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Old 07-23-2010, 07:58 PM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2010
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Problems with Mandriva 2010 Spring running in Parallels Desktop 5

Hi All,

First of all, I'm completely new to Linux, and have very limited experience with command line interfaces in Mac OSX (the OS that I'm used to). Please pitch any replies at the appropriate level

My problem:

I've installed Mandriva Spring 2010 Free in a Parallels Desktop 5 VM running inside Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Parallels has a set of tools that I need to install to make the VM play nicely with my host OS. It is here that I'm running into problems. When trying to install Parallels Tools I get a warning that 'Some components needed for parallels tools installation are missing in your system;. I'm offered the chance to download them automatically. This download always fails and I'm told that I need to download 'kernel sources' manually and try again.

After some considerable research (remember I'm TOTALLY new to Linux) I found out what this means and have installed what I believe are the correct files using the 'install and remove software' window. As I understand it, I need to download the source files of the kernel I am using (exactly the same version), so I now have:

kernel-desktop-latest - Version
kernel-source-latest - Version

These are 'virtual rpm's that make sure i always have the latest kernel versions, which as I understand it means that I should have the latest kernel and corresponding kernels sources... but I still get the damn error message telling me to install 'kernel sources' when I try to run the parallels tools installer.

Any thoughts/help would be greatly appreciated!


Old 07-24-2010, 01:17 PM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
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Try installing kernel-desktop-devel-latest:

$ su
<enter root password>
# urpmi kernel-desktop-devel-latest
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:05 AM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2010
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It worked! Thanks very much. Just so I can learn for future linux-ing, would you mind telling me what I've just done?

Thanks again - this must be my first taste of the fantastic linux community support I've heard so much of!
Old 07-26-2010, 08:57 AM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,564

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urpmi is the command line utility for installing packages in mandriva. The graphical software installation utility you access in the Mandriva Control Center is just a graphical front end for urpmi. I didn't mean to be cryptic in making you resort to a command line; it was just the easiest way to make sure you installed exactly the package I was pretty sure you needed, kernel-desktop-devel-latest.

Virtualization software like Parellels or VirtualBox need to have low level access to the hardware subsystems in order to work. To do this they need to have driver modules that hook into the linux kernel. These driver modules are kernel specific and since there are literally thousands of different possible linux kernels, it is not practical to create the needed driver modules in advance. This isn't a problem in linux since it's open source and the source code for the kernel is available for installation. Once you have the necessary kernel source and other system components installed, Parallels is able to create the appropriate driver modules for your specific linux kernel in a process called compiling.

The trick here is making sure you have the kernel source and all the other things necessary for compiling kernel modules installed on your system. Every linux distribution packages this stuff a little differently so you just have to know what to install. I have experience with mandriva and knew about the kernel-desktop-devel-latest package and new if you installed that package it would install the kernel source and all the other stuff needed like the compiler, gcc, the necessary C and C++ libraries, binutils, and other developer packages. Apparently, my middle aged memory didn't fail me and I was right. Glad it worked out for you.
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