How To Install VMware Server 2 On Ubuntu 9.04

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to install VMware Server 2 on an Ubuntu 9.04 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:

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). Make sure you pick the right one for your architecture (32-bit or 64-bit):

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

sudo aptitude 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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43 Comment(s)

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Not sure if my original comment was posted, sry.

 Once again, you're awesome.

 So how much memory and processor does vmware server use up. Wondering if I can get away with an Ubuntu main(with XP vm) on 3 ghz (single core, 32 bit) and 3 gigs ram.

By: Anonymous

I'm using vmware server on my asus eeepc 900 netbook with 2GB of RAM. I have a windows 2000 server VM which I run to do my sql server work. it works fine with this setup so you should not have any problems with 3GB RAM and 3ghz CPU.

vmware itself uses very little ram, the virtual machines uses ram, if you setup a virtual machine with 1GB of RAM, the vmware will use a little bit more than 1GB of ram to run that virtual machine.

By: Ed van Hout

When installing VMware server 2 under Ubuntu 8.10 I needed to patch the file because it did not compile correctly. I found the patchfile and the bug description on the Ubuntu forums. So, if I understand correctly VMware Server 2.0 can now be installed under Ubuntu 9.04 without any patching.

By: evden eve nakliyat

very nice articles thank you...

By: Erwin

A perfect manual for installing VMWare server on Ubuntu 9.04. Thank you !

By: Anonymous

what was to create a password for the root, can be through the installer to select a user from the system as an administrator vmware

By: Doka

I guess you do not need to install xinetd, as necessary package.


By: aristar

I can't even enable bridged neworking adapator for guest VM. It's always disconnected.


By: verlaine

Nice tutorial, one thing though you can run the installer to choose all the default options with

sudo ./ -d

By: Anonymous

Very nice tutorial indeed.

I do not think your suggestion to use

sudo ./ -d
will work as you are required to read the end user license and  accept but using the -d option will not enable you to read that very long user license.



By: Anonymous

Thank you for the tutorial !

By: jose

it is not necessary to use root as the vmware administrator you can indicate another user as administrator on the installation


thank u

By: Josh

I would add, it is not advisable to blindly instruct the user to enable the root account by giving it a password.  Especially when the correct way of doing this is to tell the installer to use a different account for the administrator:

 The current administrative user for VMware Server  is ''.  Would you like to
specify a different administrator? [no]

 Answer 'yes' to this question and please use the username you setup when you installed Ubuntu (or whatever administration user you are using).


If you missed this step in the installer, simply open /etc/vmware/hostd/authorization.xml and find the following line:


and change 'root' to the user you want to use. After you change the file you may need to restart vmware:

/etc/init.d/vmware restart

By: TJ

ihave upgarded my ubuntu 8.10 to unbuntu 9.04 and i had installed vmware server 2.0 successfully on ubuntu 8.10 but after upgrading to ubuntu 9.04 i am not able to use the vmware server i get an error while opening the vmware webaccess


"page Failed to Connect
 Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at
Though the site seems valid, the browser was unable to establish a connection.

    * Could the site be temporarily unavailable? Try again later.
    * Are you unable to browse other sites?  Check the computer's network connection.
    * Is your computer or network protected by a firewall or proxy? Incorrect settings can interfere with Web browsing."

i tried everything even unstallation and reinstallation but no luck please help me i had 4 os installed in vmware that i use for my studies please help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

any help will be appreciated

thankyou regards


By: michael_n

Each time you update the kernel (or indeed upgrade the OS) then you'll need to reconfigure vmware. The vmware service is probably not starting correctly, which may explain why you can't go to the URL.


$ sudo /usr/bin/


 Another thing, be sure to use http"s" for the URL,

Depending on your setup, you may also use the non-SSL URL, and avoid cert issues (probably not recommended, though, for hopefully obvious reasons [security]).

And like another commentter mentioned, you don't have to login to the web interface via root.  Just use a normal user (which may have to be in the sudo'ers list).  Don't use 'root' on ubuntu (...or, any system); use sudo.



