Tag Archives: red hat enterprise

Time Sync for Linux VMs in VMWare Workstation

You may have seen in my previous post about EyeOS that I tried many things to get time in sync on the virtual OS. It was drifting lots of time and after a few hours it was an hour behind. Google tells me this is quite common but I could not find anything that decidedly fixed it.

run ntpdate every hour. This is not advised, primarily because it will add a lot of extra load after a while to the public(free) time servers. Especially if I want to have several machines up to date. One thought then was to set up a local ntpd and let other guest OS sync time with that. But then I could not get that in sync so we were back to square one.

others mention using VMWare tools time sync.

My setup:

Intel Quad Core i7-920
8GB RAM Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333MHz 8GB CL9
Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
Windows 7 x64
Vmware Workstation 7.1.1

What works for me

For ubuntu 10.10 x64:

Make sure vmware tools is installed (type vmware and hit ‘tab’).
With a .txt editor open up “vmname.vmx” on your host OS.
Set tools.syncTime = “FALSE” to “TRUE”. Restart vm.

Now on this particular machine I’ve had ntpd installed, but it is now uninstalled.

For Red Hat Enterprise Linux  5 x64 – RHEL 5:

  • Install vmware-tools (without make/gcc installed).
  • Set tools.syncTime = “TRUE”
  • Set up ntpd with the below from ntp.conf
  • Restart ntpd by getting root shell with ‘su -‘ and then ‘/etc/init.d/ntpd restart’

I filled out the ntp-information during installation and then after wards I added the “tinker panic 0” which should let the ntpd make ‘big jumps’ and by commenting the fudge-line I chose not to use the local clock because this is drifting so much.
More than 24 hours after I installed the OS the driftfile is still 0.000.


tinker panic 0
restrict default kod nomodify notrap nopeer noquery

restrict -6 ::1

# Hosts on local network are less restricted.
#restrict mask nomodify notrap

server 0.rhel.pool.ntp.org
server 1.rhel.pool.ntp.org
server 2.rhel.pool.ntp.org

# Undisciplined Local Clock. This is a fake driver intended for backup
# and when no outside source of synchronized time is available.
#fudge stratum 10

driftfile /var/lib/ntp/drift
keys /etc/ntp/keys
restrict 0.rhel.pool.ntp.org mask nomodify notrap noquery
restrict 1.rhel.pool.ntp.org mask nomodify notrap noquery
restrict 2.rhel.pool.ntp.org mask nomodify notrap noquery

Red Hat Enterprise Linux(RHEL) in VMWare Workstation

Test with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

Download: Sign up for an evaulation on https://access.redhat.com/downloads/


VMWare Workstation does find this in “easy install”. Not doing that this time.

20GBdisk (default) and 1552MB RAM (default 1024MB)

  1. install in either graphical or text mode, going with graphical. There are also special modes. Maybe something similar to Ubuntu’s minimal virtual kernel is available?
  2. test cd
  3. Mouse works!
  4. Get subscription number with the help of this: https://access.redhat.com/kb/docs/DOC-15404. Copy paste did not work.
  5. Filesystem stuff. Modify or not. Encrypt or not. I went with default and encryption. For encryption you need to set a boot password (min 8 chars).
  6. IP/Timezone settings.
  7. root password (not min 8 chars)
  8. software sets – software development, virtualization, web server. I went with the two last. You can also customize it deeper. Like: gnome/kde? Printing support? Samba? I chose web server but mysql was not selected, not the php-mysql plugin for apache either. Virtualization is Xen – openfabrics enterprise distribution for RDMA/infiniband stuff.
  9. cool stuff found: iptraf, hwbrowser, vnc
  10. /root/install.log for install .. log.
  11. After this it says that it will require all cds.. but I want to download them instead. How? proceeding anyway, let’s see what happens. Maybe it gives the opportunity to download instead. Googling in the meantime. Doesn’t look good. One way to do it would be to put the CDS/dvd on a network/http server in your LAN. But it does not mention a public repository etc.
  12. Formatting, then installing. It asks for CD2. No other buttons. Getting DVD instead. rhel-server-5.6-x86_64-dvd.iso
  13. DVD went fine, nothing after this, just reboot.


  1. Insert LUKS password – the encryption password you entered before.
  2. IPv6 failed during first boot.
  3. Also some kind of disk monitoring.
  4. Then a little configuration! This is nice. In ubuntu/debian it just goes into the system with a bunch of default setings.
  5. Like firewall, enabled/disabled. Trusted srevices.
  6. SELinux – ‘improved’ security controls, enforced/permissive/disabled. Keeping default: enforced.
  7. no kdump
  8. NTP! Enabling this, using default ntp servers (0.rhel.pool.ntp.org) and disabling ‘use local time source’. This part contacts the NTP server during install, which worked, so that looks good.
  9. Connect to RHN. Said yes. Takes a long time to register? no contact. Trying this later.
  10. Set up a new user. You can use kerberos or NIS too from here.
  11. Insert additional CDS
  12. Login prompt!

After login

  1. VM -> Install VMWare Tools – I want to use “Unity” in Red Hat. I’ve used it for Windows XP (had a guest os for work) and it was great.
  2. Right-click the tarball and ‘extract to’. You need to have root access when you run it. So open a terminal and type ‘su -‘ – this will give you the root prompt.
  3. Then go to where you extracted it. ./vmware-install.pl.
  4. Gives message that I apparently am running a Xen kernel and that this is not supported. Trying anyway. Answering yes as default on the questions.
  5. Install was successful, opening configuration tool. Some green ‘OK’ s.
  6. Before we can compile we need to have make and gcc installed. It also asks for kernel headers that it couldn’t find. Going with the default “” on that.
  7. memory manager, vmhgfs (filesystem driver for shared folders), vmxnet (fast ethernet), vmblock (drag ‘n’ drop), communication service, vsock, vmxnet3 (virtual network card), pvscsi,  – not installed because no compilation software like make/gcc installed.
  8. x configuration, host resolution found but vm resolutions max at 800×600!?
  9. restarting and it said good stuff, but unity does not work and resolution cannot be changed above 800×600.
  10. accessing via ssh works fine too