Friday, June 27, 2008

VMWare (Workstation 6) on openSUSE 11

EDIT July 13th 2008: Thanks to Tony Barnard who pointed me to Cameron Seader's blog entry that has a fix for the vmware-vmblock module problem described in this blog entry.


ABSTRACT: ignore the inaccurate gcc version warning and run '' in the vmware-any-any-update117.tar.gz

I ran into a few kinks while installing VMWare on my new openSUSE 11 install. They are fairly minor, but here's some info that should get you up and running.

First of all, the script told me that it couldn't find a suitable vmmon module for my kernel. No problem, that's normal, the script will just compile one for me like always correct? Well, correct for the most part; after affirming that I wanted the script to try and build the vmmodule, I got the following message:

Your kernel was built with "gcc" version "4.3.1", while you are trying to use
"/usr/bin/gcc" version "4.3". This configuration is not recommended and VMware
Workstation may crash if you'll continue. Please try to use exactly same
compiler as one used for building your kernel. Do you want to go with compiler
"/usr/bin/gcc" version "4.3" anyway? [no]
I found this message a little odd and unsettling since I had just installed the system and hadn't messed with updates yet. I decided to investigate whether the script was even telling me the truth or not.
bean@cobweb:~> gcc --version
gcc (SUSE Linux) 4.3.1 20080507 (prerelease) [gcc-4_3-branch revision 135036]
The version looked right to me and I wondered where was getting its information. After browsing the gcc manual, I found the -dumpversion option and tried it out...

bean@cobweb:~> gcc -dumpversion
This appeared to be the problem. Sure enough, line 3266 of runs gcc with the -dumpversion option. So this really wasn't anything to be worried about, while it is apparently a gcc bug, it's safe to just respond "yes" to the prompt.

I didn't get very far after that, however. The vmmon module fails to build almost immediately. Coincidentally, a weak or so earlier I had been installing VMware on a Slackware machine and had learned about the vmware-any-any-update patches. These are unsupported and apparently third-party updates for vmware. The newest update I found was vmware-any-any-update117.tar.gz. I download it and ran the '' script, which updates the source of the modules.

So after ignoring the inaccurate gcc version warning and running the vmware-any-any-update117.tar.gz, I now have a running (and unsupported :)) VMware setup.

As a side note I didn't find that some of the vmware-any-any-update files claimed to be 117, but were really no different than the 115 versions. I'm not sure what's up with that, but it threw me off for a while. I uploaded the good one I found. Also, the vmblock module still fails to build, it would be nice to find a fix for this.