How To Install VMware Server 2 On Ubuntu 8.10

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to install VMware Server 2 on an Ubuntu 8.10 desktop system. With VMware Server you can create and run guest operating systems ("virtual machines") such as Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, etc. under a host operating system. This has the benefit that you can run multiple operating systems on the same hardware which saves a lot of money, and you can move virtual machines from one VMware Server to the next one (or to a system that has the VMware Player which is also free).

Also, with VMware Server you can let your old Windows desktop (that you previously converted into a VMware virtual machine with VMware Converter, as described in this tutorial: run under your Ubuntu desktop. This can be useful if you depend on some applications that exist for Windows only, or if you want to switch to Linux slowly.

I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I'm using the user name falko with the home directory /home/falko here - please adjust this appropriately.


2 VMware Server

With VMware Server you can let your old Windows desktop (that you previously converted into a VMware virtual machine with VMware Converter, as described in this tutorial: run under your Ubuntu desktop. This can be useful if you depend on some applications that exist for Windows only, or if you want to switch to Linux slowly.

To download VMware Server, go to and click on Download Now:

On the next page, log in with your existing VMware account or create a new one:

Follow the on-screen instructions. At the end, you should receive an email with a link to your download page. On the download page, you should see two license numbers, one for Windows and one for Linux. Write down or save the one for Linux and scroll down.

Then download the VMware Server for Linux TAR image (not the RPM image!) to your desktop (e.g. to /home/falko/Desktop):

Then open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and run the following command to install some necessary packages:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential xinetd

Then go to the location where you saved the VMware Server .tar.gz file, e.g. /home/falko/Desktop (replace falko with your own username!):

cd /home/falko/Desktop

Unpack the VMware Server .tar.gz file and run the installer:

tar xvfz VMware-server-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-server-distrib
sudo ./

The installer will ask you a lot of questions. You can always accept the default values simply by hitting <ENTER>.

When the installer asks you

In which directory do you want to keep your virtual machine files?
[/var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines]

you can either accept the default value or specify a location that has enough free space to store your virtual machines.

At the end of the installation, you will be asked to enter a serial number:

Please enter your 20-character serial number.

Type XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX or 'Enter' to cancel:

Fill in your serial number for VMware Server.

After the successful installation, you can delete the VMware Server download file and the installation directory:

cd /home/falko/Desktop
rm -f VMware-server*
rm -fr vmware-server-distrib/

If you have accepted all default values during the installation, root is now the VMware Server login name. On Ubuntu, root has no password by default, therefore we create a password now:

sudo passwd root

VMware Server 2 does not have a desktop application for managing virtual machines - this is now done through a browser (e.g. Firefox). You can access the management interface over HTTPS (https://<IP ADDRESS>:8333) or HTTP (http://<IP ADDRESS>:8222); the management interface can be accessed locally and also remotely. If you want to access it from the same machine, type or into the browser's address bar.

If you're using Firefox 3 and use HTTPS, Firefox will complain about the self-signed certificate, therefore you must tell Firefox to accept the certificate - to do this, click on the Or you can add an exception... link:

Click on Add Exception...:

The Add Security Exception window opens. In that window, click on the Get Certificate button first and then on the Confirm Security Exception button:

Afterwards, you will see the VMware Server login form. Type in root and the password you've just created:

This is how the VMware Server web interface looks. The structure is similar to the old VMware Server 1 desktop application, so the usage of the web interface is pretty straightforward.


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34 Comment(s)

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From: Crovegno

Thank you, very much!

From: blahjake

I had this problem as well but there was no fix from the client side. For me, I found that running '/etc/init.d/vmware stop' did not actually stop all the processes correctly and on starting the services back up there would be multiple webAccess processes that seem to interfere with each other. I fixed it by doing:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/vmware stop $ ps auwx | grep vmware # note the PIDs $ sudo kill <PIDs> $ sudo /etc/init.d/vmware start
After this client machine running Firefox was able to get the actual login screen rather than a blank page with Javascript errors.

From: Anonymous

Same happened on my Ubuntu 8.10 x64/FF 3.0.10; to get the web interface to work I had to stop vmware, kill two rogue processes by hand, and then start vmware again.


From: michel

Thanks !

I had the same issue, blank page.

Maybe also this is because I did not change the default user name proposed by the installer (it proposed me a blanck user name as well).


Firefox was set to use the system proxy - which I don't have - so I?e put into auto discovery mode and now I have the login window, !!


Now I have to find a way to authenticate...

From: yhuda

Had a problem login to the web interface. Just got a blank page. It was solved after changing the proxy settings in my Firefox. Thanks!

From: Anonymous

Kudos to Mr. Falko for writing such a detailed document. It is truly step-by-step.



Danesh Forouhari

From: Fred

I too had issue at first and getting a blank page when calling from firefox 3.

then if I tried (as that is what you get when using IE7) and then it all worked fine from firefox!

