Unable to Edit Vsphere 5.5 Virtual Machine without Web Client

Beginning in Vsphere 5.5 VmWare disallows editing of Vsphere Virtualmachines with Hardware v10.  In my most recent run in with this we had P2V’d a server and the resulting machine was v10.  Upon firing up the server we found we could not edit it.  Furthermore VmWare has thought to only include the Web client with vCenter server.  While we run vCenter in many applications this was not one of them.   I read online a bit and the suggested included things like running a new P2V or creating a new VM and attaching the disks.  In the end what worked for me was to browse the datastore and download the .vmx file.  I then edited the file to change the version from 10 to 9, renamed the current .vmx to .bak in the datastore and uploaded my edited copy.  Finally for good measure I removed the VM from inventory and re-added it.  I’m not sure this last bit was needed.  After this change my VM booted and ran successfully.  In my case I didn’t see any difference besides version number in a v9 vs v10 vmx file but I can’t promise that’s the case everywhere.  Good Luck!

High Dock CPU and Memory usage with Apple Lion 10.7.2 and VmWare Fusion 4.0.2

Recently after updating my Mid-2010 Macbook Pro to OSX Lion 10.7.2 I began to notice huge slowdowns and lag.  Upon inspecting the Activity Console I noticed the following heaving system resource usage with the Dock.

Killing the dock process relaunches but quickly returns to it’s previous state.

After a bit of research I stumbled onto a thread over on the VmWare Forums referencing the issue.  You can read it for yourself but in short it suggests a bug related to VmWare Fusion folder sharing and the new spotlight integration with the dock.  Current workaround is to disable sharing.  To do so go into your virtual machine settings – select “Sharing” and turn the Sharing selector “Off”.  It’s somewhat of an inconvenience so hopefully we’ll see Apple or VmWare release a fix soon.

VMWare Security Advisory for ESXi and ESX in openwsman

VMware has released a Security Advisory (VMSA-0008-0015) indicating it has updated the ESXi and ESX 3.5 packages to address a vulnerability in “openwsman”. This vulnerability is due to several buffer overflow conditions in the handling of HTTP basic authentication headers. Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on the host running ESXi or ESX.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review VMware Security Advisory VMSA-0008-0015 and apply any necessary updates to help mitigate the risks.

http://www.us-cert.gov/current/index.html#vmware_releases_security_advisory_vmsa

VMware Launches VMware Fusion 2.0 – The Second Generation of Its Award-Winning Windows-on-Mac Software

VMware Launches VMware Fusion 2.0 – the second generation release of it’s software made to allow windows to run in Mac OS X.  I have been a user of VMware fusion through the entire beta and it’s a great upgrade.  With added support for more 3D technologies and games, mirroring of key folders such as desktop and pictures, and an improved interface it’s a great upgrade.  VMware has also released 2.0 as a free upgrade for existing 1.0 users.  Check out the original news release here and give the product a try.

ESXi: Could not power on VM: Admission Check Failed

After building a dev server on the newly free ESXi software from VMware I tried to add a couple VM’s – The first virtual machine ran great however the second would fail with the following error:

“Could not power on VM: Admission check failed for memory resource”

After some digging I found the following thread on VMWare forums:
http://communities.vmware.com/thread/140488?tstart=0&start=15

It seems in my case my server which only has 1GB of Ram currently could not support the overhead of running 2 virtual machines due to a system memory reservation.  The fix was easy, buy more Ram.  However, I wanted to have both VM’s running right away and further down the page I found a fix:

The Memory Reservation on the Resource Allocation tab reflects the portion of memory that ESXi thinks it can give to VMs (i.e. Virtual Machines memory – VM memory overhead). With ESX regulary that number is around 200 MB but with ESXi its up around 700 MB. Not such an issue when you have 16 GB, but it is with 1 / 2 GB. To free up some more memory

1) Go to Configuration \ system resource allocation
2) Click on advanced.
3) Find the VIM object and change the reservation from 512 MB to 192 MB.

Sure enough I could now launch two virtual machines however I was then greeted by a second error:

“Could not power on VM: Admission check failed for cpu resource”

Here again my server only had 1 CPU with Hyperthreading (an older xeon).

Some experimenting resulted in a solutiion:

On each of my virtual machines I went into edit settings – then into the Resources Tab.

I configured my CPU with a reservation of 0Mhz, then I verified that Advanced CPU had Hyperthreaded Cored Shared Mode set to Any.  I was then able to launch both of my virtual machines without issue.

How to Patch Vmware ESXi 3.5 Update 2 using RCLI

If your like me and are running the newly free VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2 you’ve probably heard by now about the notorious bug that caused vmware servers to stop booting and completing vmotion on August 12th, 2008.

