Zen LoadBalancer on ESXi – Installing VmWare tools

Zen LoadBalancer: http://www.zenloadbalancer.com is a great appliance for deploying networking load balancing and high availability for server farms. It’s has a good web interface for defining and monitoring them, and it’s quick to deploy on a VMWare infrastructure, if built from the ISO file into a virtual appliance. This virtual appliance is based on Debian Squeeze and needs very low resources (512KB RAM).

For deploying on ESXi infra-structure there is the need to install the VMWare tools provided by ESXi, and these are steps to do so:

1) On Vsphere/VMware administration console, after deploying and booting up the appliance, select the usual Install Vmware tools.
Nothing should happen…
2) Access by SSH to the appliance, or use the console.
3) Make sure that you can use the apt-get command: apt-get update
4) If not, check your DNS settings, default gateway, and/or proxy/firewall.
5) if you’re behind a proxy, you can define the proxy by using the following commands:

export http_proxy=http://proxy_server:port
export https_proxy=http//proxy_server:port

6) if your proxy requires authentication, use the syntax: http://username:password@proxy_server:port
Check: http://blog.mypapit.net/2006/02/how-to-use-apt-get-behind-proxy-server-ubuntudebian.html for more info

7) Mount the virtual ESXi CD-ROM with the following command: mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom

8) Copy the tar file of VMware tools from the CDROM to the root home directory:
in my case: cp /media/cdrom/VMwareTools-8.3.12-493255.tar.gz ~

9) Expand the tools:

cd ~
tar xvzf VMwareTools-8.3.12-493255.tar.gz

10) Update the system:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

11) Install the basic tools for the VMWare tools to compile:

apt-get install gcc
apt-get install make

12) Find out the kernel version: uname -a
in my case:

root@zenlbapp:~# uname -a
Linux zenlbapp 2.6.32-5-686 #1 SMP Mon Oct 3 04:15:24 UTC 2011 i686 GNU/Linux

Install the corresponding Kernel headers:

apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.32-5-686

13) We are ready: goto the base VMware tools directory, in my case:

cd ~/vmware-tools-distrib/

14) Compile and install the tools:


15) Reboot.

Because the Zen LoadBalancer does not have X11 installed, the only way the manipulate the vmware tools is through the vmware-toolbox-cmd command.