VMware Server 2 and Firefox 3.6

As has been found by several users in the community forums. VMware Server 2.x and Firefox 3.6.x do not like to play together.

There are two issues at hand here.

Firstly you cannot log into your host anymore as the https interface using Firefox is broken.

There’s work arounds, but they  are not very pretty.  You can use the http interface or you can enable SSL2 compatibility in firefox.

To enable SSL2 compatibility go to about:config, then type “security” in the search box and change security.enable_SSL2 into “true”

The second issue is that the remote console is broken. Trying to access it from the management interface in Firefox throws the following error: “the attempt to require a valid session ticket for “<machine>” took longer then expected”

RC-Plugin-error

So it turns out that the integration with how firefox 3.6.x calls the remote console is broken.

Interestingly enough the remote console application works just fine, that is not broken and it does install OK on firefox 3.6
Let me explain this statement. When you install the .xpi file, its gets installed into your firefox profile.
On windows XP this can be found in a folder named like:

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\nnnnnnn.default\extensions\VMwareVMRC@vmware.com\plugins

In that folder you will find an executable called vmware-vmrc.exe
Using that executable you can connect to your remote host using:

vmware-vmrc -h <ip>:8333 -M "<vmid>"

Where <ip> is the ip-address of your host and <vmid> is the identification number of the VM.
You can find the VM ID for your VM by going to your VMware Server 2 host and from the local web interface for the VM you want to control, generate a desktop shortcut. That shortcut will have the <vmid>
So if your VMware Server IP is 192.168.34.77 and vmid = 12 you can start the VM using:

vmware-vmrc -h 192.168.34.77:8333 -M "12"

If you put that in a shortcut then you can use the console directly from your startmenu or desktop.

Of course if you ARE running windows, then there’s another -easier- alternative and that is to use Internet Explorer.

Author: Wil van Antwerpen

Wil van Antwerpen is a software developer who loves to work on Open Source and dabble a bit with VMware products. He likes to help people out as that is a good way to learn more. He is the author of Vimalin Backup (https://vimalin.com) which is virtual machine backup software for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Pro.

7 thoughts on “VMware Server 2 and Firefox 3.6”

  1. There is a shorter way if you want to know your <vmid>. Search for a file named “vmInventory.xml” on your VMserver2 host and look inside for <objID>XXX</objID>.
    Or you can run your vm from the command with:
    vmware-vmrc.exe -X -h <host-ip>:8333/sdk -u hostname\username -p password "[standard] vm/vm.vmx"

  2. Hi Hatschi Puh, thanks for mentioning this.

    In an open source project where we are building some sort of VI Client (linux/unix/windows/osx) in perl, we are actually using the VM by PathName functionality for accessing the vmrc console in windows and linux.

    See also http://bit.ly/vGhettoGUI

    This could also be used as an alternative for the browser console and is easier to use as the shortcut method as it shows you all the virtual machines in a treeview and lets you select from a list. I’ll probably write a blog post about it soon.

  3. Thanks for this, although there’s a slightly quicker method to get the VMID – although the console is broken in Firefox, the rest works fine. If you select a VM then the URL changes to something like “http://localhost/ui/#{e:%22VirtualMachine|784%22,w:{t:true,i:0}}” and the number after the “VirtualMachine|” is the VMID.

    If your host is Ubuntu-Lucid, then there’s another fix available at http://communities.vmware.com/thread/266614

    I just wish someone at Mozilla would get around to fixing this – because I’m using Ubuntu as a host, falling back to IE isn’t an option. 🙁

    1. Hi,

      Another work around would be to use the vGhetto Client It’s a multi platform client written in Perl and Tk that we are working on with a few guys. This client can make use of the browser console. Development has been a little slow in the past few weeks, but it will be picked up again.
      Cheers!

      Edit: Oops, I see now that I am repeating myself already 😉

  4. You don’t need to know your IP address – mine changes when I restart the computer due to DHCP. Just use the localhost generic address
    – go to the directory with vmware-vmrc.exe
    – right click on vmware-vmrc.exe and select create shortcut
    – then right click on the new shortcut and select properties
    – edit the Target “vmware-vmrc.exe” to include the -h 127.0.0.1:8333 -M “”
    – copy and rename the shortcut for each virtual machine
    – my shortcuts are:
    “vmware-vmrc.exe” -h 127.0.0.1:8333 -M “16”
    “vmware-vmrc.exe” -h 127.0.0.1:8333 -M “256”
    “vmware-vmrc.exe” -h 127.0.0.1:8333 -M “272”
    “vmware-vmrc.exe” -h 127.0.0.1:8333 -M “368”

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