VMware never ceases to confuse me. Not the program, which is a pretty good piece of software. Just the name of everything. Look at this list of VMware software; can you figure out what any of those things are via their names? The VMware official site is no less confusing.
Hilariously, all of these things seem to be named different things than a year or two ago when last I tried to install VMware. It seems this company, like many others, enjoys renaming everything at random, just to keep you on your toes.
If you search for
vmware in Gentoo you get these results, among others:
app-emulation/vmware-dsp app-emulation/vmware-gsx-console app-emulation/vmware-modules app-emulation/vmware-player app-emulation/vmware-server app-emulation/vmware-server-console app-emulation/vmware-view-open-client app-emulation/vmware-vix app-emulation/vmware-workstation
The descriptions are wonderful:
Emulate a complete PC on your PC without the usual performance overhead of most emulators
In some cases, multiple packages have the exact same copy/pasted description, which is awesome. But maybe the Gentoo devs couldn't figure out what any of these things are either.
After some trial-and-error I narrowed it down to
vmware-workstation. I think
vmware-workstation is the non-free one, so that narrowed it down to the other two.
vmware-server required me to register at the VMware site and download something myself, after giving my name and shoe size and blood type to VMware and registering, then clicking a download link in an email. Then
vmware-server installed via Portage OK. But it comes with a horrible web-only interface and the OS runs in a browser plugin. This crashed hard and often. I'd like a standalone client please.
vmware-server-console in Gentoo which sounds like it should let you connect to
vmware-server, but ha ha, no, it doesn't. At least not the versions I ended up with via Portage. Then I read somewhere that you can't use VMware Server Console to connect to VMware Server 2.0, it only works with earlier versions. I think? I don't even know if this is true, all I know is
vmware-server-console froze or crashed no matter what I tried.
I read on some random mailing list that you can use something called "VMware Infrastructure Client" to connect to VMware Server, but I couldn't for the life of me determine what this is or where to get it.
So I uninstalled
vmware-server, made sure to
rm -rf /etc/vmware /opt/vmware /var/lib/vmware first, and then installed
vmware-player. This opened in a GTK2 GUI, which is what I wanted to begin with. But I couldn't create a new image. I could only open existing ones, which I could download from the official VMware site apparently.
Mind-bogglingly, an image in VMware isn't called an "image", it's called an "Appliance". Clearly someone in the marketroid department at VMware ran out of names, saw a toaster on the shelf and went with it. A washing machine is an appliance, not an OS image. Did you know the "Virtual Appliance Marketplace" has "Expanded Capabilities from the Largest Library of Applications for the Cloud"? Is there seriously someone in the world who can read this without needing to fight back a reflex to vomit? (Images are also referred to as "Solutions", to which I say only uggggggh.)
Anyways, it seems that they only added the ability to create your own images in VMware Player version 3.0; this feature was absent in previous versions. And 3.0 is not available through Gentoo yet.
So I uninstalled everything,
rm -rfed any cruft I could find, and went and downloaded VMware Player 3.0 from the VMware site directly. I had to register AGAIN, but then I got it.
During the install, VMware Player 3.0 asks you for the location of your
runlevels directory. It didn't accept
/etc/runlevels on my box; I guess Gentoo's is non-standard. So I had to make a fake directory and go into it and
mkdir rc0.d rc1.d rc2.d rc3.d rc4.d rc5.d rc6.d init.d and let VMware pretend that was my runlevels directory. All so the installer could spew an initscript into it, which doesn't even work. Oh well.
After trying to run
vmplayer, failing because the kernel modules weren't loaded properly by the broken initscript,
modprobeing the modules myself and restarting a bunch of times, then running
vmware-networks --start manually, behold! I had a running VMware Player 3.0 and I made my own image and everything was good.
Are you confused yet? It's all free, so I guess I shouldn't complain. But I guess I just did complain anyways. Names don't have to be this confusing. So many companies do this, and why?
How about "light" (or even "lite"), "trial", "full", "free", "paid", "server", "client"? Those are nice words. We all know what those words mean. "VMware ESXi" might sound EXTREME or trendy or whatever, and maybe it really does "Deliver Enterprise Performance to Your Applications" (ugggggggggggh), but what the hell is it? What is VMWare ThinApp? What does it do? How am I supposed to buy what you're selling when you're speaking a foreign language to me?