Installing VMware Server 2.0 on Windows Systems

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Installing VMware Server 2.0 on Linux SystemsA Guided Tour of the VMware Server 2.0 Infrastructure Web Access Interface

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The objective of this chapter is to provide information on installing VMware Server 2.0 on the Microsoft Windows Server family of operating systems. For information on installing on Linux systems, refer to the chapter entitled Installing VMware Server 2.0 on Linux Systems.

Supported Windows Versions

VMware Server 2.0 is designed to run on Windows Server host operating systems and is not (according to VMware, Inc.) intended for use on desktop variants of Windows. That said, the official list of supported systems and the list systems on which the product will actually run are two very different things. In fact, testing performed for this book found VMware Server 2.0 to run without any problems on both Windows XP and Windows Vista even though these are not officially support platforms.

In addition, VMware Server 2.0 is not supported on Windows Server 2008 Core. That said, the list of supported Windows operating systems is quite extensive and provides support for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms.

The following table lists 32-bit Windows operating systems which are officially supported as VMware Server 2.0 hosts:

32-bit Operating System

Required Service Packs

Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition
Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition SP1, SP2, R2
Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition SP1, SP2, R2
Windows Server 2003 Web Edition SP1, SP2, R2
Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard R2
Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium R2
Windows 2000 Server SP3, SP4
Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP3, SP4

The 64-bit Windows server operating systems officially supported as VMware Server 2.0 hosts are as follows:

64-bit Operating System

Required Service Packs

Windows Server 2008 x64 Standard Edition

Windows Server 2008 x64 Enterprise Edition
Windows Server 2003 x64 Standard Edition SP1, SP2, R2
Windows Server 2003 x64 Enterprise Edition SP1, SP2, R2

Downloading VMware Server 2.0 for Windows

VMware Server 2.0 for Windows may be downloaded free of charge from the VMware web site located at The download process involves locating VMware Server 2.0 from the products page and submitting a moderately detailed form. Once the form has been submitted and the subsequent license agreement agreed to, the VMware Server 2.0 download page is presented.

VMware, Inc. provides the VMware Server software distribution in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions so it will be important to identify the CPU architecture of the host computer before downloading the software.

Also displayed on the download page will be serial numbers for both Linux and Windows installations. These will be required to unlock the VMware Server software during the installation process so be sure to make a careful note of them before dismissing the browser window.

Installing VMware Server 2.0 on Windows using the Wizard

The downloaded Windows installation file will have a name similar to VMware-server-2.x.x-xxxxxx.exe where the 'x' characters represent the current VMware Server 2.0 release and build numbers. Installation may be performed either using a graphical wizard or by issuing commands at a command prompt. The disadvantage of the wizard approach is that it does not provide the ability to control which networking features are configured, instead installing them all by default. For more control over the installation of networking options, or to create an automated installation procedure, use the command prompt installation approach covered in the next section of this chapter.

To initiate the wizard based installation process, navigate to the location of the downloaded installer either using Windows Explorer or at the command prompt and execute the file. After a short delay while the installer unpacks the files necessary to proceed, the Installation Wizard for VMware Server welcome screen will appear. On this screen, click Next, read and accept the license agreement and click Next once again. On the Destination Folder screen either accept the default location into which VMware Server is to be installed (typically \Program Files\VMware\VMware Server\) or use the Change button to specify an alternate location. The next screen contains the server configuration settings as illustrated in the following figure:

Configuring VMware Server 2.0 server settings during a Windows installation

As illustrated above, this screen is preconfigured with the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the local server and also the default ports for accessing the VMware Infrastructure Web interface using a web browser. Unless there is a need to change these settings (perhaps because the ports are used by another application or firewall settings mandate use of different ports) leave these settings at their default values. Also present on this screen is a setting to enable the option for virtual machines to be started or stopped automatically when the Windows system starts up and shuts down.

Once the server settings are complete, click Next to proceed to the Configure Shortcuts screen. Options are available to place shortcuts to VMware on the desktop, start menu and quick launch bar. On the next screen, click Install to initiate the installation process. This process may take some time depending on the speed and current work load of the server on which the installation is taking place. Once the installation is complete, the Registration Information page will appear. On this page, enter the user name, company information and the serial number provided when the VMware Software was initially downloaded:

Registering VMware Server 2.0 on Windows

If the serial number is not entered at this point it will need to be configured through the VI Web Access interface before any virtual machines can be created. With the installation completed, click Finish to dismiss the installation wizard. Before VMware Server can be used it will likely be necessary to reboot the Windows system. When prompted to do so, exit all currently running applications and click on the Yes button. Alternatively, click No and perform the restart at a more convenient time.

Performing a Command Prompt VMware Server Installation

The preceding section of this chapter described the VMware Server 2.0 installation process using the graphical wizard. As previously mentioned, the wizard installs all networking options by default. For greater control over this aspect of the installation, it is necessary to resort to installing VMware Server from the command prompt. Before proceeding with the steps in this section, however, it is important to note that the installation process will perform an automatic and unprompted restart of the operating system once the installation is complete. For this reason, it is important to save all work and exit any running applications before beginning a command line based VMware Server installation.

The first step of this process is to unpack the installation image to a temporary location (for example C:\tmp\vmware). This is achieved using the following command line:

VMware-server-2.x.x-xxxxxx.exe /a /s /v TARGETDIR="C:\tmp\vmware" /qn

Once the installation files have been extracted the installation can be performed using the Windows msiexec tool. The syntax for this command is as follows:

msiexec /i "TempPath\VMware Server.msi" [INSTALLDIR="InstallPath"] ADDLOCAL=ALL [REMOVE=feature, feature] [property="value"] /qn

In the above syntax outline, the command line arguments in square brackets are optional and TempPath is the temporary location into which the installation files were extracted in the preceding step (C:\tmp\vmware in the case of this example). If VMware Server is to be installed in a location other than the default (\Program Files\VMware\VMware Server), specify the desired alternate location using the INSTALLDIR= directive.

The optional property="value" directives allow options such as the serial number and whether a desktop shortcut should be created to be passed through to the installer. For example, the following command passes through the serial number and requests a desktop shortcut for access to the VI Web Access interface:


Of particular importance is the optional REMOVE= directive which is used to define which networking features are to be omitted during the installation process. Options available include Network, DHCP and NAT. If the virtual machines are to have no network access the REMOVE=Network directive should be specified. Similarly, to install VMware Server without the NAT support, but with host only and bridge support, the following command would need to be executed when installing VMware Server:

msiexec /i "c:\tmp\vmware\VMware Server.msi" ADDLOCAL=ALL REMOVE=NAT /qn

This form of installation is also referred to as silent installation. Do not be alarmed, therefore, if nothing appears to be happening once the command is executed. The installation is performed in the background without any user interaction. Once the installation is complete, the installer will automatically restart the computer, at which point VMware Server will be ready for use.

Accessing the VMware Infrastructure Web Access Interface

To access the VMware Infrastructure Web Access interface, either use one of the shortcuts configured during the installation process, or manually launch a browser and enter either http://hostname:8222 or https://hostname:8333 (where hostname is the name of the system running VMware Server). VI Web Access will load into the browser window and prompt for a user name and password. Enter an administrative username and password and click Log In to display a screen similar to the one shown in the following figure:

The VMware Infrastructure Web Access Interface on Windows

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