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17 May 2013 Howto enter VMware ESXi license key after it has expired

vmware-esxi-5-license-has-expired“Disable VMware ESX” is the warning message that is displayed when you open your VMware vSphere Client after the 60-day evaluation period has expired without typing in a new license key for your free VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5 install. You cannot type in the license key in the vSphere Client after the evaluation period has expired. If you do not type in the key before it expires you will not be able to power on VMs after they have been powered down.

This is a short howto describing how you can type in the license key for you free VMware Hypervisor after it has expired, since you cannot use the vSphere Client.
This requires that you have enabled the SSH service on your host before it expired and you can access it using your favourite SSH client to your ESXi host.
The file should look something like this if you have not entered any license information 00000-00000-00000-00000-00000.
This key should be replaced with the key you have gotten from VMware when you downloaded the installer file.

This is a step by step description of how you can update the license file

  1. Start a SSH session to your ESXi host using your favourite SSH client like Putty
  2. Log in with the username root (unless you have changed it to something else)
  3. Open the file /etc/vmware/vmware.lic using the vi editor
    ~# vi /etc/vmware/vmware.lic
  4. Delete the old license key with the dd command
  5. Insert a new license key by with the i command

    The key above is just an example and is not a valid key. Replace the key used above with the evaluation license key you received from VMware.

  6. Save the file using the write command w
  7. Now you can open a new vSphere Client window and see if the license warning windows appears again. If it does not, then you have successfully updated the license key. If not, then you need to check if the license key is typed in correctly.

All this can be done without a reboot of the ESXi host.

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20 Sep 2012 VMware Tools one-liners using PowerCli

This short post is about VMware Tools on VM guests running in a vSphere 5.x cluster/hosts.

This PowerCli one-liner creates a list of VM guests where the VMware Tools CDROM/ISO is mounted:

(Get-VM | Get-View | Where {$_.Runtime.ToolsInstallerMounted}) | % {$_.Name}

Unmount the VMware Tools installer CDROM on all VM guests. This is useful to run before you try to put at ESXi host in maintenance mode because VM guests thatare installing VMware Tools will not migrate because the VMware Tools is not on a shared storage. You will get the error message “The virtual machine is installing VMware Tools and cannot initiate a migration operation”.

(Get-VM | Get-View | Where {$_.Runtime.ToolsInstallerMounted}) | % {Dismount-Tools

This last one finds all VM guests running Windows as guest OS and upgrades VMware Tools without a reboot at the end

Get-VM | Where {$_.PowerState -eq "PoweredOn" -and $_.Guest.OSFullName -match "Win*"} | % {Update-Tools -VM $_ -NoReboot}

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26 Apr 2012 Manual download and install of VMware Tools in linux

This post describes how you can download and install the latest version of VMware Tools to a linux guest from a ESXi 5.0 host. You need SSH access rights to a VMware host to follow this guide.

  1. Allow SSH access to the VMware host you are about to access.
    • This can be done in the vSphere Client: Choose the VMware host you would like to access.
    • Go to the Configuration tab and select Security Profile under Software. Edit Services Properties and start the SSH daemon.
    • Verify that the firewall allows SSH traffic
  2. All the VMware Tools are located in the /vmimages/tools-isoimages/ folder on the host. Download the ISO-image with the tools you need
    • Issue this command from a machine that has access to the VMware host.
       sftp username@vmhost.tld:/vmimages/tools-isoimages/linux.iso

      Type in your password and the download will start

  3. Mount the ISO-file and copy the VMware Tools installer file to the desired VMware linux guest using SSH
    • # mount linux.iso /media/cdrom/ -t iso9660 -o loop
      # scp /media/cdrom/VMwareTools-8.6.5-652272.tar.gz username@vmguest.tld:
  4. Manual install of VMware Tools on a vmguest as a privileged user
    • # tar xfz VMwareTools-8.6.5-652272.tar.gz
      # cd vmware-tools-distrib
      # ./

      Follow the instructions and finish the installer. A reboot may be required to load the necessary kernel modules.

Your VMware Tools are now installed and should work as it would on a normal VMware Tools installation.

This procedure can also be used on other operating systems. This is a list of all the VMware Tools ISO-images available in the /vmimages/tools-isoimages/ folder on a ESXi 5.0 host

sftp> ls -l
-rwx------    1 root     root     12576768 Apr 13 09:17 darwin.iso
-rwx------    1 root     root          256 Apr 13 09:17 darwin.iso.sig
-rwx------    1 root     root     16021504 Apr 13 09:16 freebsd.iso
-rwx------    1 root     root          256 Apr 13 09:18 freebsd.iso.sig
-rwx------    1 root     root     65200128 Apr 13 09:15 linux.iso
-rwx------    1 root     root          256 Apr 13 09:17 linux.iso.sig
-rwx------    1 root     root         1738 Apr 13 09:17 linux_avr_manifest.txt
-rwx------    1 root     root       540672 Apr 13 09:17 netware.iso
-rwx------    1 root     root          256 Apr 13 09:16 netware.iso.sig
-rwx------    1 root     root     13006848 Apr 13 09:17 solaris.iso
-rwx------    1 root     root          256 Apr 13 09:16 solaris.iso.sig
-rwx------    1 root     root          451 Apr 13 09:17
-rwx------    1 root     root     13664256 Apr 13 09:18 winPre2k.iso
-rwx------    1 root     root          256 Apr 13 09:17 winPre2k.iso.sig
-rwx------    1 root     root           49 Apr 13 09:18 winPre2k_avr_manifest.txt
-rwx------    1 root     root     62128128 Apr 13 09:17 windows.iso
-rwx------    1 root     root          256 Apr 13 09:18 windows.iso.sig
-rwx------    1 root     root         1069 Apr 13 09:17 windows_avr_manifest.txt

