Installing Fedora 18 in a VMware Fusion VM

Setup

You can use just about any host OS and host hardware to run VMWare. In my case, I am using:

  • MacBook Air
  • Host OS: OS X Mountain Lion
  • 8 GBytes RAM
  • VMWare Fusion 5.0.2

Download a Fedora ISO. I selected: Fedora-18-x86_64-Live-Desktop.iso. That failed miserably. When I tried to install this version, it just got stuck at a stripey blue screen. It's not the standalone installer. It is for installing side-by-side with another host OS. Don't use this one.

You can download the latest from here: http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora-options#formats. Select the Fedora 18 DVD. The full download path resolved to:

http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/18/Fedora/x86_64/iso/Fedora-18-x86_64-DVD.iso

Create a New Virtual Machine

Start VMware Fusion.

Click on File->New...
Click "Continue without disc"
Click twice on "Choose a disc or disc image"
Select the ISO you just downloaded.
Click "Continue"
When prompted to choose the operating system, select "Linux" and "Fedora 64-bit"
Click "Continue"
Uncheck the "Use Easy Install" box. (Easy install appears to be broken for Fedora 18)
Check the "Use Easy Install" box.
Uncheck the "Make your home folder accessible..." box (unless you really want to share them).
Select a display name, account name, and password. By default, this account will be created with sudo access.
Click "Continue".
Click "Continue".

Install Fedora

You should now see a new virtual machine in your library.
Select it.
If it has started powering on, power it off.
Disable 3D Accelerated Graphics. Thanks to Cat Slave for pointing this out:
http://www.greebo.net/2013/01/18/installing-fedora-18-rtm-to-vmware-fusion-5-or-vmware-workstation-9/

Click on "Power on this virtual machine". (It may have automatically powered on for you. That's fine.)

You may get a warning that virtualization of a 64-bit OS is not available. If you do get that message, you'll need to go into your BIOS and enable that feature.

Select your language.
Check "Set keyboard to default layout for selected language."
Click on "Continue".

Wait for the settings to each finish populating. You'll know they are done when they stop being greyed out. Verify that each of the settings are correct. Change any that are not.
* Date and Time - Ignore the "No NTP servers" warning. NTP will start in a later step.
* Installation Destination - If you want to encrypt the drive, that option is available in this dialog.
Click "Begin Installation"

You'll be prompted to enter a root password. Wait until all the progress bar is completed before setting the password (otherwise you will get errors like "no dictionary").

Once the configurator is done with its initial setup it will reboot. Let it do that.

Next, you'll go through a second set of configuration menus. These will let you create your user account. You will probably want to add your user account to the Administrators group. This will let you use sudo.

When the configurator finishes it will let you log in. Go ahead and do that.

Turn off BlueTooth. This is a VM. There's no need for BlueTooh. Click on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and turn it off.

The display resolution at this point is very low. Don't worry about that. It'll get fixed when VMWare Tools are installed (a later step).

Pro Tip: This would be a great time to take a snapshot of your work. Once the VM has booted, shut it down. Once it has finished shutting down, click on VM->Snapshot->Snapshot Manager. Click on "Take Snapshot...". Give your new snapshot a name. Something like, "Fedora with Updates".

Give the VM a little more headroom

While the VM is shut down, give it some more memory and allow for profiling tools. If you are doing development, you'll want that.


Click "Customize Settings"
Click on "Processors and Memory"
Increase the RAM from 1024 to 2048.
Click on "Advanced options".
Check the "Enable code profiling applications in this VM" box.

What should I do about VMware Tools?

At some point during the install process VMware Tools will add a dialog to the bottom of the VM window. It will recommend that you install VMware Tools. The tools are handy and you should install them, but not yet. Just leave the dialog there (it isn't taking up any space in the guest VM's screen real-estate). We'll come back to this dialog later.

Updating the base Fedora install

Fedora comes with lots of useful tools, but by no means does it have all of them. And, the ones it has may be several patch releases behind. Boot the VM. Log in. Type this:

  $ sudo yum update

Shut down the VM. Go into the Settings panel for this VM and disconnect the install ISO from the CD-ROM drive (set the drive to "autodetect" and then turn it off).

Pro Tip: This would be a great time to take a snapshot of your work. Once the VM has booted, shut it down. Once it has finished shutting down, click on VM->Snapshot->Snapshot Manager. Click on "Take Snapshot...". Give your new snapshot a name. Something like, "Fedora with Updates".

Install VMware Tools

VMware Tools depends on several packages. These are not, by default, present on the base install of Fedora. To get these packages, you can use yum. Open a terminal window and run these commands:

$ sudo yum install perl
$ sudo yum install gcc

The kernel and its headers need to match. Unfortunately, they sometimes get out of sync in the yum distributions. Make sure that you get the kernel-devel that matches your kernel version.

$ sudo yum install kernel-devel

Now you have all of the dependencies you need to be able to install VMware Tools. When the VM has finished booting, click on VM->Install VMware Tools. This will connect a CD drive to your VM with the VMware Tools installer on it. You'll need to unpack and run that installer:

$ cd
$ gunzip --stdout /run/media/`whoami`/VMware Tools/VMwareTools*.tar.gz | tar xv
$ cd vmware-tools-distrib
$ sudo ./vmware-install.pl

You'll be prompted for many, many options. Just press Enter at each prompt to take the default. Hopefully you'll be able to successfully make it to the end of the install process. If not, then some new dependency has been added to the vmware-install.pl script and you'll probably need to yum install more packages.

Now check out this post for how to get VMware Tools running in Fedora 18.


** NOTE ** Any time there is a kernel update you will need to re-install VMware Tools to get hgfs working again (the ability for the VM to access files from the host OS).


Once you are able to get a successful run of the installer, reboot the VM to let VMware finish its install.

Pro Tip: This would be a great time to take a snapshot of your work. Once the VM has booted, shut it down. Once it has finished shutting down, click on VM->Snapshot->Snapshot Manager. Click on "Take Snapshot...". Give your new snapshot a name. Something like, "VMware Tools installed".

Verifying that VMware Tools is working

You've installed VMware Tools. But, how do you know it is working? Here's a simple test. Click on VM->Power->Shut Down Guest. If that works (you should see Fedora perform a clean shutdown) then you know that VMware Workstation is able to successfully send commands in to VMware Tools.

Comments

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