Installing Centos VMware image on Windows using Player 2.5

Ok, I had a much nicer experience installing Centos 5 image using VMware player 2.0.5 a year ago than I have had using VMware player 2.5. What a nightmare. No wonder why *nix systems and alike have been relegated to only the geek world. Who has patience to sit down for for multiple hours trying to figure out how to install a software, all that time while waiting impatiently to get over that cliff on to the things more interesting.

I will recreate the steps for everyone who wants to install Centos or another unix image on their windows host.

First, note that you can not load an ISO from VMware player at all as it only loads a virtual image in the VMX format. Moreover, since VMware player is free software, it doesn’t allow anyone to create a virtual image from ISO to VMDX either. So the only alternative is to build your own VMX. Follow the instructions in this great post here:

In summary, the steps as outlined in the blog above ask you to (1) first create a VMware SCSI hard disk image (.vmdk format), which you can download from the same site; (2) then download an example vmx configuration file which you then edit to provide pointer to the hard disk image as well as pointer to the Linux ISO image that you want to install; (3) then you finally open the vmx config file using player; (4) Finally, as you go through the installation process, you may be asked to provide location of additional ISO images, e.g. if you only provided location of first 1 of 7 image, then you will be asked to provide location of 2 of 7, 3 of 7 and so on. I have the entire vmx config file below:

.encoding = “windows-1252”
displayName = “Linux 2.6.x Host”
guestOS = “other26xlinux”

memsize = “512”
scsi0:0.fileName = “10G.vmdk”
ide1:0.fileName = “CentOS-5.5-i386-bin-1of7.iso”

config.version = “8”
virtualHW.version = “4”

MemAllowAutoScaleDown = “FALSE”
MemTrimRate = “-1”

uuid.location = “56 4d e4 3b 5a 83 d1 a9-fe 71 f0 c2 4e 20 b0 7e”
uuid.bios = “56 4d e4 3b 5a 83 d1 a9-fe 71 f0 c2 4e 20 b0 7e”

uuid.action = “create”
checkpoint.vmState = “”

ethernet0.present = “TRUE”
ethernet0.connectionType = “nat”
ethernet0.addressType = “generated”
ethernet0.generatedAddress = “00:0c:29:20:b0:7e”
ethernet0.generatedAddressOffset = “0”

usb.present = “TRUE”
sound.present = “FALSE”

scsi0.present = “TRUE”
scsi0.virtualdev = “lsilogic”
scsi0:0.present = “TRUE”
scsi0:0.deviceType = “disk”
scsi0:0.mode = “persistent”
scsi0:0.redo = “”
scsi0:0.writeThrough = “FALSE”
scsi0:0.startConnected = “FALSE”

scsi0:1.present = “FALSE”
floppy0.present = “FALSE”
ide0:0.present = “FALSE”
ide0:1.present = “FALSE”
ide1:1.present = “FALSE”

ide1:0.present = “TRUE”
ide1:0.deviceType = “cdrom-image”
ide1:0.autodetect = “FALSE”
ide1:0.startConnected = “TRUE”

extendedConfigFile = “template.vmxf”

virtualHW.productCompatibility = “hosted”
tools.upgrade.policy = “manual”

vmotion.checkpointFBSize = “16777216”

tools.syncTime = “FALSE” = “FALSE”
usb.autoConnect.device0 = “path:1/4/6 autoclean:1”

Note that VMware player 2.0.5 used to come bundled with VMware Tools while they stripped it out of player 2.5. And of course, there is no documentation about this. The only thing I could find is some information on installing Operating System specific Packages (OSP) for ESX server. The only other information I found is by some folks who suggest installing the VMware player 2.0 and extracting the VMware Tools ISO from it, and then using it with the player 2.5. However, this is a catch 22, as you can not really install player 2.0 if you already have 2.5 installed. If anyone finds a solution for this let me know in the comments section.

Next, I wanted to make a linux version that is bootable via USB. Centos has instructions on how to achieve this.

Most of the steps there worked for me, except that it is important to reboot the VMware linux guest after you have formatted the USB drive.


About hattipper

Collector of factoids. Love capturing images forever on my Canon SLR. On this site, you will learn factoids you didn't know about in a delightful manner.
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