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What a VMWare Thrill …

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I’d upgraded from VMWare Fusion 2 to 3 and taken care of most instances. A NASTY surprise awaited me when I tried to upgrade my Linux installations this morning.

You MUST to uninstall VMWare tools from your repository of Linux operating systems before upgrading your VMWare Fusion or ESX server. If you don’t, you can’t access the console because the drivers make the console look like this:

Perhaps I missed this note when, as an early adopted I opted to move straight to VMWare Fusion 3. I would have complied with these instructions to avoid this headache.

All that’s required now, is that: (a) I export 500 GBs worth of virtual machines to another machine running VMWare Fusion 2; (b) Individually start each machine and run the uninstall VMWare Tools command individually; and, (c) Shutdown and reposition all virtual machines on the original server.

As stated in the note, the command to remove it is:

/usr/bin/vmware-tools-uninstall.pl

Click on the note in the event the link fails to resolve, which would mean the note vanishes into oblivion some day in the future …

While I’ve another machine that’s not yet upgraded, this is a major inconvenience. It’s a shame that the Linux components don’t install automatically. It’s a shame that the install didn’t say something like, “Don’t do this if you’ve Linux virtual machines, unless you’ve removed their VMWare Tools installation.”

Another word to the wise, you don’t get the Linux Tools automatically when you download the product. The software prompts you to download the additional components when you attempt to launch a Linux environment. A cruel irony since by the time you see the prompt, you can’t! This is a change from the prior upgrade process.

Yes, haste makes waste but now I know. In the future, treat all VMWare upgrades like those from Microsoft test, re-test, re-authenticate in a small way before upgrading. Do you think VMWare really want to send that message to its customer base?

I got back to this tonight, and thanks to Red Hat’s Session Manager I was able to fix the Red Hat VMs. Launching it, I simply switched to the Failsafe Terminal and ran the following command, as per the note:

# /usr/bin/vmware-uninstall.pl

After that, I rebooted. Then, installed (mounted the VMWare Tools disk) from the VMWare Fusion menu. Opening a terminal as root, I then re-installed and configured VMWare Fusion. Those are done. As more time allows, I’ll update about the others.

I’m now reconfiguring the network since the VMWare Fusion 2 bridged at a 172.16.153 subdomain and VMWare Fusion 3 bridges at a 172.16.123 subdomain.

Written by maclochlainn

February 6th, 2010 at 11:49 am

2 Responses to 'What a VMWare Thrill …'

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  1. Hi,

    Can you access your linux using ssh or putty ?
    If yes you can uninstall vmware-tool anytime.

    Other option is to switch output to text console mode – try ALT-F1 when you are in vmware console.

    regards,
    Marcin

  2. Thanks Marcin! They were GREAT thoughts!

    The problem was that this is a bridged network. The upgrade from VMWare Fusion 2 to 3 moves the network subnet from 172.16.153.xxx to 172.16.123.xxx. Short story, I couldn’t get a ssh connection.

    However, after I got out of gripe mode, I went into the Red Hat Session and switched to Failsafe terminal. There I could uninstalled VMWare Tools. I’m working that now and will update the blog entry.

    maclochlainn

    6 Feb 10 at 8:28 pm

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