23rd February 2006, 11:35 PM
i'm using the fc5t2 image from the website, it doesn't have the tools installed, and i can't install them either, i obviously installed kernel-devel, upgraded the kernel etc.

23rd February 2006, 11:47 PM
FC5, Xen-enabled, LOL

24th February 2006, 01:05 PM
yeah, seems quaint that xen (3?) support has been added and vmware support becomes totally borked!