By: TJ


thankyou for the response but after trying so many things still was not able to fix the problem so i just went ahead and reinstalled my ubuntu and reinstalled vmware server however thank's for all the help provided unfortunately i lost all my virtual machines created and all the data



By: Mark

Reloading ALL of VMware should NOT have caused ANY loss of your virtual machines!! Unless you chose to delete the folder they were in... I'm sorry you lost them!!

By: Mark

I can access it at localhost but NOT at - which is the address that VMware uses for its default... any thoughts on why are appreciated? No - /etc/hosts is vanilla - just has the expected line : localhost

 thanks friends and thanks to Falco et. al. for the great work!

By: Anonymous

The "$ sudo /usr/bin/" command was the trick for me to get mine running again. Thanks!

By: TJ

i get an error "sudo: /usr/bin/ command not found"

when i try to use the command in terminal and i get an error while installing it aswell

error: "The following VMware kernel modules have been found on your system that were
not installed by the VMware Installer.  Please remove them then run this
installer again.


I.e. - 'rm /lib/modules/2.6.28-11-generic/misc/<ModuleName>.{o,ko}'

Execution aborted"

any other suggestions
thankyou for reply


By: Anonymous


Any response to this?  I have to delete the files in /lib/modules/..../misc and do a every time I restart my machine (which is every morning)... I never had to do this with 8.04 or 8.10...

By: Maia

I got the same problem..

]Everytime I restart my PC this problem is back...



By: Anonymous

I've quite the same problem!

After a restart of the PC I can access the vmware website but the network on my virtual host is not working. I've to start the " -D" after that the Network on the virtual Host is working again :( .

By: timytoad

Linux pages seem filled with geek talk, this was actually helpful.


By: Dale E. Moore

My Ubuntu DataStore default location is /var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines and that's where I put my .iso files so that I can specify what CDROM to boot.

By: Stuart

installed the server as per instructions thanks heaps.

When I installed a guest OS (w2003 svr) now the keyboard wont recognise ctr-alt-insert to log on.  Any ideas?

By: srikanth

While Installin VMware It was completed till asking lot many questions like were to store dis file n wer to store dat file. I`ve choosen default locations but in the end I found an error like below.

 Extracting the sources of the vmmon module.

Building the vmmon module.

Using 2.6.x kernel build system.
make: Entering directory `/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only'
make -C /lib/modules/2.6.28-14-generic/build/include/.. SUBDIRS=$PWD SRCROOT=$PWD/. modules



make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.28-14-generic'
make: *** [vmmon.ko] Error 2
make: Leaving directory `/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only'
Unable to build the vmmon module.


then it pointed to a location in web. It is asking like C compiler or so. I am New to Linux . Plz help me out. ThankQ



Nice tut, worked well

How ever it doesn't seem to want to start up when rebooting machine

webmin tells me that vmware is on boot up,  but its not working ???


any ideas please



If you encounter problems on this line:

What is the location of the directory of C header files that match your running
kernel? [/usr/src/linux/include]

 Enter /lib/modules/{your current kernel version 2.6xxxxxx}/build/include

If that does not work the kernel headers might need removing:

yourPC# sudo apt-get --purge remove linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential

 And then reinstalled again:

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

That may save a few people a lot of time.



By: Manny

Your post help me NOT re-install Ubuntu!  VMWare was looking for the headers that was deleted, with your post, I was able to rebuild the hearders and install VMWare 2.0.2 without issue.  Thank you djh-compnet!

By: Anonymous

I follows the intsruction above but came across some problem...

after i run /usr/bin/"


Making sure services for VMware Server are stopped.

