Accessing VMWare Server 2 with vSphere Client (the unsupported way)
As many of you already discovered there’s no official Linux client for accessing VMWare Server 2.x, the only thing VMWare suggests you to do is to use internal web interface based on a Tomcat webserver.
This web interface is ugly and slow, not so reliable if you plan a clean and fast administration, as alternative you can use the good and efficient Virtual Infrastructure Client (VIC).
Again: VIC is only available for Windows platform and no Linux (or OS-X) client is available now, you can run it on top of WINE libs but it’s still not a linux native client.
VMWare promised a lot of time ago a “planned version” for Linux but nobody have already seen it (planned with no expected date…) so we’re still waiting for it.
Now vSphere architecture is out, new vSphere Client replaces Virtual Infrastructure Client and guess what ? vSphere Client doesn’t support officially VMWare Server, this makes me really upset and after reading different posts even from their community forum (like this) I was really trying to find a different way to access my server installations or move to a totally different product (VirtualBox, KVM, …)
But after some TCPDUMP traces, a lot of different retries and some Google searches I’ve solved my problem and I’ll hope this article may help someone else as well.
When you try to connect vSphere to VMWare server you need to insert your credentials and the host name/IP, I’ve started with https://ip.address.to.use:8333 (the old way used with VIC), ip.address.to.use, ip.address.to.use:8333 and so on…
Finally I’ve discovered this form: ip.address.to.use:8333 seems to be the right one.
At the first connection you need to install a certificate in your Windows machine, second step is to retrieve from server “a generic installer”, so you can choose to “Save the Installer” or “Run the Installer“;
both options drives you to a generic error like:
"The required client support files cannot be retrieved from the server" "The login process will now exit" "Details: The server could not interpret the client's request. (404 not found)"
But what kind of support files do you need, where are there ? Here’s a link with some useful and legal files in it
Now what you should do after downloading these support files ?
Just unrar these files into your vSphere Client installation folder, something like
“Program FilesVMWareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure Client” (x86 32bit)
“Program Files (x86)VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure Client” (x86 64bit)
you’ll finally have a directory named “2.5” inside this root folder, now run your vSphere Infrastructure Client again, after inserting your credentials you’ll see
the entire login process like in the past with VIC (so “loading inventory form”,
“loading classes”, and so on…) and the new shiny Client interface is now connected
to VMWare Server as in the past.
This is just a trick to have authentication running again and have access to your
legitimate VMWare Server installation, I’ll hope they’re really working on this
promised linux client capable of connecting to VMWare Server.
At the moment I’m quite skeptic because this new client relies on Microsoft Windows .NET 3.x Framework and Windows J# redistributable package, as a programmer these are not my preferred tools if I’m planning to have a cross platform program because I’m totally depending on .NET (or Mono) and MS libs.
If you’re running a big business you don’t really need it, you just purchase vSphere (new ESX) and you’re set, but if you really need “bare metal emulation” and you can’t afford vSphere, VMWare Server is still the best reliable solution for it, yeah I know Virtual Box/KVM/XEN and others are growing fast but on bare metal VMWare is still the best (from my point of view)
I hope this process may help someone else and I’ll look forward for your comments to this post