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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

HOWTO install VMWare tools silently

Well, while working on a way to get Alteris’ RDP product to automate the install of a VMWare guest, I came across this note in VMWare’s KB:

 

http://www.vmware.com/support/gsx3/doc/tools_install_win_silent_gsx.html states:



VMware GSX Server 3.1

  What's New | Requirements | Installation | Guest OS Installation | Documentation | Troubleshooting

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Automating the Installation of VMware Tools in a Windows Guest

To automate the installation of VMware Tools in a Windows guest operating system, you can use the Microsoft Windows Installer runtime engine to install the software silently (in quiet mode). If you are installing VMware Tools in a number of Windows virtual machines, you may want to use the silent install features.

The guest operating system in which you are installing VMware Tools must have Microsoft Windows Installer runtime engine version 2.0 or higher installed. This version is included with Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. If you are installing VMware Tools in other Windows guest operating systems, check the version of this file:

%WINDIR%\system32\msiexec.exe

If you need to upgrade the engine, run instmsiw.exe (instmsia.exe for Windows 95 or Windows 98 guests), which is included with the VMware Tools installer.

For more information on using the Microsoft Windows Installer, go to the Microsoft Web site — msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/msi/setup/about_windows_installer.asp.

To install VMware Tools silently in a Windows guest, first make sure the virtual machine's CD-ROM drive is connected to the VMware Tools ISO image (windows.iso, located in the directory where you installed GSX Server) and configured to connect when you power on the virtual machine. Then, run the silent installation on the extracted installation packages. At the command prompt, on one line, type:

msiexec -i "D:\VMware Tools.msi" ADDLOCAL=ALL /qn

The ADDLOCAL option defaults to install all VMware Tools components. You can customize the installation using a combination of the ADDLOCAL and REMOVE options. For information about the features of VMware Tools, see About VMware Tools. You can include or exclude the following features:

  Toolbox — the VMware Tools control panel and its utilities. Excluding this feature prevents you from using VMware Tools in the guest operating system, and is not recommended.

  Drivers — this includes the SVGA, Mouse, BusLogic and vmxnet drivers.

o        SVGA — the VMware SVGA driver. Excluding this feature limits the display capabilities of your virtual machine.

o        Mouse — the VMware mouse driver. Excluding this feature decreases mouse performance in your virtual machine.

o        Buslogic — the VMware BusLogic driver. Excluding this feature prevents you from using this driver in your virtual machine. If your virtual machine is configured to use the LSI Logic driver, then you may want to remove this feature.

o        VMXNet — the VMware vmxnet networking driver. Excluding
this feature prevents you from using this driver in your virtual machine.

o        MemCtl — the VMware memory control driver. This feature is recommended if you plan on using this virtual machine with VMware ESX Server. Excluding this feature hinders the memory management capabilities of the virtual machine running on an ESX Server system.

  Hgfs — the VMware shared folders driver. This feature is recommended if you plan on using this virtual machine with VMware Workstation. Excluding this feature prevents you from sharing a folder between your virtual machine and the Workstation host.

To include a feature, use it with the ADDLOCAL option.

To exclude a feature, use it with the REMOVE option.

For example, to install everything but the shared folders driver, type the following on the command line:

msiexec -i "D:\VMware Tools.msi" ADDLOCAL=ALL REMOVE=Hgfs /qn

The SVGA, Mouse, BusLogic, vmxnet and MemCtl features are children of the Drivers feature. Thus, on the command line, if you type:

msiexec -i "D:\VMware Tools.msi" ADDLOCAL=ALL REMOVE=Drivers /qn

You also skip installation of the SVGA, Mouse, BusLogic, vmxnet and MemCtl drivers.

The drivers installed by VMware Tools are not signed by Microsoft. When you install VMware Tools, you are asked to confirm the installation of these drivers. You can prevent these messages from appearing in the guest operating system during installation by completing the following steps.

1.      On the virtual machine's desktop, right-click My Computer, then choose Properties.

2.      Click the Hardware tab, then click Driver Signing. The Driver Signing dialog box appears.

3.      Click Ignore, then click OK twice.

 

 

Now, I am using ESX but it doesn’t seem to matter.  Yippie!