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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Using VMware HTML-Based Help

<p>Most of our docs are available in PDF and HTML formats. If you  access our in-product help or find our docs by searching the Web on a specific topic, you are more likely to get an HTML version of the documentation. (For info on getting the PDF version of a doc, see my earlier post &quot;<a href="http://blogs.vmware.com/vanswers/2010/04/vmware-doc-formatscan-i-get-a-pdf.html" style="text-decoration:none">VMware Doc Formats&mdash;Can I Get a PDF?</a>&quot;)</p>
<p> Occasionally we get feedback on our HTML-based documentation like the following email: "This topic explains what a clone is, but not how to actually clone the machine! Where are the instructions for cloning?" In cases like this, I know users have found a single HTML page from our larger help or manual doc, and can't figure out how to navigate from that page to the page they want. So here's a little help about our help.</p>
<p>Our HTML-based docs are generated by a conversion engine that turns our source doc files into HTML, and creates a frame-based superstructure with a navigation pane, a topic pane, and some buttons for getting around in the docset. Depending on your VMware product and version, and on how you access a HTML doc topic (through the Help menu, by searching the Web, or by opening an HTML doc from the <a href="http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs" style="text-decoration:none">documentation page of our Web site</a>), you may not see the entire frameset, but only the topic, without the navigation pane. Or, the navigation pane may be visible, but it's not clear to you where the current topic is in the helpset, or how to navigate to a more useful topic.</p>
<p>So I put together a little video to help you use our HTML-based documentation. I hope this helps.</p>

<p> <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/5I7qGQktbqk&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/5I7qGQktbqk&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

<p> If the video is not showing up in your browser, you can view it directly in YouTube at this URL:
<br />
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I7qGQktbqk" style="text-decoration:none">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I7qGQktbqk</a> </p>


How to edit files on an ESX host using vi or nano

Here’s a video that details how to edit text files on your VMware ESX host using the vi or nano text editors. The video shows you how to edit and insert text, discusses copying information into files, and saving files. This video was created using VMware ESX 4.0, but the same basic steps apply to other versions of ESX. For detailed information and written steps, see Editing files on an ESX host using vi or nano.

How to edit files on an ESX host using vi or nano

How to Power off an unresponsive virtual machine

Our latest video details various ways to power off an unresponsive ESX virtual machine. A hung virtual machine might not power off when using the guest OS or when choosing to power off the virtual machine from the vSphere Client. Various command line methods are demonstrated here. This video uses ESX 4.0, but the same basic steps apply to other versions of ESX.

The Knowledgebase article for this video contains addition information and steps. It is well worth reading the article as it contains cautionary notes. Continue reading Powering off an unresponsive virtual machine on an ESX host.

How to power off an unresponsive VMware ESX virtual machine

How to create an account with VMware and find your customer number

Here is a video which demonstrates creating a VMware account online and finding your VMware customer number. Creating a VMware account allows VMware to provide you with information about purchases, as well as a customer number. This customer number can be used when contacting VMware Support.

How to create an account with VMware and find your customer number


Once you have a customer account you may want to view all of your VMware product serial numbers, registration status, and support entitlement associated with each. You can do this by clicking here.

How to share a virtual machine between users in Mac OS

This video demonstrates how to make a virtual machine on your Mac useable by different users on that Mac. That is, it details how to locate and access your virtual machine from multiple user accounts in Mac OS 10.5 and Mac OS 10.6, commonly referred to as Leopard and Snow Leopard. This isn’t the default behavior for virtual machines in Fusion so if you have a need to do this watch the video and check out the accompanying KB article: Sharing a virtual machine between users in the Mac OS.

How to share a virtual machine between users in Mac OS

Fusion users: Migration Assistant vs. Converter

Today we have a guest post from our very own Stephen Gardner from the VMware Fusion Support Team.

The VMware Fusion Migration Assistant is designed to make it easy to bring over your complete Windows PC to a virtual machine on the Mac. For the vast majority of VMware Fusion users, it is the ideal solution to migrate their entire Windows PC. The PC will need to have our “PC Migration Agent” installed. You can install this by using your Fusion CD with the PC, or by downloading it from http://www.vmware.com/go/pc2mac.

The program will walk you through how to use it, and we have more information and a guide here:  Best practices for using and troubleshooting Migration Assistant.

If you have issues with the Migration Assistant migrating over the network or want to only migrate some drives on your Windows PC, you should consider VMware Converter. (VMware vCenter Converter is a separate, free program that will allow you to convert a Windows or Linux PC for use with any of multiple VMware products; it will not work with Windows 7.)

You can register to download Converter here: http://www.vmware.com/download/eula/converter_starter.html, and there’s a video walkthrough for version 3 on our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/VMwareELearning#p/u/18/2cpIbSql6ok.

Words of advice:

The process to move your PC to your Mac (whether you use Converter or Migration Assistant) will take several hours, and is largely dependent on the speeds of your computers, the amount of data you’re converting (the size of your PC), and your network connection (if you’re using Migration Assistant). You should plan on letting the program run overnight, and possibly over the course of 1 or 2 days for a PC with a lot of big files (> 100GB total).

A wireless connection is okay, but much slower and not as reliable as a wired connection. There’s nothing worse than a failed connection while trying to perform a 1 or 2 day operation! If your computers do connect to the internet wirelessly, you can still use Ethernet cables to plug them both into your router/airport to improve reliability; better safe than sorry.

VMware SDK Support: Open for Business

VMware is happy to announce that the SDK Support Program is now available for direct order. The offering helps developers get vSphere solutions to market more quickly by providing them with access to VMware expert engineers.

Customers can access information at http://vmware.com/go/sdksupport.

If you have questions about the offering, please send us an e-mail.

VMware SDK Support Program FAQs:

Q:  What products will the SDK Support Program support?
A:  The following products will be supported:

Products for Administrators:

VMware vSphere PowerCLI
VMware vSphere Command Line Interface
VMware vSphere Management Assistant

Products for Software Developers:

VMware vSphere Web Services SDK
VMware vSphere SDK for Perl
VMware vSphere Guest SDK
VMware vCloud API (Future)
VMware Virtual Disk Development
VMware vSphere Client Plug-ins
VMware vCenter Orchestrator API (creation of custom workflows)

Q:  Will the Program offer support for Project Redwood APIs SDKs?
A:  Yes, we will announce support after the product is in GA.

Q:  Will my customer be able to include this in their Enterprise License Agreement (ELA)?
A:  Yes, normal discounts will apply.

Q.  What is the scope of the offering?
A.  The Program will provide guidance for software development when customers are using the VMware vSphere APIs. VMware engineers will not develop or test the code for your customer or partner. We recommend your customers/partners engage with VMware Professional Services if they need code development.

Q. What levels of support are available?
A. SDK Support is available in two service level agreements: Standard support provides a response within two business days, and Premium support provides a response within one business day.

Again, if you have any questions about the offering, please send us an e-mail.

Drag & Drop, Copy & Paste

Among the truly great features of Workstation, Player, and VMware Fusion is the ability to share text and images between the host and guest or between virtual machines by simply dragging and dropping or copying and pasting. As wonderful as this ability is, it does have its limits and restrictions. From time to time, we get feedback from users who are having trouble using the drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste features and can’t figure out why. This post assembles the best wisdom from VMware documentation on these features.

Continue reading

Top 20 Articles for April 2010

Here is our Top 20 KB list for the past month. The list is ranked by the number of times a Technical Support case was resolved by following the steps in a published Knowledgebase article.