Stopping VMware autostart virtual machines:
   Virtual machines                                                   failed
Stopping VMware management services:
   VMware Virtual Infrastructure Web Access
   VMware Server Host Agent                                           failed
Stopping VMware services:
   VMware Authentication Daemon                                        done
   Virtual machine monitor                                             done




Using 2.6.x kernel build system.
make: Entering directory `/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only'
make -C /lib/modules/2.6.31-14-server/build/include/.. SUBDIRS=$PWD SRCROOT=$PWD/. modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.31-14-server'
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/linux/driver.o
In file included from /tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:31:
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/compat_wait.h:78: error: conflicting types for ‘poll_initwait’
include/linux/poll.h:70: note: previous declaration of ‘poll_initwait’ was here
In file included from /tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vmware.h:38,
                 from /tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:99:
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_basic_types.h:108:7: warning: "__FreeBSD__" is not defined
In file included from /tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vcpuset.h:103,
                 from /tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/modulecall.h:37,
                 from /tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./common/vmx86.h:33,
                 from /tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/linux/driver.h:29,
                 from /tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:101:
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:329:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:333:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:401:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:407:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:460:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:506:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:551:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:595:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:640:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:684:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:729:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:773:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:775:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:816:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:860:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:862:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:903:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:945:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:947:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:986:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:1028:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:1030:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:1069:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/./include/vm_atomic.h:1223:7: warning: "_MSC_VER" is not defined

not sure how I can fix this. problem with drivers or something..?


By: Chris

Hi Ed, looks like you need to follow the instructions here:

By: Steen


The guide work perfectly for me.
Thank You.




By: kab

This was just what i needed :)

Great guide, thank you wery mutch :-)

By: vitrano

Awesome!!! I never use Linux, very rarely..used these instruction, and all worked perfect! not one issue....thank you for sharing..


I would not delete the installation directory. If you get a kernel upgrade in the (near) future, you may have to recompile some of the modules. Having the install directory still available will save a lot of time.



By: bobby

This tutorial was awesome. Thank you. I have never done a tutorial that had all of the steps even the annoying ones like firefox and certificate..

Thank you so much. It was perfect!

By: Anonymous


When i try to install the VMWare Server, i always get the following error message:

~/vmware-server-distrib# ./
WARNING: Couldn't open directory /lib/modules/2.6.18-028stab064.4: No such file or directory
FATAL: Could not open /lib/modules/2.6.18-028stab064.4/modules.dep.temp for writing: No such file or directory
Unable to open kernel module dependency file
.Execution aborted.

Can anybody help me with this problem?

 The System is a vserver with Virtuozzo.


Thx for your help!

By: Anonymous


I have the same problem,have you fix it?


thank u

By: sharath

Hi Falko,


great post,...

Thank you very much, worked perfectly for me.

I had successfully installed it on ubuntu 9.04


By: Anonymous

Thanks for the guide, spent hours trying to get VMServer to install on Ubuntu before I found out I needed a patch.

Worked for a few days and then after the server was rebooted VMware stopped working, couldn't log in or access anything. Tryed re-installing but it said that the old files would need to be removed, removed the old files and it said they were still there. Can't re-install and can't un-install so I've had to wipe Ubuntu and start over again.

I think it's worth pointing out that when this works it works well, but when it doesn't work prepare your-self, because Ubuntu is nothing like Windows.

By: pranit

I got the same error , after rebooting host machine vmware stops working . i tried reconfiguring that server again by perl script provided , it asked me to remove 3 modules so i deleted them from   ~/kernel2.6.xx/misc and it worked well , but still everytime i reboot my host machine it needs be to reconfigure again :(

By: Medayn

my computer appear this result and also not ask me to enter the serial number....
make[2]: *** [/tmp/vmware-config1/vmmon-only/linux/driver.o] Error 1
make[1]: *** [_module_/tmp/vmware-config1/vmmon-only] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.32-24-generic'
make: *** [vmmon.ko] Error 2
make: Leaving directory `/tmp/vmware-config1/vmmon-only'
Unable to build the vmmon module.

For more information on how to troubleshoot module-related problems, please 
visit our Web site at "" and 

Execution aborted.
 anybody can help me plzzzzzz......