Saturday, 3 July 2010

VMware remote console + Firefox 3.6 (updated)

Firefox 3.6 is the default browser on Ubuntu since Karmic but unfortunately it no longer works when attempting to launch a VMWare server remote console session from within the web gui. This is one of the reasons I decided to move away from VMware to Virtualbox headless, with mixed results.

My virtualbox experiment is over and I have decided to go back to VMware. It is a shame but vbox just has too many ways to get itself tangled up and lacks the "management polish" that you get with vmware server.

That being said, there is still the problem that new versions of Firefox refuse to work with the remote console plugin and that is a show stopper. It forces me to keep Jaunty on my laptop just so I can get a console session when needed.

The good news is that I have just discovered a workaround for this problem.

Apparently, there is an undocumented* feature in vmware player that enables it to connect to a remote host!

I have long been wondering why such a feature was not available and now I find out it actually is! Yay!

Anyway, assuming you have installed vmware player, if you type the following at a shell prompt;

vmplayer -h

you will be presented with a dialog that looks like this;



Enter your server details (including the port which is 8333 by default)



Click OK and you will see a list of the guest machines on that host, like so;



Click on a host and open to create a remote console session and you are done!

I can't tell you how excited I am to discover this trick. Now I have no more reasons to avoid changing my main browser to Chrome.

[UPDATE]

I having been playing about and you can streamline the process by adding the host and login details to the command line.

vmplayer -h jupiter -u brettg -p mypassword

* It is not mentioned when you type vmplayer --help at the console.

4 comments:

Andrew said...

Absolutely Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Menno

Peter said...

SUPER!!!
I was googling and found this which helped me a lot!!!
Many thanks for sharing this!

Тарас said...

Don't work on Fedora 15 x64 with VMware-Player-3.1.4-385536.x86_64.bundle.

I connect to server with command:
vmplayer -h server_name:8333 -u root -p myPassword

In terminal I see messages like this:
/usr/share/themes/Adwaita/gtk-2.0/gtkrc:80: error: unexpected identifier `colorize_scrollbar', expected character `}'
Fontconfig error: "conf.d", line 1: no element found
Fontconfig warning: line 73: unknown element "cachedir"
Fontconfig warning: line 74: unknown element "cachedir"

(vmware-unity-helper:3183): GLib-WARNING **: goption.c:2132: ignoring no-arg, optional-arg or filename flags (8) on option of type 0

(vmware-unity-helper:3183): GLib-WARNING **: goption.c:2132: ignoring no-arg, optional-arg or filename flags (8) on option of type 0
/usr/share/themes/Adwaita/gtk-2.0/gtkrc:80: error: unexpected identifier `colorize_scrollbar', expected character `}'

(vmware-unity-helper:3225): GLib-WARNING **: goption.c:2132: ignoring no-arg, optional-arg or filename flags (8) on option of type 0

(vmware-unity-helper:3225): GLib-WARNING **: goption.c:2132: ignoring no-arg, optional-arg or filename flags (8) on option of type 0


When I select virtual machine to connect, vmplayer crashed.