EasyVMX and VMware Player

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by innerpeace, Feb 1, 2008.

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  1. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi, I'm having problems with my mouse in VMware Player and I'm wondering if the VM's I created with EasyVMX will work with a different player. If not, I need an easy to use reliable and free alternative to VMware player so I can move on before I give up. I'm getting really frustrated because of the mouse issues and on top of that, I can't get my intellimouse's extra buttons working in Ubuntu. I've tried a few different things, but it doesn't seem to work. Any suggestions would help. I'm trying Ubuntu Gutsy and the new PCLOS 2.21.2.

    innerpeace
     
  2. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Which version of Player ?

    Tried Vbox ??
    http://www.virtualbox.org/

    There's lots of little frustrations with some "minor" functions on VmWare and with various distros

    :doubt:
     
  3. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi Longboard and thanks for your reply. It's the newest version, VMware Player 2.0.2, Build 59824.

    I haven't tried VirtualBox, I know a lot of folks here like it though. I'm not sure if it would be as easy as it was to get everything going in VMware Player. Mrk's tutorials had me up and running quickly. I may have to try VB because it's really hard to get anything done when the mouse refuses to go places I need it too. A quick search shows others have this problem and the one workaround I found didn't work. I'm talking about the VMP mouse issue and not the linux issue.

    I think I may have just found another workaround. It involves getting VMware Tools into my VM's. I wonder if this will work? http://communities.vmware.com/thread/106093?tstart=0 The thread is about screen resolution, but it tells how to get the tools. I'll have to give it a go tomorrow.

    innerpeace
     
  4. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    Let's move one step at a time:
    Do you have mouse at all? If you do, what kind of problems are you facing?

    Step 2:
    Installing VMware Tools can enhance the performance of the guest machine. I'm not sure if this is possible in Player or only Server / Workstation. I'm using Server the last 1.5 years exclusively.

    Step 3:
    You can try to manually configure your Linux:
    - Boot to as far as you can go.
    - Ctrl + Alt + Backspace to kill the X Server.
    - In the command line, login.
    - For Debian-based OS, type sudo dpkg-reconfigure xorg-xserver
    - Here, you have a text-wizard telling you how to configure your mouse, keyboard, monitor, graphic drivers. Ask me if you need help. You should be ok if you choose under mouse device "ExplorerPS/2". The actual hardware has nothing to do with emulated device. Your real mouse is just a translation of what goes on inside VMware.

    Step 4:
    VirtualBox does offer some advantages over VMware - but it also has some disadvantages. They both have different pluses when it comes to 3D support. I found VB to offer a little smoother response with games. On the other hand, VMware wins with network support. Furthermore, VB causes some problems with my setups, while VMware never did. Both are extremely easy to setup.

    Try these, then report back.

    Mrk
     
  5. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Hey boys:
    I'd like to follow through with this for a bit longer if we can...
    I would love to be taken to any useful tutorials, links, help sites.

    (hint to mods Linux subforum with a touch of virtualisation..? virtual forum ;) )

    I've had lots of interesting little issues with various distros in VMWorkstation ( I plumped up the cash as i think it's worth it :) )

    - My mouse occasionally gets 'stuck' inside the VMWare "window space' even if I'm in full screen mode

    - for no good reason the mouse will freeze and system locks

    - the mouse jumps to fixed points in the vm screen with left click and "clicks" do nothing

    - This can be with or without tools installed. :doubt:

    - Currently I cant even boot Ubuntu 7.10 in vm: installs and then try to reboot and gets stuck in the VM :blink: cant actually be bothered to follow through as other distros have worked better. ( Some of) The smaller distros have what seems to me to be better support or at least more focused support.

    I have been flat out at work over last weeks and not been spending much time on the box: hope to get back to testing/learning soon: perfect rainy Sunday here today. Heh: Tie the tinlids up and daddy time LOL.

