As of late, my interest in Linux has been peaking, and I loaded VMware Server on a spare computer running Linux to do some testing. Performance is excellent, and I wanted to share with you the necessary steps required to load VMware Server on Ubuntu Linux.

This blog post is also available in PDF form in a TechRepublic download and also in the form of a TechRepublic gallery.

To effectively install VMware Server on Ubuntu Linux, you must first assign a password to the super user (su) by opening the Terminal from Applications | Accessories | Terminal to get to the screen shown in Figure A.

Figure A


You will type the commands shown in Figure A to configure a super user root password. Next, type su and login as root. You are now ready to prepare the environment with the necessary tools to compile VMware. You can prepare the environment by typing the following commands in the Terminal window:

aptitude install linux-headers-'uname -r' build essential (<strong>Figure B</strong>)
aptitude install xinetd (<strong>Figure C</strong>)

Figure B

Prepare Environment 1

Figure C

Prepare Environment 2

Now it is time to download VMware Server or VMware Workstation. After downloading the software, you will also need to download a patch that allows VMware Server to run on Ubuntu Linux.

Note: Do not forget to register for VMware Server. It requires a serial number that you will receive only if you register. Registration is a small price to pay for free software.

Let’s install VMware Server by right-clicking on the tar file and extracting the file to the /tmp directory. Simply right-click on the tar file and choose Open with Archive Manager. Next, click Extract and in Places, choose Files | System | Tmp. The VMware-server-distrib folder will extract to the /tmp directory.

Now, let’s open the Terminal and browse to the tmp directory and to the VMware-server-distrib directory. Once inside the VMware-server-distrib directory, type the following:

./ (<strong>Figure D</strong>)

Note: Remember to log in as super user, as shown in Figure A.

Figure D

Install VMware

You will be asked a series of questions. Please accept the defaults. Toward the end of the installation you will be asked the following question:

“Before running VMware Server for the first time, you need to configure it by invoking the following command: /usr/bin/ Do you want this program to invoke the command for you now?” Yes is the default, but you should type No, as we have to load a patch first that will allow VMware Server to work on Ubuntu Linux.

Follow the same procedures above to extract the contents of the patch to the /tmp directory. After you copy the update to the /tmp directory, open the terminal, log in as super user, and browse to the VMware-any-any-update113 folder (Figure E).

Figure E

Patch VMware for Linux

Type the following: command:


The patch completes and you are asked if you want to invoke or run Choose Yes this time and accept the default to finish the installation of VMware Server (Figure F). We are in the homestretch now; stay with me.

Figure F

Installation complete

You now must accept the EULA and continue through the VMware Server install, accepting the defaults. Next, accept the defaults to finish the installation. During the installation, you will be asked for a serial number. You must register for your free serial number, so if you don’t have it, you can enter it later and just accept the default of cancel.

Now log in to VMware Server by opening a Terminal and typing the following command:

/usr/bin/vmware (<strong>Figure G</strong>)

Figure G

Start VMware

The VMware Console appears. Click Connect (Figure H) to connect to the console locally. If you want to manage your virtual machines, you can download the Server Console client directly from VMware and connect to your virtual machines from any machine on your network. You can also use remote desktop protocol (RDP) to connect to Windows machines from anywhere on your network.

Figure H


You are now ready to build and load your virtual machines (Figure I) on the Linux platform.

Figure I

Virtual machines

Loading a virtual machine works the same way in Windows. You can either pop a CD-ROM in the drive or mount an ISO image. Good Luck!