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Old 09-06-2008, 04:40 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Canada
Distribution: Kubuntu, Fedora
Posts: 56

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VMWare Player on eeepc 901

I have VMWare Workstation 6, and I created with it a Win2K virtual machine which I now deploy across several of my home Linux machines with VMWare Player. This has worked great most of the time in Fedora 8 and Kubuntu 8.04. (And, yes, I own enough licenses for Win2K to do this legally.)

I recently bought an eeepc 901 with Xandros Linux. I successfully installed VMWare Player and the virtual machine I created. It ran just fine. I then rebooted, and now it won't run. VMWare Player itself runs fine, but when trying to open the virtual machine that I ran just a few minutes before rebooting, I get a string of error messages:

Too Many Virtual machines are running....
Failed to initialize monitor device
Error while powering on: Cannot find a valid peer process to connect to.
Failed to reply to the dialog: Pipe: Read failed
I then just get the black VMWare Player window.

If I rerun the install script and recompile everything, then it will again run perfectly -- until the next time I shut it down and reboot.

There was a suggestion in the forum that the VMWare services are not being restarted on reboot. This is beyond me, and I don't run slackware.

If the services are NOT being started at boot, how do I manually start them in Xandros to test the theory that the lack of services is causing the failure of my Win2K VM to start? Fedora and Kubuntu both had a services applet where you could check what was running and/or start/stop those services. I don't see anything like this in Xandros.

Now, to save some time, I know there are alternatives like WINE, Virtual Box, QEMU, and more. I have an investment in VMWare already, and I know that it DOES work on this machine. Please withhold any comments on what I should be using instead of VMWare as those comments will only take this post off the 'unanswered' list and prevent others that may know the answer from seeing this post. Thanks.

Any suggestions on fixing the problem at hand?



Last edited by Frank616; 09-06-2008 at 04:47 PM.
Old 09-07-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Slackware
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I recall starting vmware services with: /etc/init.d/vmware start
but that is a long time I haven't used vmware, and it was on slackware, it may be worth a try though
Old 09-07-2008, 10:26 AM   #3
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Canada
Distribution: Kubuntu, Fedora
Posts: 56

Original Poster
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OK, tried running that script earlier, but it did nothing. This time I added the 'start' to the end. I got some output as follows:

/home/user> /etc/init.d/vmware start
Starting VMware services:
Virtual machine monitor failed
Blocking file system: failed
Virtual ethernet failed
Module vmnet is not loaded. Please verify that it is loaded before
running this script.

touch: cannot touch `/etc/vmware/not_configured': Permission denied
chmod: cannot access `/etc/vmware/not_configured': No such file or directory
/etc/init.d/vmware: line 518: /etc/vmware/locations: Permission denied
The VMWare modules are not being loaded at boot. lsmod does not show vmmon, vmnet, and vmblock. Running this script after boot is also failing to install those modules. I don't yet know why.

As noted, when I run the VMWare Player installation script, VMWare Player works, and it will load and run my virtual machine. As soon as I reboot, however, those three modules are NOT being loaded, and VMWare Player will not load and run my virtual machine.

So if anyone knows why these modules are not being loaded at boot, then please do tell me.


Last edited by Frank616; 09-07-2008 at 10:29 AM.
Old 09-07-2008, 06:15 PM   #4
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Canada
Distribution: Kubuntu, Fedora
Posts: 56

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16

OK, ran the script again preceded by 'sudo' which I should have know to do the first time. It worked! Modules are loaded, and my VM works again. However, it is a bit of a pain to have to do this every time I start up my machine.

There is a reference to the S90vmware script in rc2.d, rc3.d, and rc5.d. From what I can tell from inittab, runlevel 2 is default, so the start script SHOULD run at boot. So why don't my modules load?

Any ideas?
Old 09-10-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Canada
Distribution: Kubuntu, Fedora
Posts: 56

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
VMWare Player on eeepc 901 - Solved

OK. With thanks to a user in the Compuserve Linux forum, and an obscure post in the eeepcuser forum that he found, the issue is resolved.

The eeepc 901 (and I would appear, versions prior to it) uses a shortcut to system initialization called fastinit. This appears to be a proprietary offering from Xandros, near as I can tell. It bypasses the normal init procedure, and that is why the vmware services were not being reloaded at boot.

The solution is to use fastinit to your advantage. Fastinit looks for a file /etc/fastservices which may or may not already exist. If it does, edit it as root. If it doesn't, then create it as root. This file contains the names of the scripts that reside at /etc/init.d that fastinit is to execute.

In my case, I needed to add one line, as follows:

vmware start
and then save it back to disk. Fastinit now executes the /etc/init.d/vmware script with the 'start' parameter. The script executes on boot, and loads the vmmon, vmblock and vmnet modules needed for VMWare Player to run.

It is not that this is complicated. It is more that it is not documented. The eeepc is designed to be an appliance, so there is precious little support for anything out of the ordinary from Asus or Xandros. I am grateful that at least they provide the kernel headers in the repository (though not gcc oddly enough) so that additional software can be added.

And, it does speed booting times considerably.



eeepc, vmware, xandros

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