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Getting started

VMware images - A list of all VMware appliances available for download from Trend Sigma. The images you can see at the right are only the current top distros. Of course, they are also the most wanted ones.

Passwords - Some distros don't seem to be too compatible with their users. We found that passwords leave people sometimes puzzled. Generally all passwords for Trend Sigma images are set to password. There are some idiosyncrasies:

  • Ubuntu and derivatives have an admin password for the standard user that may not be equivalent to the password for root. For Trend Sigma appliances they are both set to password.

  • Fedora and some others don't allow root to log into a full graphical session by default. But the root password is set to password and works for console operations like su and sudo.

Configuration - Before starting an image, make sure that the number of processors that the image wants to use is not higher than what is physically available on your machine. Memory settings have also to be adjusted. For a speedy experience maximize both numbers. There are many other settings that can be changed, either through the interface from the VMware Player or whatever you use, or directly in the .vmx file.

Crashes - If you see after starting an image text that includes the dreaded "kernel panic" phrase, there is a compatibility problem. In this specific case only powering off helps, because the guest has crashed.

  • If an upgrade to the newest VMware software is possible, consider that first. Note: VMware Player for 32 bit host OSes is only available up to version 6.x.

  • Otherwise trial and error may help with reconfiguring your existing setup.

VMware software has some config features that influence the virtual machine. In the Player they can be found under:

Hardware -> "Edit virtual machine settings" -> Processors. There are settings like "Intel VT-x or AMD-V" or "Binary translation". Both settings are worth a try. Also "Disable acceleration for binary translation" may help.

Options -> General -> "Guest operating system" / Version. These settings can also be tried, either with the best matching selection, or an older or more general one. We even have heard the tip to select Windows NT 4.0 for running a Linux guest.

These virtualization problems often occur during the startup and are sometimes not reproducible. So, once you succeeded starting the VM, suspend it instead of shutting it down.

No reaction from the guest system after it worked, albeit slowly. Often the reason is simply that there is not enough RAM allocated to the VM. Change that from within the VMware software with "Virtual Machine Settings" and reboot the guest. Only then the new RAM amount will be used. It may also help to increase the number of physically used processor cores.

Some hardware doesn't work - Check if the device is connected, e.g., with the VMware Player menu: Player -> Removable devices.

Internet connection failure - This can have many reasons. First, check if the network adapter is connected with the above. Then it may help to disable and reenable the Ethernet network of the guest OS, which is usually possible with an icon on the taskbar.

VMware Tools - If VMware Tools are installed, usually the compiler chain is also. That means, you can install newer tools if they become available. However, that is not always an easy task. Best practice is to make a backup of your current image, the whole folder, e.g., as a zip file. If something goes wrong and the old tools have been removed, you can still switch back to an image with tools.

Why may something go wrong? VMware Tools often don't install correctly, at least not with all features. Before VMware Tools install, the installer will remove existing tools. That may leave your system in a state worse than before the installation.

On the other hand, installing a newer version of VMware Tools may also better the situation. If a feature is currently not working -- Shared Folders come to mind here -- updating to the newest tools may help.

Updating - Hitting the update button in Synaptic or something similar will bring your system the newest security and other fixes. But it may also break VMware Tools, perhaps partly. With a backup you go the safe route before doing an update.

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