    Not counting MrK's great site which is a wonderful resource and answers most questions...:) ...thankyou so much

    After 10yrs of windows, jumping to *nix in a couple of months is a bit tricky, maybe virtualisation is not the best way to go, but with limited HW options atm have to make do. Just, as usual, software doesn't always seem to do exactly as promised. I aint no coder but so far the Vmware with the occasional speed bump has been a great way to get going and test the various options. It is of course an absurd presumption on my part that I could just jump into something like BSD as I have found out. Even the various flavours of pkt managers, window management, desktops etc etc etc :steep curve.

    So now trying for a more systematic approach:

    A simple search for "mouse locking" in vmware gets lots of hits.
    http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&hl=en&q=mouse locks in vmware workstation 6&btnG=Search

    Many of the following links lead to really useful resources:

    Here are a couple of useful tips, forum and tutorials:
    http://forums.scotsnewsletter.com/index.php?showforum=14
    http://forums.scotsnewsletter.com/index.php?showtopic=19776

    http://www.gorillapond.com/2006/07/31/install-vmware-tools-on-ubuntu/

    Lots of useful tips @ Petri
    http://www.petri.co.il/
    http://www.petri.co.il/virtualization.htm
    http://www.petri.co.il/virtual_install_vmware_tools_in_linux.htm

    "How to forge" has heaps of useful links and tutorials and is well organized mostly with good search function
    http://www.howtoforge.com/vmware_tools_on_linux

    There is a nice set of "The Perfect Desktop" there
    http://howtoforge.com/the_perfect_desktop_ubuntu_gutsy_gibbon
    http://howtoforge.com/the_perfect_desktop_pclinuxos_2007

    I would like to explore any info available.
    I want to make the change to the point of M$ in a virtual machine on linux Host at home.
    I need M$ for work software but will be pushing for home set-up to be more *nix based.

    Long term Linux users may just roll eyes a bit, but lets get on..:thumb:
     
  6. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply Mrk. I'm going to focus on the VMware player mouse issue. Yes the mouse works. When in the VM, the mouse pointer will hit an invisible vertical wall on the left side of the screen. The wall will also vary in size. I can get the pointer working again by moving the mouse very quickly and or moving it in a circular motion with touching the top of the screen which seems to help the most. The 'wall' can come back very quickly and I have to repeat my freeing procedures.

    A quick question first. Can I uninstall the Player and install the Server version and use it like the player with my existing VM's made with EasyVMX? If I can, then I can get the tools from the Server version right? Also, I think I read that the server version is more memory hungry and that is something that needs consideration. I only have 896MB RAM total on my XP home. The player runs fine as is and my XP host is slimmed down some.

    I'm going to stop at this step until I hear something before moving on with installing the tools manually as it involves extracting ISO's from tar balls and mounting them. All of which are new to me.

    Thanks,
    innerpeace

    Edit: I forgot to mention that I also get the occasional 'ghost pointer' where two pointers appear and one of them can bring down the unpinned VMware Player toolbar.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  7. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Innnerpeace; I hope you dont mind me tagging along here:
    Me 2.
    This has been one of those minor issues.
    The links above might help as well as MrK's tutorials
    (I dont doubt you can search as well as me :) )
    If you want to experiment with the/your VM as is: just make a copy of the folder with the vm files and keep it elsewhere: then experiment: if problems with new configs, copy the saved VM back/over ...
    (one significant advantage for me with Workstation has been the snapshot function to go back to counter screw-ups by me)

    At one level I dont mind which Virtualisation tools I'm using as long as the guest is functional.
    Heh; having coughed up for VmWare: i'd like to try and make it work :cautious:
     
  8. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi Longboard :). Sorry for the late replies as I posted really late last night and every time I sit down tonight, I get interrupted. I don't have a problem with you posting here either. Hopefully we will find a solution.

    I did see posts with others who have the same problem with the mouse who are using VMware Player. I also have the problem with the 'ghost pointer' where two pointers show up and one of them annoyingly brings down the VMware player toolbar that's unpinned. I will have a look at the links you posted and bookmark them as I'm sure I may need them in the future. Thank you for posting them.