When I heard about the issue I took care not to shut down my server and earlier today Vmware finalized it’s patch to correct it.  I started researching the udpate process for my server and because vmware would really like you to be using their VMware Infrastructure they’ve left it a bit tricky to update a client in a standalone environment.

To start with you’ll need to obtain the VMWare ESXi RCLI (Remote Command Line Interface).  Vmware ESXi does not contain the normal console VM like ESX does and does not allow SSH or command line access by default so the RCLI is your way to perform some of these more advanced functions.

Next download the VMware ESXi 3.5 Patch Here.

Before applying the patch place your server into maintenance mode – to do so launch the vmware infrastructure client and suspend or shutdown any guests.  Right click on the host and select enter maintenance mode.

Launch command line from the Vmware menu in your start menu (in linux launch terminal)

Next Enter:
C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware VI Remote CLI\bin>vihostupdate.pl –server 10.10.10.10 -i -b C:\ESXe350-20080712-0-BG.zip

Enter your username and password when prompted.

You should see ouput as it unpacks the bundle and as it uploads the packages to the server.  If your watching in the infrastructure client you’ll see the install progress.

Once finished the command window prompted for a server reboot – typing yes initiates it.  After the reboot completes your server should be corrected.

Using vmware-virtualdiskmanager to Convert Vmware Disks

I have a virtual machine with a single “monolithic” vmdk disk that I’ve been running for some time. Recently I changed backup routines and started using an external disk.

Since my Vmware vmdk was 14GB in size it would not fit on the external fat32 disk.

After a bit of research I discovered the following article which mentions the “vmware-virtualdiskmanager” utility.

A quick “vmware-virtualdiskmanager –help” revealed a full array of commands shown below which allows you to defragment, shrink, and convert your vmdk files among other things.

VMware Virtual Disk Manager - build 56528.
Usage: vmware-vdiskmanager OPTIONS diskName
Offline disk manipulation utility
Options:
-c : create disk; need to specify other create options
-d : defragment the specified virtual disk
-n source-disk : rename the specified virtual disk; need to
specify destination disk-name
-q : do not log messages
-r source-disk : convert the specified disk; need to specify
destination disk-type
-x new-capacity : expand the disk to the specified capacity


Additional options for create and convert:
-a adapter : (for use with -c only) adapter type (ide, buslogic or lsilogic)
-s size : capacity of the virtual disk
-t disk-type : disk type id


Disk types:
0 : single growable virtual disk
1 : growable virtual disk split in 2Gb files
2 : preallocated virtual disk
3 : preallocated virtual disk split in 2Gb files

The capacity can be specified in sectors, Kb, Mb or Gb.
The acceptable ranges:
ide adapter : [100.0Mb, 950.0Gb]
scsi adapter: [100.0Mb, 950.0Gb]
ex 1: vmware-vdiskmanager -c -s 850Mb -a ide -t 0 myIdeDisk.vmdk
ex 2: vmware-vdiskmanager -d myDisk.vmdk
ex 3: vmware-vdiskmanager -r sourceDisk.vmdk -t 0 destinationDisk.vmdk
ex 4: vmware-vdiskmanager -x 36Gb myDisk.vmdk
ex 5: vmware-vdiskmanager -n sourceName.vmdk destinationName.vmdk

After a quick backup of the machine I issued the command:

“vmware-vdiskmanager -r olddisk.vmdk -t 1 newdisk.vmdk”

The system immediatly began processing giving me a percentage of the process which took about 30 min. Once complete I booted the new disk to ensure it converted all my data successfully and then deleted the old disk.

Mouse fails to work in VMware virtual Machine converted from Microsoft Virtual Server

Currently at our office we are testing alternate solutions for antivirus vendors. We felt the best way to do this would be to Download a fresh Windows Server virtual machine from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/bb738372.aspx

The download only took a small amount of time after which I utilized the free Vmware Converter from http://www.vmware.com/download/converter/ to convert the image to a format compatible with Vmware fusion on my mac. The conversion went flawlessly and when I started the server I checked for Microsoft’s equivalent of vmware tools. No trace of it was found in add remove programs so I proceeded to install Vmware tools on the server. Following a reboot I had lost my mouse cursor and all tracking. The closest I came to mouse was a right click menu in the lower right of the screen.

After a bit of research I came across the following article on Vmware’s knowledgebase.

Since the microsoft virtual addon’s were not installed I opted for the 2nd method which consisted of the following steps:

  1. Uninstall VMware Tools if they’ve already been installed.
  2. Run “regedit” and look for the following key: \SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96F-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

  3. Backup this key.
  4. Edit the value of the key and remove “msvmmouf“.
  5. Reboot the virtual machine.
  6. Install VMware Tools.

Once Complete mouse function was restored.