Update April 2021: I noticed VMware Workstation 16 in Ubuntu tends to install kernel modules fine through its GUI now, so a lot of this info about how to compile and install vmmon and vmnet is probably obsolete. But since it may be useful to someone using an older version of Workstation, I’ll leave it up for the time being.
Occasionally I use PowerShell because it’s the easiest way to get batch processes accomplished on a Windows computer, or sometimes the only way to implement a feature (e.g. making folders case-sensitive to avoid naming conflicts when syncing with nix computers).
But it’s always a bit of a pain because I have to look up ways to do basic things I can easily do in a POSIX-style environment without needing a reference (e.g. find, grep, sed, df, vim) and sometimes their implementation is awkward or clunky, or just not easily possible.
I am heartened to see podman becoming more comfortable on Ubuntu, since although I’m excited about a lot of the software coming from RHEL’s massive portfolio of acquisitions, I still prefer Ubuntu’s support length and update schedule, and find its commands and structure more familiar.
But what about the accessories that are available for podman? Would installing it on Ubuntu make it like a fish out of water?
Thankfully, no! buildah is also available in the offical podman repo for Ubuntu, and apparently cockpit-podman can be installed fairly easily, too.
So, I develop using NodeJS, and I use Windows. Anyone who uses both together and has used Linux as a dev platform has probably realized the Windows version is a little lackluster and has edge configuration issues that make it a pain.
So I was setting up a dev environment on an ESXi host so I could have one place in which I do my development and not have to switch back and forth between Windows and Linux platforms, deal with the painfully slow WSL, Windows ‘git bash’, etc. do everything native.
That was a great idea until I got it all set up and realized my touchpad wouldn’t scroll anymore.
VMWare Workstation on Ubuntu requires another step to run. Sometimes the installer will install the kernel modules it requires in the installer, other times it won’t. There’s another step to the setup after running the installer that might as well be documented as part of the installation process.
It’s compiling kernel extensions for vmmon and vmnet – and Workstation tries to compile them out of the box, but it never works. It’s missing some essential kernel extensions that are only available from GitHub. Get used to it, because every time you upgrade your kernel, you’ll have to do this again (unless you create a hook for apt … I’ll have to put that in a later post).
I had to write a post about it since after doing it for the umpteenth time I realized this might be a problem for a lot of people that isn’t well documented and might be exceedingly confusing for first-time users.
Interesting thing happened to me today. I had to do some work on one of my ESXi 6.7 hosts, so I powered it off (which is something I rarely ever do). I had just done some static configuration of ipv6 on my domain controllers, provisioned DNSSEC, etc. so I was playing with a relatively recently modified network.
Well, it must have been a little too different for my ESXi configuration to handle, because when I powered up my ESXi host again, two out 5 of my NFS datastores couldn’t reconnect. It was a little perplexing because ESXi doesn’t give you much of a sense of what’s going on – just a message saying:
‘Can’t mount NFS share – Operation failed, diagnostics report: Unable to get console path for volume‘
Messing around with my Ubuntu 19.10 rpool installation (ZFS is offered by default in the desktop installer now), and I couldn’t help but think to myself, “gee, it sure would be cool if the ARC was in top like it is in FreeBSD and OmniOS.”
So I thought I’d try to compile the NetBSD version of top using pkgsrc, since I figured the BSD versions of posix software might have more resources for ZFS.
Update: Not sure when this happened but I was checking the requirements for FS on Linux at Dropbox.com and apparently they DO support BTRFS once again. So the process outlined in this post is no longer necessary.