    You also make a good point about backing up my VM's. I really need to do this especially since I have a new external HDD. I should just dual boot to it, but I'm trying to keep it offline and use it only for backups.

    innerpeace
     
  9. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Thx, :)
    I have had that 'ghost' cursor as well.
    Can be annoying when the control bar of the linux guest is in the top of the window: just more config fiddles.

    I'm sorry if I post "obvious" tips: it's hard sussing out parallel expertise without sounding like a master of stating the obvious. :ouch:

    I've found it difficult to get firm info on some of these issues.
    Seems to be a combo of VmWare making the tools compatible with various kernels etc and the distro developers not really searching for why these little blips pop-up ( heh; why do you want linux as 'guest' anyway :ouch: )
    Still, no complaints really..forge onwards..

    There are some vm's available with tools installed that will play in the player:
    http://bagside.com/bagvapp/
    not counting any from
    http://bagside.com/bagvapp/
    I often have problems getting to their server ?? not sure why.

    PS found this useful page
    http://temporaryland.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/how-to-make-the-switch-to-linux/
    Good links there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  10. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    inner, yes you can go ahead and install the server.
    And yes, you can use the same .vmx.
    Mrk
     
  11. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi Mrk,

    Thanks, I will make a backup and try the Server version when I get a little time on Monday and then report back.

    innerpeace
     
  12. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi, does the VMware Server need the MS Internet Information Services (IIS) to work correctly. I installed the Server version without the IIS, but I couldn't connect to the host. If I need IIS, I'm going to skip the Server version for now and try one of the workarounds to get the tools into the VM.

    In the Windows version of the Player, it does come with a copy of the tools. From what I understand the file is the Windows.ISO, but I can't understand how to get it into the Linux VM or if I need to get the Linux version of the Player and extract the tools that way.

    Here's another link about it, but they are using a Linux host and a Windows guest.
    http://www.brandonhutchinson.com/Installing_VMware_Tools_with_VMware_Player.html

    innerpeace
     
  13. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    You definitely do not need IIS.
    When you say you could not connect, please elaborate:
    Do you have firewall software?
    Did you allow NAT / Bridged for guest machines?
    Are you talking about folder and file sharing or network connection?
    Mrk
     
  14. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Thanks Mrk, I uninstalled and re-installed the Server version and it worked this time. I did the Custom install that didn't include the 'VMware management interface' which needs IIS. The firewall I'm using is Online Armor and I pretty much let it do the work.

    The good news is the mouse problem seems gone while running the the Server version, the bad news is the VM runs sluggishly or the mouse moves slowly when a window is opened in Ubuntu. Also, when booting up my normal XP machine, it hangs at the windows logo and when the desktop background first appears for around 60 seconds. I haven't investigated this yet.

    I think my next step is to try and install the VMware tools into the guest. Do you have a preferred method or a favorite link for installing the tools? Are there any of the VMware services that can safely be disabled for someone who is going to use the Server version like it's a player?

    Just as a side note. In my other image, I reinstalled VMware Player and it didn't help with the mouse problems. I think the mouse problems are do to the toolbar at the top of the screen in the player. The Server version doesn't have this problem on my machine.

    Thanks,
    innerpeace

    Edit ****major edit for clarity and details****
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2008
  15. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Well, the major edit did not help me understand the player / server thingie at the end.

    As to other issues:

    Installing tools for Windows guest, it's a simple next, next, next wizard.
    Installing tools for Linux guest, I prefer not to run the packages .deb, .rpm, but manually go through the wizard from the tar archive. You can read all about that in my Linux Mint tutorial.

    Basically, you need to install build-essential to be able to compile from sources (sudo apt-get install build-essential), and then extract the archive, run the ./vmware-install.pl script and follow instructions.

