ZS 3.4.0 32-bit (Update) Template with VMware Tools

Forums Network Management ZeroShell ZS 3.4.0 32-bit (Update) Template with VMware Tools

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    I finished a template with the ZS 3.4.0 distribution and VMware Tools 10.0.0 pre-installed:

    http://www.antiwindowscatalog.com/downloads/ZS340_OVA_Template.zip (602 MB)

    06 OCT 2015: A new VMware Tools version this time. This one’s a little larger because VMware Tools 10 included some new things. I haven’t fully tested this one, so please send feedback on it.

    24 FEB 2015: This updated template uses a separate partition for the VMware Tools installation. This seems to make profile manipulation work while VMware Tools is running, because it isn’t using /DB or /Database anymore. The kernel is 3.14.31 32-bit, which includes GCC exploit fixes and kernel drivers for vmxnet3 (10 Gigabit) and other VMware goodies. Make sure the OS type is “Other Linux 2.6.x (32-bit)” to expose vmxnet3.

    To migrate your ZS profile from any existing ZS installation to this one, use the web-based Profiles manager from your existing ZS installation to save a copy of the profile, then upload the profile to this new installation. Turn off post-boot scripting before profile manipulation, and edit the post-boot script to use these lines instead of the original:

    mkdir /vmtools
    mount /dev/sda5 /vmtools


    [Update JUN 2015] The rest of this post doesn’t make sense anymore, since there appears to be no need for a special 64-bit version of this template.

    To use a 64-bit kernel in a Zeroshell VM, you just need to use the 3.3.2 OVA template to make a VM, then install the Advanced Kernel package (49200). You can then choose a 32-bit or 64-bit 3.18.11 kernel. The instructions to activate VMware Tools are the same regardless of which kernel is in use.

    This works because the kernels include modules for vmxnet3 (10 Gig), LSI SAS SCSI, and three other devices whose names I currently forget. The VMware Tools installation only contains the user-mode software needed to monitor the guest OS and to support host-initiated shutdown. This is useful if you have to automate a host shutdown for some reason, such as a UPS-triggered shutdown in case of power failure.

    The original post has a new download link for the ZS 3.3.2 OVA template that also contains a newer VMware Tools.

    I noticed that older ESXi versions may not display the correct OS in the VM properties, so make sure your hypervisor is up to date, whatever version you run, if this is important to you.

    Also, I have a 64-bit version of this template that works. It has at least one quirk in that it thinks the 64-bit kernel isn’t installed when it is, probably because module installation is tied to profiles.

    I won’t release the 64-bit template without Fulvio’s blessing, as the 64-bit kernel is normally available only to subscribers. However, I would like others to test it. May I release this template for general use or to specific testers?

    The original installation instructions work as long as you skip the step to copy and re-link /lib/modules (/etc/modules as of v3.0.0), because /etc/modules is read/write in the 64-bit version. So if I can’t release the template I can at least explain how to make VMware Tools work on the 64-bit kernel.


    Any way to get your 64 bit release?


    I tested switching between the 32-bit and 64-bit kernel on a subscribed Zeroshell VM, and it seems the VMware Tools hack-installation works with both. So to get 64-bit Zeroshell working with VMware Tools, use the current 32-bit OVA template and install the Advanced Kernel (49200) package. Then switch to the 64-bit kernel in the Boot menu.

    This kernel loaded a vmxnet3 device without complaint, showing up as “VMware VMXNET3 Ethernet Controller (rev 01)”. My own installation further includes the IRQBALANCE (30800) and Microcode (40310) packages and these are working too.

    So the 32-bit and 64-bit kernels already have the needed driver support. The OVA template’s VMware Tools installation only provides the monitoring and guest shutdown functionality.


    Cannot upgrade the vmware tools…


    Zeroshell is a LiveCD product, even when it’s installed on a hard drive or flash device, so installing VMware Tools is a pain in the neck. The normal upgrade process won’t work.

    Besides, the only thing that the OVA template has installed is the monitoring. The ZS kernel (At least since ZS 3.2.0) already has all of the needed kernel modules compiled-in. And your hypervisor might complain that the Tools installation is out of date but monitoring and host-initiated shutdown will still work.

    Eventually Fulvio is making an Open VM Tools package installable from the Package Manager, and that will replace this hack job installation.

    If you want to install a current VMware Tools, it is possible to repeat the steps I did and use a current linux.iso file. The VMware Workstation, Player and Fusion ISO images for VMware Tools are also valid for ESXi.

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