Installing VMware Server on Gentoo Linux (Version 1)

Submitted by Hannes Schmidt on Wed, 02/22/2006 - 11:39.

[This is and outdated version of the article. Read the new version!]

VMware Server is going to replace GSX server. The best thing about it is that VMware releases it free of charge. Being still in beta testing, there are currently no stable ebuilds available for it on Gentoo Linux. Fortunately, Mike Auty is working on one and he is doing a fine job. You should keep track of his progress on Gentoo Bugzilla bug #122500. For people with little Portage experience (author included) it can be a bit complicated to throw together an ebuild from bugzilla attachments.Here's what I did.

Download Ebuilds And Auxillary Files

Download all attachments from Gentoo Bugzilla bug #122500. I used the wget utility and I had to specify the name of the output file using -O. For example,

wget -O 90vmware-server

Make sure you use the correct output file name. It should not include the vmware-server ... auxiliary file - part.

Prepare Your System

Follow the directions in HOWTO Installing 3rd Party Ebuilds in order to setup your own Portage overlay and drop the downloaded files into your overlay. I used the following layout:

# ls -R1 /usr/local/portage








The Manifest and digest-… files will be generated when you execute the ebuild … digest command as described in the above Gentoo article.

Add the following lines to /etc/portage/package.keywords. Depending on your machine's architecture, you might need to use ~x86 instead of ~amd64.

app-emulation/vmware-server ~amd64
app-emulation/vmware-server-modules ~amd64
app-emulation/vmware-server-console ~amd64

The VMware Server ebuild depends on glibc 2.3.6 which is not yet stable for amd64. I had to unmask it by adding

=sys-libs/glibc-2.3.6-r3 ~amd64
=sys-libs/timezone-data-2006a ~amd64

and feeling uncomfortable doing it. Anyhow, now it's time to install.


# emerge -a vmware-server

Obviously, this is the most crucial part. On my machine numerous rpath error messsages were displayed but these didn't seem to cause trouble. Note that VMware Server depends on xinetd. The default configuration of xinetd on Gentoo is empty but it doesn't hurt double checking that it didn't enable any unwanted services. Next, run


If all goes well the VMware daemons will be started.

XInetd Configuration

The ebuild's post installation notes say something about modifying /etc/xinetd.conf to allow incoming connections from other hosts besides localhost (the sensible default). Don't touch that file as changing it would affect all other xinetd applications. Instead, modify /etc/xinetd.d/vmware-authd and add a only_from statement, for example

only_from =

VMware Console

The VMware Console can be installed using

emerge -a vmware-server-console

The ebuild uses the unzip program but does not properly declare the dependency. You might have to emerge unzip:

emerge -a app-arch/unzip

VMWare Console Doesn't Connect

I had problems connecting the console to the server. The /var/log/vmware/vmware-serverd.log contained

app| SSL: Unknown SSL Error
app| SSL Error: error:1408F10B:SSL routines:SSL3_GET_RECORD:wrong version number
app| vmdbPipe_Streams: Couldn't read

When I examined a packet dump of the communication between server and console, ethereal reported a malformed SSL packet. The packet contained an error message in clear-text complaining about an MDNS entry in /etc/host.conf. When I removed that entry the problem was fixed. This is rather odd and I am quite sure it has nothing to do with VMware. Nevertheless, it is not very comforting to see clear-text error messages in an encrypted SSL stream.

( categories: Unix | VMware | Administrator )
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 03/10/2006 - 08:01.

When I emerge it fails to unpack giving the same error as above.

Submitted by Hannes Schmidt on Fri, 03/03/2006 - 13:03.

There is no --digest option for emerge. Did you mean ebuild digest? If not I would post this to the above bugzilla bug.

-- Hannes

Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 03/03/2006 - 12:26.

unpack fails after:

emerge --digest -av vmware-server

>>> emerge (1 of 4) app-emulation/vmware-server-modules- to /
>>> md5 files   ;-) vmware-server-modules-
>>> md5 files   ;-) files/vmware-server-modules-
>>> md5 files   ;-) files/digest-vmware-server-modules-
>>> md5 src_uri ;-) VMware-server-e.x.p-20925.tar.gz
 * Determining the location of the kernel source code
 * Found kernel source directory:
 *     /usr/src/linux
 * Found sources for kernel version:
 *     2.6.15-gentoo-r1
>>> Unpacking source...
>>> Unpacking VMware-server-e.x.p-20925.tar.gz to,

gzip: stdin: unexpected end of file
tar: Unexpected EOF in archive
tar: Unexpected EOF in archive
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

!!! ERROR: app-emulation/vmware-server-modules- failed.
!!! Function unpack, Line 381, Exitcode 2
!!! failure unpacking VMware-server-e.x.p-20925.tar.gz
!!! If you need support, post the topmost build error, NOT this status message.