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29 Mar 2012 Import a VHD disk image file from XenApp 6 to VMware vSphere 5

This post describes how you can import a VHD disk image file from XenApp 6 to your VMware vSphere 5 environment in a few simple steps. I am writing this because VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client version 4.3 does not support conversion of VHD image files, even though it has done so in previous versions. I guess this procedure can be used on VHD files in general, but I have not tried it.

  1. Download and install StarWind V2V Image Convertor to convert the VHD image to a VMDK. V2V Image Convertor is free Windows software, but requires you to register before download
  2. Start the program and choose the virtual disk you would like to convert, in my case a VHD-file
  3. Next you need to decide the destination image format you would like to convert to, I choosed VMware ESX server imageStarWind Image Converter Destination Image format
  4. Select the destination for your new VMDK image file and start the conversion. This can take a while depending on the disk size
  5. When the conversien has finished createing two .vmdk files, copy them to your VMware storage.
  6. Open vSphere Client and create a new Virtual Machine with the configuration you desire in your VMware environment. Create it with a Hard disk. Do not power on this machine
  7. On the VMware file storage locate the new virtual machine folder and replace the converted-vhd-image-file-flat.vmdk file with the one already in there
  8. Netxt we need to edit the hard disk meta fila and copy the
    # Extent description
    RW 102400000 VMFS "converted-vhd-image-file.vmdk"

    value from the converted meta file converted-vhd-image-file.vmdk to the one VMware created to the new virtual machine

  9. You are now ready to power up your converted VHD to VMDK image file in a VMware virtual machine with hardware version 8

The full listing of my working converted-vhd-image-file.vmdk file is like this

# Disk DescriptorFile

# Extent description
RW 102400000 VMFS "converted-vhd-image-file-flat.vmdk"

# The Disk Data Base

ddb.virtualHWVersion = "8"
ddb.longContentID = "660f859cd36ce88e4fd6e0bcfffffffe"
ddb.uuid = "60 00 C2 9a c0 a3 63 b1-1f 85 fe 55 e8 1e 30 a5"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "5221"
ddb.geometry.heads = "255"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.thinProvisioned = "1"
ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"

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02 Oct 2010 Installing VMware Workstation 7.1.1 64 bit on Ubuntu 10.10

Installing the 64 bit VMware Workstation 7.1.1 on Ubuntu

# ./VMware-Workstation-Full-7.1.1-282343.x86_64.bundle

When you try to start VMware Workstation for the first time you will get the following error message

You have to read the log file to get the details why VMware would not start, in my case it is named /tmp/vmware-root/setup-24056.log

Oct 02 00:10:54.570: app-140471525164800| Your GCC version: 4.4
Oct 02 00:10:54.618: app-140471525164800| Trying to find a suitable PBM set for kernel 2.6.35-22-generic.
Oct 02 00:10:54.622: app-140471525164800| Trying to find a suitable PBM set for kernel 2.6.35-22-generic.
Oct 02 00:10:54.626: app-140471525164800| Trying to find a suitable PBM set for kernel 2.6.35-22-generic.
Oct 02 00:10:54.628: app-140471525164800| Trying to find a suitable PBM set for kernel 2.6.35-22-generic.
Oct 02 00:10:54.629: app-140471525164800| Trying to find a suitable PBM set for kernel 2.6.35-22-generic.
Oct 02 00:10:54.734: app-140471525164800| Trying to find a suitable PBM set for kernel 2.6.35-22-generic.
Oct 02 00:10:54.734: app-140471525164800| Building module vmmon.
Oct 02 00:10:54.734: app-140471525164800| Extracting the sources of the vmmon module.
Oct 02 00:10:54.744: app-140471525164800| Building module with command: /usr/bin/make -C /tmp/vmware-root/modules/vmmon-only auto-build SUPPORT_SMP=1 HEADER_DIR=/lib/modules/2.6.35-22-generic/build/include CC=/usr/bin/gcc GREP=/usr/bin/make IS_GCC_3=no VMCCVER=4.4.5
Oct 02 00:10:56.712: app-140471525164800| Failed to compile module vmmon!

You can see that the vmmon module will not compile.

According to ArchWiki you have to compile and install a patch that enables you to compile the VMware modules:

For 2.6.35 kernel and VMware 7.x.x, there’s a script to patch the VMware sources

# cd /tmp
# wget
# sudo chmod +x vmware7.1.1-patch-kernel-2.6.35.bash
# sudo ./vmware7.1.1-patch-kernel-2.6.35.bash

Now you can install the modules. You can do this with either by launching VMware and letting it install the modules from there with the GUI or alternatively you can execute the command

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

Please note that this solution has not been tested on VMware 7.1.2

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