VMware* Workstation Pro

VMware Workstation Pro allows you to run multiple operating systems as VMs on a single host. It is a more advanced version of VMware Workstation Player.

This tutorial shows how to do a manual installation of VMware Workstation Pro on a Clear Linux* OS host using the console plus the VMware Workstation Pro GUI.

VMware Workstation Pro on Linux installs two major components:

  1. VMware hypervisor software
  2. VMware kernel modules

Note

Clear Linux OS is not an officially supported host OS for VMware Workstation Pro. This tutorial follows the generic Linux installation instructions with details specific to a manual installation on Clear Linux OS.

Prerequisites

Enable virtualization in the BIOS before installing VMware Workstation Pro.

Install VMware Workstation Pro

Use the console installer to install the VMware Workstation Pro hypervisor software:

  1. Download VMware Workstation Pro for Linux.

    Note

    The downloaded file is named with a .bundle file extension but this is not a Clear Linux OS bundle!

  2. In a terminal, cd to the directory where the .bundle installation file was saved.

    cd ~/Downloads/
    
  3. Make the .bundle installation file executable. Replace [VMware-Workstation-xxxx-xxxx.architecture] with the actual file name.

    chmod +x ./[VMware-Workstation-xxxx-xxxx.architecture].bundle
    
  4. Start the installation.

    sudo ./VMware-Workstation-[xxxx-xxxx].architecture.bundle
    
    Extracting VMware Installer...done.
    
  5. When prompted to specify the system service scripts directory, use the common suggestion:

    System service scripts directory (commonly /etc/init.d).: /etc/init.d
    

    You will see output similar to the following:

    Installing VMware VMX 15.5.0
        Configuring...No rc*.d style init script directories were given to the installer.
    You must manually add the necessary links to ensure that the vmware    ]  49%
    service at /etc/init.d/vmware is automatically started and stopped on
    Installing VMware Workstation 15.5.0
        Configuring...
    [######################################################################] 100%
    Installation was successful.
    

    Note

    During installation you will get an error about “No rc*.d style init script directories” being given. This can safely be ignored as Clear Linux OS uses systemd.

Install VMware kernel modules

After installing VMware Workstation Pro, additional VMware kernel modules must be compiled and installed. Before installing the VMware kernel modules, install DKMS, which will provide the necessary tools to add the VMware kernel modules.

Install DKMS

The kernel-native-dkms bundle provides the DKMS program and Linux kernel headers, which are required for compiling kernel modules.

The kernel-native-dkms bundle also:

  • Adds a systemd update trigger (/usr/lib/systemd/system/dkms-new-kernel.service) to automatically run DKMS to rebuild modules after a kernel upgrade occurs with swupd update.
  • Disables kernel module signature verification by appending a kernel command-line parameter (module.sig_unenforce) from the /usr/share/kernel/cmdline.d/clr-ignore-mod-sig.conf file.
  • Adds a notification to the Message of the Day (MOTD) indicating kernel module signature verification is disabled.

Warning

We recommend that you always review the swupd update output to make sure kernel modules were successfully rebuilt against the new kernel. This is especially important for systems where a successful boot relies on a kernel module.

Install the kernel-native-dkms or kernel-lts-dkms bundle:

  1. Determine which kernel variant is running on Clear Linux OS. Only the native and lts kernels are enabled to build and load out-of-tree kernel modules with DKMS.

    $ uname -r
    5.XX.YY-ZZZZ.native
    

    Ensure .native or .lts is in the kernel name.

  2. Install the DKMS bundle corresponding to the installed kernel. Use kernel-native-dkms for the native kernel or kernel-lts-dkms for the lts kernel.

    sudo swupd bundle-add kernel-native-dkms
    

    or

    sudo swupd bundle-add kernel-lts-dkms
    
  3. Update the Clear Linux OS bootloader and reboot.

    sudo clr-boot-manager update
    reboot
    

Install kernel modules

Launch the VMware Workstation Pro GUI to finish the installation and build the needed kernel modules.

  1. On the Clear Linux OS desktop, find the VMware Workstation Pro icon and click to launch.
  2. Click through the installation customization screens as directed in the VMware Kernel Module Updater.
  3. On the last screen click Finish. VMware Workstation Pro will launch.
  4. Create and configure a new VM!

Troubleshooting

If problems occur during installation, the recommended first step is to identify which major component the issues are occurring in (hypervisor or kernel modules). This will help direct further troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting tips:

  • If the issue is with compiling the kernel modules and you are running the native kernel, try installing the LTS kernel instead.

  • If modules failed to install or load, check logs in /tmp/vmware-<username>/*.log

  • Try re-installing all VMware modules with the following command:

    sudo vmware-modconfig --console --install-all