Virtual machine software: Working with the VMware Virtual Machine Console

Must-have virtual machine software is the VMware Virtual Machine Console, which allows local or remote VM creation and management.

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IT reseller takeaway: VMware Virtual Machine Console is virtual machine software that allows you to create and configure virtual machines either locally or remotely. This book excerpt from Virtualization: From the Desktop to the Enterprise explains how to start using it.

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You can download the VMware Virtual Machine Console from VMware's Web site, from the Status Monitor tab of the Management Interface, or from the GSX Server CD-ROM. After gaining access to the VMware-console-<version number>.exe program, you're ready to begin the installation of the Virtual Machine Console. The following steps are designed for installation from a CD-ROM:

1. The install requires you to use the CLI or a terminal window. If your user account doesn't have superuser permissions, you'll need to issue the su - command.

2. If necessary, mount the CD-ROM: mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

3. Next, find the Virtual Machine Console file: find / –name VMware-gsx-server-linux-client-<versionnumber>.zip

4. Browse to the directory with the file: cd /mnt/cdrom/<directory_name>

5. Create a temporary location to copy the file to for extraction purposes: mkdir/tmp/vmconsole cp /mnt/cdrom/<directory_name> /VMware-gsx-server-linux-client-<xxxx>.zip –d /tmp

6. Decompress the archive in the /tmp/vmconsole directory: unzip VMware-gsx-server-linux-client-<version_number>.zip –d /tmp

7. Navigate to the /tmp directory: cd /tmp/vmconsole

8. Based on your needs, install the RPM or TAR file as needed: rpm –Uhv VMware-console-<version_number>.i386.rpm tar zxf VMware-console-<version_number>.tar.gz

9. Finally, locate the installer directory: find / –name vmware-console-distrib

10. From the console-distrib directory, execute the installation script. If at any time during the installation the script appears to hang, press Q to advance the script: ./vmware-install.pl

11. You'll first be asked to read and accept the license agreement.

12. If you used the RPM version of the install, you'll need to run the configuration program for the Virtual Machine Console by running this: vmware-config-console.pl

Note: If you used a TAR file to install GSX Server for Linux, the script will automatically launch the vmware-config-console.pl script.

13. You'll be prompted as to what port you want to use for the remote console. Port 902 is the default. If the server you're going to manage uses a different port, change the port to match. If you used the defaults, press Enter to continue.

14. After the installation completes, be sure to log off the system with the exit command. With the installation of all three packages completed, test your host's ability to set up and manage guest VMs locally. Execute /user/bin/vmware at the CLI. Take a moment to explore every menu, including the built-in help. VMware has excellent documentation for its virtualization software, and its Web site support is even better.

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About the author   
Chris Wolf is an instructor at ECPI Technical College, as well as a leading industry consultant in enterprise storage, virtualization solutions, and network infrastructure management. He has a master's degree in information technology from Rochester Institute of Technology, and his IT certification list includes MCSE, MCT, and CCNA. Wolf authored MCSE Supporting and Maintaining NT Server 4.0 Exam Cram, Windows 2000 Enterprise Storage Solutions and Troubleshooting Microsoft Technologies, and he contributes frequently to Redmond Magazine and Windows IT Pro Magazine. Wolf also speaks at computer conferences across the nation.

This was first published in September 2006

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