How to open a VM remote console on a Macintosh running OS X (tested on Leopard)
The browser plugin that lets you manage virtual machines on a workstation and open a remote console to virtual machines on that workstation does not appear to run on Macs, despite the documentation that claims OS X support exists and is experimental.
One solution to this problem is to use Bootcamp or Parallels to run the browser and plugin under a Windows environment. This is, in the words of some bloggers, "trippy" if not just upsettingly slow.
Another solution is to run the browser and plugin on the workstation and route the display to your local client via X windows. This solution is a version of the information in http://the.taoofmac.com/space/HOWTO/Run%20vmware-console%20Remotely%20With%20Apple%20X11, customized for our local environment.
Presumably as kinks get worked out this process will be simpler:
Step 1. Install xdgUtils from http://portland.freedesktop.org/wiki/XdgUtils. To do this, you must download the tar file to your home directory, untar it, and set your path to include the scripts directory. (Note – could not find this in yum, should simply install on hardware so step 1 becomes unnecessary). The vmware program needs xdg-open to start up correctly.
You must include the scripts directory in your path, e.g.
Step 2. Set your keymap. I edited ~/.vmware/preferences (this file did not exist at first) to include the line
This is a typical "PC" keyboard. Other keyboards are listed in the directory /usr/lib/vmware/xkeymap and other useful key mapping information is in
Step 3. From X windows on your Mac, ssh into the host (e.g. ws2.ibic.washington.edu) using the command "ssh --y" which uses trusted X forwarding. You will now have an xterm on the host computer.
Step 4. You can either start up the Virtual machine manager in a browser (in Firefox) or simply start up the remote console itself (after you have installed the plugin in Firefox). Step 4a summarizes the browser approach, step 4b summarizes the remote console approach. Start with Step 4a.
4a. Start the command "vmware"
This will open up a firefox browser. The first time you run a browser in this way, you will need to install the plugin for the remote console. Follow the directions for a Linux machine (because you are running Firefox on a Linux machine).
You will need to quit Firefox and then you can launch a console.
4b. Assuming you have at some point completed step 4a, you will have the necessary plugin to run the console directly, without starting Firefox also, which is nice.
Execute this plugin on the command line as follows:
$~/.mozilla/firefox/pbe8bpob.default/extensions/VMware.VMRC@vmware.com/plugins/vmware-vmrc --h "127.0.0.1:8333"
That's a mess – but can be replaced with a script, and can be run from the Mac…