Tag Archive for: VMWare-Player

Ubuntu 10.0.4, VMware and No Keyboard

01 May 2010
May 1, 2010

Tonight I wanted to try out the recently released Ubuntu 10.0.4 so I downloaded the ISO and gave it a shot with VMware Player on my home machine. While the install itself went well, once I was at a logon screen I couldn’t use the keyboard. Mouse worked, but to logon I had to resort to the “accessibility” on-screen keyboard. Once in, the regular keyboard was fine. Weird…

Thinking that I had a bad image or install, I re-downloaded Ubuntu and tried again with VMware Workstation 7 on my laptop. Same deal, no keyboard. Like any good “technologist” I realized it was time to do some web searching.

The second link I clicked brought me to the Reformed Musings blog and his “Keyboard issues with Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 and VMWare Workstation 7.0” article. Bam! Problem solved. He has the necessary fix listed out there that he found in a forum post. Presumably, future versions of Player and Workstation will better handle this new version of Ubuntu, until then you just need to either enable the onscreen keyboard or go the “Console Login” route and make a quick change to /etc/default/console-setup.

Working fixes found at other blogs are the best fixes, aren’t they?

[Updated: 5/5/2010]

So a commenter had issues with the use of the on-screen keyboard. First off, a left-click is just what it sounds like ;-)  — click the left mouse-button on the icon. In other words, a “normal” mouse click.

Here’s a picture of that icon (circled in red):


When you click it, you’ll see that “Universal Access Preferences” menu item pop up. Click on that (left-click again!) and then check the box for the on-screen keyboard:


Close that dialog and the on-screen keyboard will pop up. Click in the password field to select it and then use the on-screen keyboard.

As they say down-under, Bob then becomes your uncle.

Hopefully that’ll help

As for “N” being offended that folks will post links to other posts posting links to solutions: Hey, I just like to give credit where credit is due. The Reformed Musings blog is where I found my fix so that’s where I’m pointing folks. Yeah, it is an extra mouse-click but I didn’t see the need to just copy/paste his content.

VMware Player is more than a Player

02 Dec 2009
December 2, 2009

I’ve mentioned VMware Player here a lot in the past and always with the caveat that while it is great to run virtual machines, it can’t create them (without hacks). After all, the name is “Player” right?

That all changed when version 3 of Player was released last month.

Here’s section of the Player “home” screen. Can you spot the crazy new feature?

VMware Player has a Create option

Top option there is Create!

Not only does it offer a create option, it even has a wizard called “Easy Install” that can dramatically streamline the create process. For instance, in this image I’m starting a new install and pointed it at my Windows Server 2008 iso:

Easy Install option

When I click “Next” it definitely gets easy:

The Easy Install options

Fill in a few fields, click “Next” and tell VMware Player where to put the machine files. Turn it loose and you don’t touch it again until the machine is ready for a logon.

Cool stuff.

This is great for “parity” with the competition (like VirtualBox) but I can’t deny that I’m a little miffed. I just bought VMware Workstation mainly to streamline the creation process… According to the FAQ, there’s not much extra in Workstation that I currently need:

Do I need another VMware product to use VMware Player?
No. VMware Player enables you to create and run virtual machines. However, if you need to leverage powerful developer-centric features such as Teams, multiple Snapshots and Clones, or Virtual Rights Management features for end-point security, you will need to upgrade to VMware Workstation.

Ah well. Live and learn, right?

But wait, there’s more!

A closer look at the release notes shows something interesting for the Windows 7 users:

Windows XP Mode Compatible — Import a Windows XP Mode virtual machine using VMware Player 3.0 and run the virtual machine without being prompted to enter a Windows XP license key. VMware Player enables the Windows XP Mode virtual machine to take advantage of more than one processor, render high-end graphics, integrate seamlessly with Unity, and transfer files easily with drag and drop, and shared folders. VMware Player also has the ability to run concurrently with Windows XP Mode.

Yeah, remember when i tried to convert a free Virtual PC image to VMware? It was virtually ugly. Perhaps VMware users have an easy way to use the free and Microsoft provided Internet Explorer App Compat images without having to install yet another virtual machine environment?

Fascinating. I may have to give that a shot soon.

VMware Player 3.0 and Network Configuration

29 Oct 2009
October 29, 2009

I updated VMware Player to the latest version (3.0) on my home machine last night[1]. Wanted to check out the latest version and get a first hand look at the new features.

I pointed it to my trusty Xubuntu “security” virtual machine and booted up. I ran into a snag pretty quickly though. Seemed that the client couldn’t get an IP address to get on the network.

I’ve seen and fixed this before. VMware Player seems to like to grab my Hamachi “personal VPN” network adapters instead of the local Ethernet one – it will never get an IP from the Hamachi network!

That’s when I hit the next snag: the new version of VMware Player doesn’t include the vmnetcfg network configuration that I’ve always used to fix this in the past. I poked around a bit but it wasn’t there and I didn’t see anything that looked like a replacement.

I ended up fixing this in a bit more of a low-tech fashion. I simply disabled the Hamachi adapter and then booted the VMware client. Client got an IP and I then re-enabled the Hamachi adapter.

Disabling a network adapter

Of course, after my low-tech solution I went looking for better options… Turns out I’m not the first one to notice that vmnetcfg went missing. I found discussion and the answer in a forum post:

The vmnetcfg.exe is included in the installer, but won’t be installed.
1. Run the installer with /e option. For example:
VMware-player-3.0.0-197124.exe /e .\extract
All contents will be extracted to “extract” folder.
2. Open “network.cab” and copy vmnetcfg.exe to your installation folder,
typically “C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Player\”.

Well there you go. Even better.

[1] – Past mentions of VMware Player.

Tip on vmnetcfg

18 Aug 2009
August 18, 2009

Tip: vmnetcfg is a really handy tool to tweak VMware network configs. Just don’t forget to run it as admin if on Vista or Win 7 (I always do…).