Choosing and Installing Guest Operating Systems : SUSE Linux 8.1

SUSE Linux 8.1
This section contains product support, installation instructions, and known issues for the SUSE Linux 8.1 operating system.
This guest operating system is supported on the following VMware products:
VMware Workstation 4.0, 4.0.1, 4.0.2, 4.0.5, 4.5, 4.5.1, 4.5.2, 4.5.3, 5.0, 5.5, 5.5.1, 5.5.2, 5.5.3, 5.5.4, 5.5.5, 5.5.6, 5.5.7, 6.0, 6.0.1, 6.0.2, 6.0.3, 6.0.4
Experimental support for 2-way Virtual SMP on Workstation 5.5, 5.5.1, 5.5.2, 5.5.3, 5.5.4, 5.5.5, 5.5.6, 5.5.7, 6.0, 6.0.1, 6.0.2, 6.0.3, 6.0.4
VMware Server 1.0, 1.0.1, 1.0.2, 1.0.3, 1.0.4, 1.0.5, 1.0.6
Experimental support for 2-way Virtual SMP on VMware Server 1.0, 1.0.1, 1.0.2, 1.0.3, 1.0.4, 1.0.5, 1.0.6
Note If you are installing a guest operating system through VMware VirtualCenter, be sure it is supported under the VMware product—ESX Server or VMware Server—on which you are running the virtual machine.
Note With many Linux guest operating systems, various problems have been observed when the BusLogic virtual SCSI adapter is used with VMware virtual machines. VMware recommends that you use the LSI Logic virtual SCSI adapter with this guest operating system.
General Installation Notes
Be sure to read General Guidelines for All VMware Products as well as this guide to installing your specific guest operating system.
The easiest method of installing SUSE Linux 8.1 in a virtual machine is to use the standard SUSE distribution CDs. The notes below describe an installation using the standard distribution CD; however, installing SUSE Linux 8.1 via the boot floppy/network method is supported as well. If your VMware product supports it, you can also install from a PXE server.
Before installing the operating system, be sure that you have already created and configured a new virtual machine.
Note During the SUSE Linux 8.1 installation, do not install an X server. To get an accelerated SVGA X server running inside the virtual machine, install the VMware Tools package immediately after installing SUSE Linux 8.1.
Installation Steps
When prompted, do not install an X server. In the Configure Monitor screen, choose Text Mode Only. Click Accept and finish the installation.
This completes basic installation of the SUSE Linux 8.1 guest operating system.
VMware Tools
Be sure to install VMware Tools in your guest operating system. For details, see the manual for your VMware product or follow the appropriate link in the knowledge base article at
In many Linux distributions, if IPv6 is enabled, VMware Tools cannot be configured with after installation. In this case, VMware Tools is unable to set the network device correctly for the virtual machine, and displays a message similar to
Unloading pcnet32 module
unregister_netdevice: waiting for eth0 to become free
This message repeats continuously until you reboot the virtual machine. To prevent this problem in virtual machines running Linux, disable IPv6 before installing VMware Tools.
To disable IPv6 in a virtual machine running Linux
If the file /etc/sysconfig/network contains the line NETWORKING_IPV6=yes, change the line to NETWORKING_IPV6=no.
In the file /etc/modules.conf, add the following lines:
alias ipv6 off
alias net-pf-10 off
After you disable IPv6, you should be able to install and configure VMware Tools successfully.
Do not start the X server in the guest operating system until you install VMware Tools and run the SaX2 configuration utility. See Before You Start the X Server.
Note When you start installing VMware Tools (by typing./ in the vmware-tools-distrib directory), the following message appears:
Found an installed version of the VMware SVGA driver for XFree86 4. Some versions of this driver included with the XFree86 4 distributions do not work properly. Would you like to install a stable (but possibly older) version of the driver over the currently installed one?
If you plan to dual-boot the virtual machine, answer Yes to allow the driver to be installed. Answer Yes again to back up the existing video driver files and also copy the XF86Config-4.dist file to XF86Config-4.vm. The latter file is used when dual-booting the virtual machine.
If you do not intend to dual-boot the virtual machine, answer No to keep the existing driver.
Before You Start the X Server
After you have installed VMware Tools, but before you start the X server, as the root user, run the SaX2 configuration utility to configure your X server. At a command prompt, type SaX2 and use the wizard to configure your X server. If you intend to connect to this virtual machine with the VMware Virtual Machine Console, configure the color resolution for 65536 (16-bit) colors or less.
After you run SaX2 you can boot your SUSE Linux 8.1 virtual machine with any of the selections offered in GRUB.
Known Issues
Virtual Machine Might Hang During Guest Operating System Installation
On some host systems, the SUSE Linux 8.1 installer attempts to use a kernel that is incompatible with the ACPI features of the virtual hardware. To work around this problem, open the virtual machine’s configuration file in a text editor and add the following line:
acpi.present = FALSE
You should then be able to install and run a SUSE Linux 8.1 guest operating system.
Guest Screen Saver
On a Linux host with an XFree86 3.x X server, it is best not to run a screen saver in the guest operating system. Guest screen savers that demand a lot of processing power can cause the X server on the host to freeze.
Migration to a Different Processor
VMware recommends you do not migrate a Linux virtual machine between hosts when one host is running on an AMD processor and the other is running on an Intel processor.
During installation, many distributions of Linux choose a kernel that is optimized for the specific processor on which it is being installed, and some distributions install a generic kernel by default, but provide architecture-specific kernels that the user can choose to install. The kernel might contain instructions that are available only on that processor. These instructions can have adverse effects when run on a host with the wrong type of processor.
Thus, a Linux virtual machine created on a host with an AMD processor might not work if migrated to a host with an Intel processor. The reverse is also true: a Linux virtual machine created on a host with an Intel processor might not work if migrated to a host with an AMD processor.
This problem is not specific to virtual machines and also occurs on physical computers. For example, if you move a hard drive with a Linux installation from an AMD machine to an Intel machine, you are also likely to experience problems trying to boot from that drive.