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Tweaking Suse 10.0

VMware workstation on SUSE 10 OSS

A fantastic virtual environmet to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on your host.

 

Installing VMware Workstation virtual machine

Installing VMware on a SUSE 10.0 OSS host computer is pretty straight forward. There's a couple of things that need to be done in addition to otherwise well documented installation and configuration.  I would suggest that you open a new tab in your browser for http://www.vmware.com/support/ws5/doc/
Keep then both these documents available and you'll be just fine.

The steps to install VMware on a SUSE 10 host:

1. Install kernel source and compiler if not installed already.
2. Run YOU update.
3. Install VMware, preferably RPM with Yast.
4. Prepare the kernel.
5. Configure VMware kernel modules.
6. Run VMware and install guest OS.
7. Install VMTools
8. Avoid reinstalls because of Windows corruption.

The first thing to do before anything else on the host is to make sure to have the kernel source and a compiler available.

So go to Yast Software Management and check kernel source. Iinstall also gcc and gcc-c++ compilers, I'm not sure if just one of them will do. No harm done if they both are there.

If you didn't have the kernel source and you installed it now, let YOU run an update after installing the kernel source, otherwise your current kernel and the source may be different versions. After the update everything should work perfectly in this matter.

When that is all set, it's time to install VMware. I used my normal procedure using  the RPM package and Yast.  After Yast has done its job there it's time to do something again that is not mentioned in VMware installation instructions:

Become root, then:

cd /usr/src/linux
then command:
make mrproper cloneconfig prepare-all

After this you go ahead as instructed by VMware and run:
vmware-config.pl

You will be asked a few questions, In SUSE 10.0 accepting all the defaults is quite OK.
Then exit.

Now it's time to start the virtual environment. You can start it in K-menu System > More programs or in command line

/usr/bin/vmware

On the first time go to help first and give the serial number given to you by VMware.

Installing a guest OS

After this you install the  Guest OS as you prefer it. Installing the guest OS takes place just the way you would install it on a machine that has a new unformatted hard disk. The methods depend on the OS. Whichever OS you install, to move in and out of the guest OS window, press Ctrl+Alt. You need to do this until the VMTools is installed after the guest OS is working. You can start the installation of the new machine by booting it from a floppy, CD/DVD or an ISO image. The image to use instead of a disk can be chosen on the setup page of the  virtual machine. There's a box you can tick to choose to use an image instead of a CD/DVD and the path to the image.

My first test was Windows 98SE.

But I had kind of a special case. I only had available the following:

A boot floppy to install Win 98 from CD but no bootable CD.
A not booting CD for upgrading Win 95 to 98.
A Win 95 CD
A not booting upgrade only CD for XP,

I started with a floppy boot. After booting you need to run fdisk to make a partition then format it, format c:
When installing Win 98 I've got used to make a directory where I put the Win98 installation directory from the CD, so whatever I want to add afterwards I will never need to use the CD again. Then install from there.

After the initial boot of the guest OS it's time to install VMTools. VMTools is a set of drivers that makes your graphical environment work the way it does in the normal OS. The features of your monitor can be utilized as well as you can move in and out of the Virtual machine window. VMTools is an item in the Windows control panel when installed. The monitor settings are done the normal Windows way when VMTools is installed. This is described in the VM documentation. In linux you need to do a little bit more to install and start VMTools.

VMwareTools in SUSE
The next guest OS I installed was SUSE 9.3. The initial install starts with a boot from CD and progresses the normal way.  The first time there is something new is when you install the VMTools.

You'll need, just as it was the case with the host OS, the kernel source and a compiler again also in the guest OS. So install them, again the normal route. Once that is done you proceed to installing VMTools.

All the steps to install VMwareTools

1. Install kernel source and c-compiler if not already installed
2. Make a directory /mnt/cdrom

3. Pull then down the menu VM and choose to install VMTools. You may see warning about guest having locked the CDRom. It, OK, say Yes.

4. Then, as root:  mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

5. A CD ISO image is mounted. Open that directory in Konqueror. There's an RPM VMwareTools. Klick on that and choose to install with Yast when asked.
You can also install the RPM the normal way from the command line:

rpm -Uvh /mnt/cdrom/name.of.the.rpm

If you use command line run also

SuSEconfig (note case)

6. Then in terminal, become root and:
cd /usr/src/linux
make cloneconfig
make prepare-all

7. After the compilation run, still as root:
vmware-config-tools.pl

8. Accept the other questions with enter, but the question of screen resolution requires you to choose one of the options.

9. Run command: vmware-toolbox &

10. Reboot guest.
 
It's also good practice (it's also very easy) to make snapshots of the installation, so you don't need to reinstall windows anymore when it crashes or just gets corrupted. You just trash your Windows installed files and return to a fresh version. You may also want to run different configurations of Windows. Clone them and then just make another one out of a clone. This comes real handy while running different experiments and tests.

Remarks

I installed everything like described above and everything worked the way it should.
I then thought I'll do some Beta testing for SUSE and installed SUSE 10.1 Beta 2, both KDE and Gnome versions.

The installations went smoothly, but VMwareTools does not work completely. I still need to release the cursor with Ctrl+Alt to come out of the guest window at the moment.

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