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VMWare nabs me again …

with 7 comments

When I run into failures on VMWare Fusion, they’re always a bit tedious. This one happened on my iMac (OS X Leopard) running VMWare 2 (both constrained to old releases by university governance policies). The VM is Microsoft Vista in an IDE partition, it hung after running too long. I had to force quit the application. On reboot the socket file was still there, and it gave the following error message when trying to start it.


Here’s the error in plain text, so search engines can find it for others.

Virtual device serial0: File "/var/folders/Sf/SfvoJITAHMq1Vp8bNI7QZU+++TM/-Tmp-//vmware-mmclaugh/thnuclnt-641/socket" exists, but no server is listening to it.
There are three possible causes for this:
 - The server is alive but not ready yet, and you can retry later.
 - The server is busy communicating with another client, so you cannot run this client at the same time.
 - A previous server exited abruptly, and you can remove the file and try again.
The device will be disconnected.

How to fix it?

Delete the file, right? Yes, but there’s a trick. Navigating through the -Tmp- directory required a Unix shell trick because the - (dash) is a switch and backquoting it with a \ (backslash) didn’t work. Jeff Yoder, told me the trick to change directory into a dash leading directory name. It was this:

cd -- -Tmp-

The -- is how most shells mark the end of options to a command. After a -- all - (dashes) are treated as ordinary characters.

Mark Olaveson reminded me that using the present working directory before the directory name also worked. It demotes the dash to an ordinary character too.

cd ./-Tmp-

When I got to the directory, there was the socket file. I deleted it and everything worked like a charm.

srwxrwxrwx  1 mmclaugh  staff     0 Dec  8 13:04 socket

Written by maclochlainn

December 8th, 2009 at 3:43 pm