From: Carlos

I Can't get the file to load.. Does any one know What I'm Doing Wrong...  I ran the code in the  termail off the  listed in the page, but only got errors saying couldn't find pakage..

Can Any offer any advise for me?? I'm Trying to run VMware on Xubuntu 8.10  on the PS3

From: Prometeo Lucifer

Por si os interesa tengo el manual de “Instalación de VMware Server 2 en Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex”, es similar a este y aunque trae un detalle adicional.

Hasta Siempre

From: UbuntuBaby

thanks it worked!!

From: Redg

In newer versions of VMware Server 2 the installerscript asks for a root or superuser privileged user's username, the default is '' (at least in my Ubuntu install), so there is no need to create a root password and compromise the security.

From: gjarboni

With the 2.6.27-10-server headers, VMware complains that the header version (2.6.27-7) doesn't match the running kernel. This can be fixed by editing /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.27-10-server/include/linux so that it looks like this:

#define UTS_RELEASE "2.6.27-10-server"

From: Anonymous

Sorry , as I see ,


This can be fixed by editing /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.27-10-server/include/linux so that it looks like this:

#define UTS_RELEASE "2.6.27-10-server"

 /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.27-10-server/include/linux is a DIRECTORY, not a file.. Could you be please more precise, as I finfd myself in this trouble installing?. Thanks in advance.


Admin: I now this is not right place, just tries to be a correction, but anyway I would be very interested in this point. Of course edit if you think is fair; just let us know ;)

From: Anonymous

If the setup tells you, that you do not have the killall binary - then install the package psmisc

From: trlkly

While this guide is appreciated, it seems you could have simply put a link to your 8.04 guide.

From: balboa41

I followed this guide and it works well for Ubuntu 8.04.  But, installing on 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex), you get a problem when installing the VSOCK module.  I could solve it at the Ubuntu Forums.  Anyway, do a Google search at:

That is the patch, after installing VMware, then do:

sudo patch /usr/bin/ /path/to/

and then ru:

After that, everything should install ok.


From: louish

I run the patch and vmware server loads. But I get a blank page in firefox. I have added the exception, but still only get a blank webpage. I'm using Anyone have any suggestions. TIA Louis

From: Anonymous

plz use it works with firefox

From: David C. Menges

I too got the vsock error and applied this patch to the letter, but it barfed:

Hunk #1 FAILED at 4121.
Hunk #2 FAILED at 4148.

From: sarafan

You probably need to install the OS updates, or you may not have installed the headers.

From: Fr33th0t

I am on Intrepid and can confirm Balboa's patch is needed.  Also if you are installing the guest from an ISO, start the guest and use the cdrom icon on the bottom right of the console window to disconnect from the cd drive and then to connect to the "client" and point to the ISO.  On boot you may have to hit enter after the PXE boot fails in order to boot to the ISO.   I've read that you can change the boot point in the BIOS, but my keyboard is mismapped in the bios so I was not able to.

 There is no prompt to boot from the cd.  I just hit enter and it started.

From: smaglio81

Thank you for describing how to load an ISO image into the CD Rom drive. That seemed very unintuitive.

From: fmo

you don't need to specify "linux-headers" in the apt-get, build-essential automatically installs it.

Also if you have keyboard problems  installating Ubuntu as a VM you need to create ~/.vmware/config and add xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = TRUE inside the file. Save it, restart your browser and it should work fine, I had the problem installing Ubuntu JEOS Server on Vmware 2.

 I also confirm that setting a root password is unnecessary.

 Great tutorial, thanks for your work !

From: Erik

thanks for the tutorial. two short notes:

1. it works without xinetd for me

2. it worked on 8.10 without the patch mentioned in the comments

From: Anonymous

Very helpful for a Linux Beginner. Thanks

From: Chuck

Worked like a charm!

Wow, did that save a lot of time. Thank you for posting this.

From: Anonymous

Thanks you are GOD...this was really what i need..:-)



From: Daniel

Thx a lot for posting this helpful tutorial!

Saved precious time - hope i get it running :)


great work!

peace, daniel

From: Xoff

This was very helpful for a new user to linux, I tryed to do this with vmware 1.2 but didnt work. Thanks a million for this post, worked great!!!


Oh and Merry Christoff

From: bubuzzz

I already installed it successfully, but i didn't like it very much. So i decide to go back to virtualbox. How can i uninstall vmware from my system ?

From: RogerT

Thanks so much!  I'd installed VMware 2.0 on the Fedora Core using an RPM, so was reasonably familiar with the concepts, but having this step-by-step made my transition to Ubuntu much easier.

From: dominoconsultant

I had to add an explicit exception for for my proxy setting to be able to get to the web interface.

From: gab

Please help I get the following error after following the steps:

An incompatible VMware product is already installed on this machine.  You must
uninstall it by running vmware-uninstall.

From: Anonymous


excelent tutorial. Everything goes perfect without changing any setting from tutorial.

While google persist, this tutorial will help many users.

I'm using ubuntu 9.04 Desktop 64bits.