VMware Server, Firefox 3.6, and you.

12 February 2010

Something that VMware quietly changed with the release of VMware Server v2.0 was that they deprecated the use of their stand-alone management console application - if you try to use it to connect to a v2.0 server it just won't work. What you need to do is plug the URL http://vmware-server-host:8222 or https://vmware-server-host:8333 into your web browser and log in with a user account that has admin privileges (which basically means that the account is part of the vmware group). If you're using Mozilla Firefox v3.5.x, the web interface will ask you to install an add-on to the browser which lets you interact with the virtual console. This is all fine and dandy until you upgrade past v3.5, like I did a couple of days ago. The add-on conks out and the VMware web console will quietly throw error messages in its logs. However, there is a fix for this: you can unpack the add-on's .xpi file and run the console app manually. I'm doing this right now on Windbringer and it seems to work pretty well - I can even run X sessions with it without any trouble. Just follow the directions given in the post on the VMware.com forums (in the post, option number two) and everything should be hunky-dory,

One thing I'd like to point out if you do this is that you should specify the box you're connecting to on the command line to be sure you get it right. I did this on Windbringer like so: /home/drwho/vmware-web-console/vmware-vmrc -h

Once you're sure it works you can put it into a shortcut on your desktop and be done with it, or at least until VMware gets around to fixing their add-on.