Some VMware gotchas

Had to troubleshoot a couple of VMware ESXi related errors at work this week, noting them here for my future self or anyone else looking for solution.

First problem occurred when I was moving a a 64bit SLES 9 virtual machine to a newly provisioned ESXi test host. The server in question was HP ProLiant DL360 G5 with Intel Xeon 5150 CPU. The CPU supports 64bit and VT, but when I started the virtual machine I got the following error:

Your CPU does not support long mode. Use a 32bit distribution.

Apparently the Virtualization Technology (VT) feature was not enabled in BIOS and ESXi could not run a 64bit guest OS without it. Pretty simple fix: reboot and reconfigure the BIOS settings to enable CPU’s VT feature.

Next problem occurred when I upgraded one of the virtual machines. This VM was running 32bit Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy JeOS with VMware Tools Operating System Specific Package (OSP). I uninstalled the OSP using apt-get, upgraded the kernel and then attempted to re-install VMware Tools using .tgz package, but was greeted with the following error:

VMware Tools cannot be installed, since they have already been installed using
a package-based mechanism (rpm or deb) on this system. If you wish to continue,
you must first remove the currently installed VMware Tools using the
appropriate packaged-based mechanism, and then restart this installer

Execution aborted.

I double and triple checked, all VMware packages were removed, so what’s the deal? After looking into the installation script vmware-install.pl, I saw that it checks for existence of DSP marker file /usr/lib/vmware-tools/dsp and displays the above message if file exists. I found that file being the sole resident of the /usr/lib/vmware-tools directory so I simply removed the file and the directory. Not sure why this file was left behind, but after that I was able to proceed with installation.

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