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The Book Of VMware - The Complete Guide To VMware Workstation (2002)

The Book Of VMware - The Complete Guide To VMware Workstation (2002)

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In addition to the new X server and vmware−toolbox, the installer places a number of items elsewhere on the
system. To find out what they are, look in the file /etc/vmware−tools/tools_log, which the tools installer
creates.

In addition to tools_log, you’ll find some files pertaining to dualconf. These allow for seamless dual
configuration
of the Linux guest operating system if it is located on a real disk instead of in a virtual disk file.
If you originally installed Linux on a multiboot system without VMware, your distribution likely probed your

Chapter 6: Linux Guest Operating Systems

92

real hardware and customized the kernel module configuration as well as the XFree86 configuration file.

Note Even if you don’t actually use two different configurations, VMware Tools for Linux still uses the
dual−configuration tools to set up certain services for your guest system when it boots.
Because VMware Workstation provides a hardware interface different than your real hardware, your system
must figure out whether it’s running on your real hardware or as a guest operating system and adjust the
configuration files accordingly. The program /etc/vmware−tools/checkvm is the key to this. If run under
VMware, it gives an affirmative message, and more important, it sets its exit code to 0. This is not only useful
at system boot time, but you can also employ it in your X session startup scripts. We’ll go into a little more
detail about that in section 6.5.8.

Most Linux systems use the System V init program to boot. In this scheme, a directory called init.d contains a
number of system startup scripts, which initialize system services. There are also a number of directories
named rc0.d through rc6.d; the number corresponds to a runlevel; different runlevels specify normal boot,
single−user boot, halt, shutdown, and other statuses. Each rcn.d directory contains symbolic links pointing to
the scripts in the init.d directory, named SXYname or KXYname, where XY is a number between 00 and 99
(specifying when init runs this link in relation to the other links), and name is usually the name of the script in
init.d. S means run the script in start mode, and K means to use stop mode.

The location of these directories depends on your Linux distribution. Red Hat puts them in /etc/rc.d; Debian
keeps them right in /etc. Other distributions follow one of these conventions, or a mix.

The VMware Tools installer looks for these directories, and if it finds them, it installs a script called dualconf
in init.d and attempts links to it in the rc*.d directories. Specifically, it looks for existing links matching
S*network, and if it finds them, it adds a new SXYdualconf link, where XY is the same as it was for the
network script. Although this works for some distributions, such as Red Hat, it does not work for others
(Debian, for instance), so you’ll need to put the links in by hand if the Tools installer can’t figure out what to
do.

If you look at the dualconf script in the init.d directory, you’ll notice that it’s very simple: if the system is
running under VMware, it executes /etc/vmware−tools/dualconf.vm; otherwise, it runs
/etc/vmware−tools/dualconf.org.

These scripts manipulate three symbolic links: to /etc/modules.conf, the XFree86 configuration file (see
section 6.5.2), and if you’re running XFree86 3.x on the guest system, the X server executable (named X; in
Red Hat, it’s another symbolic link in /etc/X11). The /etc/modules.conf file is a general configuration file for
kernel modules and their options. Because most distributions try to use modules for as many drivers as
possible, you may very well need a different /etc/modules.conf file for use under VMware (assuming that you
installed this system without VMware).

The VMware Tools installer achieves this by renaming your original /etc/modules.conf file to
/etc/modules.conf.org, and it installs a new file /etc/modules.conf.vm. The /etc/vmware/dualconf.* scripts
simply put the proper link from /etc/modules.conf to one of these two in place so that the module loader will
insert the appropriate modules.

As mentioned before, links pertaining to the XFree86 configuration vary among Linux systems; check your
distribution’s link system against what the Tools installer does.

Chapter 6: Linux Guest Operating Systems

93

vmware−guestd

Along with providing the dual−configuration details, the dualconf script starts a program called
vmware−guestd. This daemon’s job when operating under VMware Workstation is to provide time
synchronization between the host and guest operating systems (vmware−guestd provides other features when
operating under one of VMware’s server products).

Upon system startup, vmware−guestd normally writes its process ID to /var/run/vmware−guestd.pid.

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