    After that, to have a more responsive mouse, you'll need to edit the xorg.conf and change from PS/2 to ExplorerPS/2 - this will also restore the middle button scrolling.

    All in the Mint tutorial.

    Hope I'm clear enough ...

    Mrk
     
  16. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    What I meant was that I have two different images, one with VMware player installed and one with VMware Server. In the Server version, the main mouse problems are gone except for the slowness of the pointer in an open window. This is what I'm needing help with now. I will try installing the tools.

    The player version still has the mouse problem (which I think is related to the player having the toolbar) that was posted above by myself and Longboard. The mouse problems I'm talking about are related to VMware and not the Linux guest.

    Separately, I need to get my backwards and forwards buttons working as well as my side-to-side scrolling within Linux. I've tried a few different configs, but they didn't work. I'm not going to worry about this right now. I'm more concerned with getting the VMware Server mouse stable.

    I will have a look at your Mint tutorial and try to install the tools either tomorrow or Thur. I will also focus only on the Server version from now on as the mouse works (left click, right click and vertical scrolling works except for the slowness, I also have freedom of movement and no double pointers that the Player version had). I'm also only going to use Ubuntu 7.10 as my guest to avoid confusion.

    Thanks for your help, I hope I made things a little clearer.
    innerpeace
     
  17. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi, I think I finally got the VMware tools installed. The Linux Mint tutorial helped along with one of the links in the tutorial. The tools don't seem to help with the jerky mouse scrolling when I'm scrolling in an open window. I may have to play around with xorg.conf and the resolution setting. I have to experiment with the xorg.conf anyways to get my forward and backward buttons working. There are hundreds of different configs posted online, I just need to find the right one.

    @ Longboard, if your still following along, VMware Server version doesn't have the left side invisible wall problem or the 'ghost/phantom' mouse problems. The Server version doesn't have that little toolbar at the top of the screen which I think is the root of the problem. The only problem I have with the Server version is when I boot up my computer, there is delay of about 1 minute when the Windows screen and Desktop first appears. I don't know if this is typical or not. If you want to take over this thread, your more than welcome.

    Thanks to both of you for your help. Mrk's tutorials are great and the links posted by Longboard helped and will continue to help a newcomer to Linux.

    Cheers,
    innerpeace
     
  18. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    :ninja:
    Still here.

    That is interesting info.
    I've got the vmtools in most of my distros on VMWorkstation6.
    Still get the odd problems with mouse cursor.
    I only use 3 button mouse.

    I've basically been learning (trying anyway) the ins and outs of various distro interfaces, setups, printing/scanning, e-mail, pkt managers, tools and some basic terminal commands and scripts ( heh lots of copy/paste)
    Lots and lots of Gooooogle...
    Lots of time on dedoimedo...:)
    Just trialling prior to installing on soon to be superseded desktop and maybe old laptop.
    Waiting for/setting up new home and work HW stuff.

    Has been interesting +++
    For my basic personal needs there is no reason for me not to be using *nix.
    May/Will still need MS for some office management apps. :'(
    Secretaries all MS users and I cant deal with retraining....

    BTW, now you are so well versed in various vm utilities have a look at the PC_BSD VMimage here: http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/21/11/#vmware

    I'm betting you'll get a kick out of it: vmtools installed and vmtoolbox on autostart = very nice.
    Couple of rave reviews and some nice install info at: http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=pcbsd

    Regards.

    mmph: server currently down :'(
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  19. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi Longboard,

    I didn't know if you were still around or not :). I couldn't get to the pcbsd.org site either. I'll try again later.

    I haven't even begun to see if my hardware works in various distros. I'm like you though, for what I do daily, I could very well be using Linux. I have a lot to learn first.

    I'm just happy to get the above mentioned mouse problems out of the way. That way I can more easily navigate with a Linux VM to spend more time with it. That was sorta my goal :).

    Cheers,
    innerpeace
     
  20. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    pcbsd.org back on line
     
  21. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Thanks Longboard :), it looks interesting.
     
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