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Nov 27

VMware player 3.0 as a remote console

Some people might remember my post Remote consoles for windows and linux which – among others – explains on how to use VMware player as a remote console.

Hoping things would have improved with VMware player 3.0, I tested it this morning.

OK, ok, I’ll admit it, it was a post on VMTN that triggered me testing this again, but it certainly was on my list of things to do. :)

So while you can use VMware Player 2.5.x to use as a remote console for  ESX hosts as well as VMware Server 2.x hosts, unfortunately some things don’t work as well when using VMware Player 3.0

This was tested on a mandriva linux host, but has also been reported as a problem on ubuntu see the VMTN post referenced above for details.
What does still work is using VMware Player 3 to connect to VMware Server 2.x
However it is not all sunshine there either. Clicking on menu item “VM Settings” crashes your console with the following error in bash:

NOT IMPLEMENTED /build/mts/release/bora-203739/bora/apps/lib/cui/vmStatusVIM.cc:695

Not very user friendly if you ask me.

What completely has stopped working, is using player with a ESX3.5 host.
You can still select your VM’s from the list, but after doing so, vmplayer throws the error:

Unable to connect to the MKS: Internal error.
Unable to connect to the MKS: MKS ticket acquisition was disallowed at the time of scheduled invocation.

So it looks like that we’ll have to wait for an update….

If you want to continue using VMware Player as a remote console to your ESX 3.5 host, then you best stick with VMware player 2.5.x .

vmplayer3-as-rc-error

Well now that was the bad news.

Before I wanted to post this article I decided to give VMware Player some credit and test against vSphere (ESX 4.x) as well. Of course that was the moment that my mandriva machine decided to play up…

So after replacing Mandriva with Ubuntu 9.10 I can now happily report that ESX 4.0 virtual machines can be accessed remotely without issues!

vmplayer3-powering-on

vmplayer3-as-RC

An interesting side note is that Player asked me to download the linux VMware Tools as it detected that the guest I’m starting is linux. I wonder if it actually will use that.. I suspect it would still use VMware Tools on the ESX host instead of the remote workstation with VMware Player.

As this worked and Mandriva might be part of the issue,  I decided to test accessing ESX 3.5 machines again as well and it still doesn’t work, but there’s no error. Instead I get a screen that looks like a TV testscreen, so it seems like there is a bit more going on here.

vmplayer-testscreen

Well.. that’s for the VMware engineering team to find out. At least it works fine with vSphere.