Monthly Archives: April 2014

Enable Copy and Paste Through the VMware Console

I was setting up a new host the other day and I received a call from one of my admins letting me know that they could not copy/paste within the console; but they can copy/paste in RDP.
nocopypast

This is a simple fix found in KB1026437.  You can make the change on an individual VM, but I think it is best to change it on the host (which applies to all VMs).  I really wish the default would have this enabled.

Open a Putty session…if you don’t have putty then get it here.
putty

1. Log into the ESXi host that you want to change.
2. Type vi /etc/vmware/config
3. Arrow down to the last line and type which stands for “insert”.
4. Add the lines:
         vmx.fullpath = “/bin/vmx”
         isolation.tools.copy.disable=”FALSE”
         isolation.tools.paste.disable=”FALSE”
5. Press the ESC key and then type :wq which stands for “write and quit”.
addlines

The next time each VM is power cycled it will enable the copy/paste functionality.  Keep in mind that if you ever upgrade this host to a new ESXi version that this setting will go back to the default of disabled and you will have to add this line again.

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Deploying VMware Support Assistant v5.5

The other day I set up and configured VMware’s new Support Assistant 5.5.  I have used older versions to do things like open tickets and pull log files, but the new version has proactive support built in.  You configure when you want your log files sent to VMware and they compare them to know issues.  VMware even includes the ability to scrub the files before sending them out.

Here is how to deploy.

  1. Download the .OVA from www.myvmware.com. I am using build 1549662.
  2. Open up your VIC.
  3. Click File and then Deploy OVF Template.
  4. Select the OVA that you downloaded and click Open.
    1. Click Next on the Source Location window and then Next again on the details screen.
    2. Click Accept and then Next.
    3. Name your new support appliance and choose a folder if applicable then click Next.
    4. Select the host that the appliance will run on and then click Next.
    5. If applicable, choose a resource pool for this appliance and then click Next.
    6. Choose the Destination Network and then click Next.
    7. Enter in the Gateway, DNS, IP, and Subnet Mask and then click Next.
    8. On the Ready to Complete screen check the Power on after deployment box and then click Finish.
    9. You should see a progress bar indicating the status of the deployment.
  5. Open a console screen and you should see the appliance boot and eventually tell you to browse to the appliance IP to finish configuring. Open up a browser and go to that address.
  6. Accept the EULA…actually relatively short. Click Next.
  7. The lookup service address is the SSO server. Enter your SSO server and then click Next.
  8. Enter your SSO credentials which will usually be either admin@System-Domain if you installed SSO in 5.1 or administrator@vsphere.local if you upgraded from 5.1 to 5.5. Click Finish.
  9. Add an account that has rights to vCenter and then check the box to Assign log collection permissions for the following vCenter Server instances. Click Next.
  10. Enter your proxy information if needed. This allows the appliance to talk with VMware and send the log files. Click the Test Connectivity button to ensure things are working properly and then click Next.
  11. Add an email address to receive update about your environment then click Finish.
  12. Hopefully you see that the Service is ready…log gathering is disabled though. We will fix that in just a minute, but first let’s not forget to change the root password. Click VA Settings. You will see a place to put in the current password and then a new password. This is for the root account. The default password is vmare and make it something that you will remember. Click Save.
  13. The Support Assistant only works in the new Web VIC. Open a browser and navigate to your vCenter server and login.
  14. You should see a new icon now that looks like a life preserver called vCenter Support Assistant. Double click the icon.
  15. Click the link Configure data collection.
  16. Here you can change when your appliance will upload logs to VMware for analysis. The default is never, but that won’t help us! In the example mine will upload every Monday at 10AM. Click Entity Selection.
  17. Select the vCenter servers (linked mode supported) and hosts that you want logs from that will be sent to VMware. Click Data Scrubbing.
  18. This is great that VMware includes the ability to scrub the log files. Note that if you check these boxes, it will have an effect on the virtual appliance as it looks through and redacts the log files before sending to VMware. Check the boxes that you require and then click OK.
  19. Click the Monitor tab. This tab shows the status of your support uploads. Click the Manage tab.
  20. This gives a summary of your proactive support settings, which you just changed. Click the Support Requests button.
  21. After logging in with your Myvmware.com username and password, you can check the status of open and closed tickets and upload logs if needed.