Running in VMWare

Basic Procedure

The JNode build process creates a VMWare compatible ".vmx" file that allows you to run JNode using recent releases of VMWare Player.

Assuming that you build JNode using the "cd-x86-lite" target, the build will create an ISO format CDROM image called "jnode-x86-lite.iso" in the "all/build/cdroms/" directory. In the same directory, the build also generates a file called "jnode-x86-lite.iso.vmx" for use with VMWare. To boot JNode from this ".iso" file, simply run the player as follows:

  $ vmplayer all/build/cdroms/jnode-x86-lite.iso.vmx

Altering the VMWare virtual machine configuration

By default, the generated ".vmx" file configures a virtual machine with a virtual CDROM for the ISO, a bridged virtual ethernet and a virtual serial port that is connected to a "debugger.txt" file. If you want to configure the VMWare virtual machine differently, the simplest option is to buy VMWare Workstation and use its graphical interfaces to configure and run JNode. (Copy the generated ".vmx" file to a different location, and use that as the starting point.)

If you don't want to pay for VMWare Workstation, you can achieve the same effect by changing the ".vmx" file by hand. However, changes you make that way will be clobbered next time you run the "build" script. The solution is to do the following:

This procedure assumes some changes in a patch that is waiting to be committed.

  1. Create a file containing the VMX properties that you want to add or replace. Put this file somewhere that won't be clobbered by "build clean".
  2. Copy the "" file to "".
  3. Open the "jnode.properies" file in a text editor.
  4. Find the line that starts "#vmware.vmx.overrides=".
  5. Remove the "#" and replace the characters after the "=" with the override file's pathname.
  6. Save the file.
  7. Run "build cd-x86-lite" (or whatever you normally use to build a CDROM image).

This should create the "jnode-x86-lite.iso.vmx" file with the VMX settings from your file as overrides to the default settings.

Unfortunately, VMWare have not released any documentation for the myriad VMX settings. The best 3rd-party documentation that I can find is the website. There are also various "builder" applications around, but they don't look all that good.

VMWare disks and Boot device order
If you add a VMWare virtual (or real) disk drive, the VMWare virtual machine's BIOS will try to boot from that drive. Unless you have set up the drive to be bootable, this won't work. The easy way to fix this is to change VMWare's BIOS settings to alter the boot device order.

  1. Run vmplayer as above.
  2. Quickly click the VMWare window to give it keyboard focus and hit [F2]. (You have small window to do this ... just a second or two!).
  3. In the BIOS settings screen, select the "Booting" panel and move the "cdrom" to the top; i.e. the first device to be tried.
  4. Save the BIOS settings to the virtual NVRAM and exit the BIOS settings editor to continue the boot.

By default the NVRAM settings are stored in the "JNode.nvram" file in "all/build/cdroms" directory, and will be clobbered when you run "build clean". If this is a problem, create a VMX override (see above) with a "nvram" entry that uses a different location for the file.