Install VMware Tools on Ubuntu

I have been working on a project that requires the use of Ubuntu Server. I had to go through the process of installing VMware tools across a few different servers, so I decided that I would document the process here.

First you’ll need to power on your VM, wait until it has finished booting, and then use the ESXi GUI to install VMware Tools.

At this point you’ll want to console into your VM, and run the following to ensure that you’re running the latest packages:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Next you’ll want to install the required packages for VMware Tools to install:

sudo apt-get install autoconf automake binutils make cpp gcc linux-headers-$(uname -r)

The next step is to actually install VMtools:

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom
cd /media/cdrom
sudo cp VMware-tools-*.tar.gz /var/tmp
cd /var/tmp
sudo tar zxvf VMware-tools-*.tar.gz
cd /var/tmp/vmware-tools-distrib
sudo ./vmware-install.pl

From this point you can stick with the installation defaults and you’ll be in business!

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Using VMware vCLI

I recently had to start using VMware’s vCLI to perform tasks that I used to do directly on the ESXi host. In this case, I needed to remove a VIB that I no longer needed. This is assuming that you have a vCenter server managing your ESXi hosts. If you do not, skip the vihost command.

Authentication

First, you need to perform a onetime authentication so you are always authenticated via SSH keys.
Run the following command:

esxcli --server=vcenterhostname --vihost=esxhostname --username vcenterusername --password MyPassword software vib list

You should receive an error looking something like untrusted certificate, and the SSH thumbprint. Copy this SSH thumbprint, as we need it later.

vCLI uses the Perl credential store to handle authentication, so you’ll need to do the following:

cd Perl/apps/general
credstore_admin.pl add --server vcenterhostname --username vcenterusername --password MyPassword
credstore_admin.pl add --server vcenterhostname --thumbprint [SSH Thumbprint that we copied earlier]

At this point, we are now authenticated via SSH keys with our vCenter host, so we no longer need to use usernames or passwords in any of our vCLI commands.

Remove a VIB

To uninstall a VIB, first you need to put the ESXi host in maintenance mode

vicfg-hostops.pl --server=vcenterhostname --vihost=esxhostname --operation enter

Next you’ll want to list out the installed VIB’s to see which VIB you want to uninstall

esxcli --server=vcenterhostname --vihost=esxhostname software vib list

Lastly, copy the VIB name that you want to uninstall, and run

esxcli --server=vcenterhostname --vihost=esxhostname software vib remove --vibname=[vib name]

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How To Fix the Network Binding Warning When Installing SQL Cluster Member

This is a quick note on how to resolve a weird error with Microsoft SQL 2008R2 cluster member installation. It kept complaining that my network binding order was wrong. I had already gone to the advanced network settings, and placed my domain connected NIC at the top of the list, but it still kept complaining. I finally resolved the issue by going through the following link: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlserverfaq/archive/2009/10/08/receive-a-warning-about-the-network-binding-order-on-the-setup-support-rules-page-when-install-sql-server-2008-in-a-failover-cluster.aspx

I’ll go ahead and simply document what I did:

  1. Open a command window as Administrator, and run “wmic nicconfig get description, SettingID > C:\nicconfig.txt
  2. Open the Registry editor, and goto HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Linkage\
  3. Compare the adapter ID’s.  In my case, the Failover Cluster Adapter was listed first, so I simply moved it underneath my domain connected adapter.
  4. Re-Run the SQL cluster installation, and you’ll see that the network binding validation passes!

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Inserting a Self Signed Certificate into Exchange 2010

Recently I made the mistake of removing some of the default self signed certificates within Exchange, because I already had a wildcard certificate installed on it. Big mistake. Now my event log is filling up with TLS/SSL SMTP and POP3 errors, and certain company applications aren’t working.

Event ID: 1102 Source: MSExchangePop3
The POP3 service failed to connect using SSL or TLS encryption. No valid certificate is configured to respond to SSL/TLS connections. Check the configured host name as well as which certificates are installed in the Personal Certificates store of the computer.

Event ID: 12014 Source: MSExchangeTransport
Microsoft Exchange could not find a certificate that contains the domain name mail-example.example.local in the personal store on the local computer. Therefore, it is unable to support the STARTTLS SMTP verb for the connector Example.com-Gmail with a FQDN parameter of mail-example.example.local. If the connector’s FQDN is not specified, the computer’s FQDN is used. Verify the connector configuration and the installed certificates to make sure that there is a certificate with a domain name for that FQDN. If this certificate exists, run Enable-ExchangeCertificate -Services SMTP to make sure that the Microsoft Exchange Transport service has access to the certificate key.

I tried re-importing the certs, but Exchange would go through the motions, and then not import the certificates. After banging my head against the wall for a while, I figured out that creating self signed certificates via the Exchange Management Console simply doesn’t work. I had to open the Exchange Management Powershell Console, and run the following command to get it to work:

computer name: mail-example.example.local (I’m leaving out the public name, as I already have a wildcard cert for that)

New-ExchangeCertificate -FriendlyName "SelfSigned Cert" \
-SubjectName "cn=mail-example.example.local" \
-DomainName mail-example.example.local mail-example \
-PrivateKeyExportable $True

If you can’t install the certificate, ensure that a certificate with the same name doesn’t exist within IIS. When I ran this, it wanted to know if I wanted to overwrite the certificate (the wildcard) on the public SMTP connector. I selected NO, and it installed it on the rest of the services, which fixed the issue.

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How To Enable .Net 3.5 Framework Within Windows Server 8 Beta

I’ve been working with Windows Server 8 Beta quite a bit recently.  One of my major frustrations with it is that I couldn’t enable the .Net 3.5 Framework.  When I would try to enable it within the Server Manager, it would error out that it couldn’t download it.  Without this, I couldn’t install several Microsoft programs (SQL Server 2008/2012, Visual Studio 2010, etc, etc).  After quite of bit of searching, I finally figured out a workaround.

Insert the Windows 8 installation DVD (I’ll assume it’s your D: drive).  Open a command window (runas Administrator), and enter in the following:

Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /All /Source:D:\sources\SxS /LimitAccess

And that’s it!

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