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Howto: ESXi shell access

August 15th, 2008 | 4 Comments | Posted in Software

How to get shell access to your VMWare ESXi server?
By default the VMWare ESXi server don’t offer shell access (through the menu).
But by doing the following, you will be able to access the shell (although its limited):

1. Hook up a screen and a keyboard to the VMWae ESXi server.
2. Press “Alt+F1”
3. Write “unsupported” and press Enter (if you screw up, and think you’ve typed something wrong,
you can use Ctrl+U to clear the input field).
4. Enter the root password, an voila, shell access.

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VMWare ESX 3.5 express patch working

August 13th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Software

I can now confirm that the express patch VMWare released earlier today is working (tested on ESXi 3.5).

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VMware ESX 3.5.x Bug Update!

August 13th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Software

The express patch is here! VMWare released it some hours ago. You can download it, and read more on VMWare’s page: VMware ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 Patch Release

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VMware ESX 3.5.x Bug and the solution

August 12th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Software

Ok, so there is a really big bug in VMWare ESX 3.5/3.5i Update 2. So if you are running an older version, don’t upgrade! If you try to power on or resume a suspended Virtual Machine, you get the following error:

A general system error occurred: Internal Error
This Product has expired. Be sure that your host machine’s date and time are set correctly.

The products affected are:

  • VMware ESX 3.5.x
  • VMware ESXi 3.5.x Embedded
  • VMware ESXi 3.5.x Installable

There is a knowledge base article about it: Unable to Power On virtual machine with “A General System error occurred: Internal error”

But according to the kb article:

An issue with ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 causes the product license to expire on August 12, 2008. VMware engineering has isolated the root cause of this issue and will reissue the various upgrade media including the ESX 3.5 Update 2 ISO, ESXi 3.5 Update 2 ISO, ESX 3.5 Update 2 upgrade tar and zip files by noon, PST on August 13. These will be available from the page: http://www.vmware.com/download/vi. Until then, VMware advises against upgrading to ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2.

The Update patch bundles will be released separately later in the week

So? What if you’ve already upgraded. Some of you might run your entire infrastructure on ESX, and if “waiting for a patch” doesn’t sound like a suitable solution, there is a workaround!

The Workaround

Note: This is only tested on a ESXi 3.5 machine. If you try it on a ESX machine you might need to change the date format, just give it a try.

1. Log in to the Service Console (its the Command Line Interface).

2. Write date -s “08102008″ and press enter.

You should now be able to power on your Virtual Machines (or resume them).

Note: You are setting back the date, so if you are running critical infrastructure on your virtual machines, you might want to turn of “host time sync”. So your VMs won’t sync the time with the server. And if you are running NTP on your ESX/i-server you should turn it off (if you don’t, there is no point in setting back the time).

You also might want to set the time further back, like a couple of weeks, depending on how long time you think VMWare will use to get the patch ready.

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Mac OS X DNS workaround failed

August 2nd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Security

The latest Mac OS X security update (2008-005) failed to fix (or temporarily solve) the DNS vulnerability in the client version of Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.4. The update solved (temporarily) the same problem in Mac OS X server, but somehow Apple forgot to update the client libraries. The source port is still not randomized (but incremented by 1 each time). So, is this really a critical problem? Or should we worry more about DNS servers behind NAT?

Read more details about how the DNS workaround failed in Mac OS X 10.5 or how the DNS Workaround Failed in Mac OS X 10.4

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VMware Fusion 2.0 Beta 2

August 1st, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Software

VMware Fusion 2.0 Beta 2 is now available, and free to download! VMware also announced that existing users of VMware Fusion 1.x will be able to download Fusion 2.0 for free.

Read the details here: WMware Fusion 2 Beta 2

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Mac OS X Security Update

August 1st, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted in Security

Apple just released a new security update for Mac OS X (Security Update 2008-005). It affects Mac OS X Server 10.4, Mac OS X 10.4.11, Mac OS X Server 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.5.4. Its supposed to fix security issues in the following software: Open Scripting Architecture, BIND, CarbonCore, CoreGraphics, Data Detectors Engine, Disk Utility, OpenLDAP, OpenSSL, PHP 5.2.5, QuickLook and rsync.

Read the details about the security update here: Apple Mac OS X Security Update 2008-005

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