VMware Tools Install on CentOS

Recently I deployed a new Linux-based VM for our Aruba Wireless Network (specifically for AirWave). It’s a CentOS-based installation, but a custom ISO that includes the AirWave installer – you can get it form Aruba’s website.

Anyways, it says that before you install AirWave, you should install VMware Tools. I did the typical “VM > Guest > Install/Upgrade VMware Tools” menu option from the Console window, but nothing happened. I guess I was hoping it would automatically install, since I haven’t done it in Linux (with or without a GUI) before. Because it didn’t auto-install, I took to the web and found this helpful article from a fellow WordPress blogger:

Initiate the VMware tools install on your CentOS 6.2 VM. Open a SSH session to your VM and copy/paste this:
[yum -y install perl] - *step skipped for my install
mkdir /mnt/cdrom
mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
cp /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz /tmp
umount /mnt/cdrom
tar -zxf /tmp/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz -C /tmp
cd /
./tmp/vmware-tools-distrib/vmware-install.pl --default
rm -f /tmp/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz
rm -rf /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib
 Bam! VMware Tools installed!


VMware ESXi Error: “ramdisk ‘root’ is full”

During the cleanup from a recent DR test at work, I ran into an issue where I couldn’t migrate guests between different hosts. We have three hosts in a HA/DRS cluster, so if I couldn’t move the guests around there is no way that VMware could automatically do this either.

Not exactly sure why I couldn’t do this, I figured I would reboot each host one at a time. The first host was not able to be put into maintenance mode, since the guest vMotions failed. I also realized that this was the host I was trying to get guests off of when the vMotions failed earlier. Other hosts seemed to vMotion guests between them fine, it was only an issue with “host 1.” I also noticed that I could not open the console for any guest on this particular host.

I checked in the Event Logs in vCenter and found an error similar to (I forgot to document the EXACT error message wording): RAMDISK root is full on host1. I didn’t find much on the Internet regarding this error, other than the actual ESXi OS must have a full partition and I should clean it. I wasn’t quite sure what to delete, but I did find a command to identify what part of the host was full (vdf -h). I called VMware for support and, while helpful, they didn’t show me anything I didn’t already find on my own.

I found the partition that was full was only 32 MB and there was a 30 MB /var/log/hpHelper.log (we have HP hosts) file. I copied the log file using WinSCP, then deleted it from the host, and restarted the host services. After that, vMotions to/from that host were successful and I could put it in maintenance mode to reboot it.

Summary –

–  I couldn’t vMotion guests between hosts at one of our datacenter locations.
–  The event log in the vSphere client showed that ramdisk root is full on host1.
–  SSHing into host1 and running `vdf -h` shows that ramdisk root has 0% free space out of 32 MB.
–  I looked around and found that /var/log was very large.
–  I found a 30 MB file in /var/log called hpHelper.log.
–  I used WinSCP to copy that file to my desktop and read it, it’s just a log file.
–  I ran `rm /var/log/hpHelper.log` and `touch hpHelper.log` to delete and re-create the log file.
–  I restarted the management services on the host – `./sbin/services.sh restart`
–  Now I can open the console on various guests and I can vMotion between hosts.