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Lately you can download all kinds of ready-to-use distributions for emulators like vmplayer. But in vmware it is damn easy if you have the vmware workstation tools installed.

The concept of this procedure is to enrich a free (gratis) product (vmplayer) with features of a non-free product (vmware workstation) and intended for Debian Linux or a non-RPM based distro running as guest OS.


Download vmware workstation version from the vmware website. If you have the direct link there is no need to register.


Extract the Linux Tools from the CD.

$ cd /tmp/
$ tar -zxvf $OLDPWD/VMware*tar.gz vmware-distrib/lib/isoimages/linux.iso
$ mkdir /tmp/vm-mount /tmp/vm-copy
$ mount -o loop vmware-distrib/lib/isoimages/linux.iso /tmp/vm-mount
$ cp /tmp/vm-mount/*tar.gz /tmp/vm-copy/
# for RPM based Linux distributions you can use the RPM
$ umount /tmp/vm-mount
$ rm -f $OLDPWD/VMware*tar.gz vmware-distrib

Install and configure

Installation can be done simply by launching the perl script and by hitting enter at every question. In the end you will be requested to launch the configuration tool '', answer yes.

$ cd /tmp/vm-copy/
$ tar -zxvf *tar.gz
$ ./

If the configuration fails then continue... Otherwise you are done after a reboot (for the X stuff to work)!

Get build software and Configure (again)

Still here? Using the non-RPM package we often (unless the expected kernelversion matches) need to compile some modules. You will need GCC 3.4.5 (get 3.4) and some C headers.

$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) gcc-3.4 make
$ cd /usr/src
$ ln -s linux-headers-$(uname -r) linux
$ cd -
$ export CC=/usr/bin/gcc-3.4

Note that for apt-get network installations on prepared vmplayer distributions like Ubuntu you might need to comment out the cdrom install in /etc/apt/sources.list.

Usefull info

=> i had to create a link from /etc/init.d/networking to /etc/init.d/network

/etc/init.d/network stop
rmmod pcnet32
rmmod vmxnet
depmod -a
modprobe vmxnet
/etc/init.d/network start

Reference: Brandon

-- enjoy.

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Page last modified on May 14, 2006, at 04:16 AM