Tag Archives: Linux

VCSA6 Bash and SSH Key Authentication

The Linux Version of the vCenter Server is not new anymore but with vSphere 6.0 the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) has overtaken the Windows Version in many aspects. The completely rewritten linked mode removes the need for a Windows-based vCenter and the scalability of both appliances are identical.

VCSA6 is delivered as appliance based on openSUSE. Nevertheless its a Linux, VMware want’s you to use the GUI. Unless you are in a testing environment I would highly recommend to limit shell usage to the following usage scenarios:

  • During Service Requests under advice of VMware GSS
  • For advanced troubleshooting
  • When required for complex deployments (eg. PSC 6.0 High Availability)

Read more »

Match Linux SCSI Devices (sdX) to Virtual Disks in VMware

This post explains how to correlate SCSI devices within a Linux virtual machine to the virtual disk configured in the Virtual Machine. This can be accomplished by comparing the SCSI ID listed the Linux Guest OS and the virtual machine configuration in the vSphere client.match-linux-scsi-devices

In the vSphere Client disks are numbered without any reference to their SCSI ID. Linux operating systems numbers disks based on their SCSI ID and in order of appearance. Usually, the first disk is /dev/sda, the second /dev/sdb and so on. But if you want to remove a disk for example you want to make sure to identify the disk correctly.

Read more »

How to identify that Linux is running as a Virtual Machine?

tuxFor troubleshooting or in scripts you might want to identify if you Linux is running as a Virtual Machine. If you work with puppet you might be familiar with facter which provides the facts “is_virtual” (true or false) and “virtual” (Virtualization type).

There is another handy tool called virt-what that is available in Fedora (13+), Red Hat Enterprise Linux (5.7+ and 6.1+), Debian, Ubuntu, ArchLinux and Gentoo, and it can be compiled from source on just about any Linux.

Read more »

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 (vCSA) Enhancements

vCenter Server Virtual Appliance (vCSA) is still very rare in a production environment. This hasn’t changed much with the enhancements in vSphere 5.5 where the embedded database scalability has been lifted. VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 does now support up to 1000 ESXi Hosts and 10.000 Virtual Machines with the embedded Postgres database. I hope i can deploy more vCenter Linux Appliances in the future. Read more »

Identify Disk Usage of a Thin Provisioned Virtual Disk

This post demonstrates various ways to identify the disk usage of a thin provisioned virtual disk.

I have a virtual machine with a 10 GB thin provisioned disk. You can verify the disk type from the virtual machine settings page.


Read more »

Howto Install Additional Software in VCSA 5

The vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) becomes an alternative to the Windows-based vCenter more and more. There are several reasons to install additional software in the VCSA. When you want to implement additional services like DNS for your lab, or you want to monitor the Appliance via Nagios or SNMP, you need additional packages. The Appliance is based on SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, so you can use YaST to install packages. In this post I am going to show how to configure the vCenter Server Appliance to enable the installation of additional packages.
Read more »

Howto Check Network Port Availability from vMA

VMwares vSphere Management Assistant does not have much tools available. When you vMA is behind a firewall you might want to check if ports are reachable for troubleshooting purposes. As the vMA does not come with telnet or netcat you can use the built in bash feature:

Read more »

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 (vCSA) Limitations

vCenter Server Virtual Appliance (vCSA) is still very rare in a production environment. This might change with the current enhancements to the scalability made in vSphere 5.5. The maximum supported numbers of the embedded database have been lifted to 100 ESXi hosts and 3000 virtual machines. From now on, there are only a few imitations remaining. I do not think that many environments hit the scale limit, so the only remaining limitations are Windows-related limitations.

Here are the limitations from VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5

Read more »

Choose and Install VMware Tools on Linux Guests (Original vs. OSPs vs. open-vm-tools)

When you virtualize Linux Operating Systems with VMware you have 3 opportunities when it comes to the decision which VMware Tools to install. The well-known VMware Tools that come with the ESXi Hypervisor and can be installed from the vSphere Client, the VMware Operating System Specific Package (OSPs) and the open source project open-vm-tools. This post explains the differences between the variants and helps you to understand the advantages to choose the right package for your environment.

If you use Linux Guests inside VMware I encourage you to comment on what kind of VMware Tools you are using.

Read more »

How to Setup Port Forwarding in VMware Workstation 9

This small walkthrough explains how to configure a port forwarding in VMware Workstation 9. The same procedure should also work for VMware Workstation 8, 7 and 6.

Why do you need port forwarding in VMware Workstation? The main purpose is to make virtual machines available on the network. You could simply use bridged networking, but sometimes NAT fits better to your requirements. If you want your virtual machine to be available no matter what network you are connected to or if you are limited in IP addresses you might have a valid use case for using NAT and thus port forwarding. Read more »