Unable to run VMware tools on SLES 11 Linux Access Gateway Appliance

  • 7008264
  • 01-Apr-2011
  • 26-Apr-2012


Novell Access Manager 3.1 Linux Access Gateway
VMware ESX 4.1



Install and run VMware tools on SLES 11 based Linux Access Gateway (LAG) appliance


Installation of VMware tools on the LAG completes without errors, however, after around 20/30 seconds the vmtoolsd process shuts down.


The issue has been notified to VMware, at the moment the following workaround is available:

1) Open the file "/etc/SuSE-release";
2) Remove from it the last line, making it as follows:

Novell Access Manager - Access Gateway Appliance 3.1.3 (i586)
Version = 3.1

3) Save the file and restart the VMware tools, now they should be able to run properly.

Novell investigations about the possible side effects and implications that the modification of the file "/etc/SuSE-release" may have on the LAG appliance system didn't show any major threat.

Issue and workaround are also described in the following VMware knowledge-base article:

vmtoolsd process fails to start on Novell Access Manager

Additional Information

VMware reported that this seems to be a problem with the information held in the file "/etc/SuSE-release".

The issue seems with the number of bytes needed from the file based on the characters included in it, if they are more then expected, an error is triggered and the vmtoolsd process is shut down.

In order to verify that this is really the issue you are experiencing, you can enable the Debug logging for the VMware tools:

Create (or edit if already exists) the file /etc/vmware-tools/tools.conf adding the following lines:

log = true
log.file = /tmp/vmtools.log

then go to check the file "/tmp/vmtools.log" after a restart of"/etc/init.d/vmware-tools" , you should see the following error:

[ error] [vmsvc] /build/mts/release/bora-299420/bora/lib/string/str.c:238 Buffer too small 0xb740bf9f