Installing Admin Console on VMWare ESX guest using the SLES "VMI" kernel fails

  • 7002224
  • 19-Dec-2008
  • 26-Apr-2012

Environment

Novell Access Manager 3.1
Access Administration on Linux install
VMWare ESX 3.5 Update 2 and 3
Enabled the checkbox for "Support VMI Paravirtualization" when defining the VMWare guest OS
Operating System Admin Console being installed on is SLES 10 SP2 32-bit, fully patched via Online Update
Booting SLES10 SP2 OS with VMI kernel (not VMI PAE kernel since we tested with less than 4GB of RAM)

Situation

With the ESX platform above up and running with the SLES10 SP2 guest OS, we ran the install.sh file and selected option 1 to install the Administration Console. Three times my install just hangs at either

- installing the embedded eDirectory schema for NIDS or
- during the installation of iManager

At each step, we need to control C to get out of the install and the logs don't give any specific details regarding why it failed.

Resolution

Install the VMWare 3.5 update 4 when available.

There is an issue on VMWare 3.5 pre U4 which may be triggered under specific JVMs which explaining this failure. The cause is an SMP race which leaves the JVM in a permanent fault loop, consuming 200% CPU. For unknown reasons, the garbage collection loop in the JVM causes a memory access pattern that exposes the bug randomly.

A workaround exists in the meantime. Copy the file vmi.rom (available from ftp://ftp.novell.com/outgoing/vmi.tar.gz) into the VM directory, and add the following lines to the .vmx (configuration) file for the VM:

monitor_control.disable_shared_mmu = "true"
vmibios.filename = "vmi.rom"

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