Installing VMware Server 2.0.1 on Ubuntu Server 9.04

The following guide will take you through installing VMWare Server 2 on a minimal install headless Ubuntu v9.04 (Jaunty) Server. For a step by step on setting up the minimal server, read the article I posted here.

Getting the Pre-requisite Packages

First up, you will need to SSH into your server, and paste in the following command to install some additional packages which allow for the changes required to the kernel and the building of the VMWare server.

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

Getting the VMware Server TAR ball

Once the extra packages are installed, you will need to grab the TAR ball from the VMWare site, and drop it into the directory where you wish to run your VMs from. For me, I’ve chosen to keep them under my users home directory in a directory called (imaginativly) ‘VM’. The following commands will make the directory ‘VM’ under your users root directory, then change to that directory:

mkdir ~/VM
cd ~/VM

From the PC you are using to SSH to the server, open a browser and visit the VMWare Server page from here you will need to download the server which will require you to create a VMware account, and login so that a licence key can be emailed to you.

Once logged in, you will be directed to the download page containing all the binaries for VMware Server.

Download the relevant TAR image for your architecture and linux version to your local machine, and do an MD5 checksum to make sure it arrived intact.

There is also a patch which you will require, you will need a login to the Ubuntu Forums however, to access the file below:

From here, transfer the TAR and the patch file in whatever way works best for you. If you followed my server build guide and installed the optional SAMBA extensions, you should be able to easily open the home directory on your server via a Windows network share – or similar for you particular operating system.

Running the Installer

Back to our SSH session now, unpack the patch into your “~/VM/” directory, then extract the VMware Server TAR ball and run the installer:

tar xvfz VMware-server-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-server-distrib
sudo patch ./bin/ ~/VM/
sudo ./

Accept the default options (there are a LOT of them) throughout the installation and allow the installer to build any modules or kernels it needs to during the setup.

Choose the Administrative User

When prompted for the name of the current administrative user, select YES and type in YOUR user name (otherwise it’ll use root)

Select the Directory to Store the Virtual Machines

When prompted for the directory to store your virtual machine files, type in /home/[YourUsername]/VM/Virtual Machines and allow the installer to create the directory

Entering the Serial Number

Next you will be prompted for the serial number which should have been emailed to you for your VM Server installation, simply copy out of your email and paste into the SSH window.

Back to selecting the default values now until you are returned to the prompt.

Just in case things didn’t go well

If you think you may have made a mistake in the configuration, you can easily re-run the configuration tool by typing:

sudo /usr/bin/

If you REALLY made a hash of it, you can always remove the installation by typing:

sudo /usr/bin/

and start again 🙂

Accessing the VMServer Console

After you installation sucessfully completes you will be returned to the prompt in your SSH session. That’s it – you’re done. All you need to do now, is attach to the VM Server console via your browser by typing in the address of your server box which will look something like this:


Read the documentation, and start setting up some Virtual Machines, or download any useful looking Virtual Appliances that catch your eye from the appliance marketplace.

Note: If you experience issues with the web console appearing to ‘hang’ ensure that you have loaded the lastest Java Runtime Environment (JRE) – get it here.


5 responses to “Installing VMware Server 2.0.1 on Ubuntu Server 9.04”

  1. darksun Avatar

    Awesome, thanks!

  2. cdukes Avatar

    Worked like a charm, thanks!
    You may also want to note that the VIC (vmware infrastructure client) also works with this (much better than the web interface). To connect using the client, use https://server:833 as the server name.

  3. NZRob Avatar

    @CDukes – Excellent point, the VIC is much faster (and more functional in my experience) than the web client… Good recommendation. 🙂

  4. DJ Avatar

    two things. 1stwhen trying to run the patch. errored with sudo: path: command not found.

    2nd. when runing the install of vmware server 2 when it tried to run “usr/bin/”

    setup is unable to find the make program on your machine. please make sure it is installed do you want to specify the location of this program by hand?

    so why can’t it find make. and where is make kept.

    sorry I an new and still learning.

    thanks DJ~

  5. Rob Avatar


    On the patch question, I’m guessing you have downloaded the patch from Ubuntu Forums… did you save it to your ‘VM’ directory under your home directory?
    You may want to try running a find for the file ‘’ to see where it is located, then just substitute that path + the file name into the patch line.

    On make, that is one of the build-essentials packages (from the line ‘sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential xinetd’) you should be able to re-run that command and have another crack at things without causing your system any problems.
    .-= Rob´s last blog ..Site Design and UI – An Educational Video =-.