VMWare 2.0.x and CentOS 5.4 glibc crashes and instabilities – a workaround solution

If you’re running VMWare Server 2.0.x on CentOS 5.4, you’ll have noticed that you (most likely) suffer random reboots and other instabilities on the guest operating systems – this is due to a glibc error in vmware’s libraries, and has yet to be fixed by vmware (thanks a lot).  The real issue is CentOS/Redhat has updated glibc, and vmware just hasn’t kept up with it.

Some more details on vmware’s forums:
http://communities.vmware.com/thread/230842?tstart=0

The steps to fix this are as follows:

Use the following if you’ve already upgraded to 5.4, and need to downgrade to 5.3 glibc libraries for vmware to work…

# code
cd /etc/yum.repos.d

# copy current .repo to .repo we’ll tailor for CentOS 5.3
cp CentOS-Base.repo CentOS53-Base.repo

# replace $releasever with 5.3
sed -i ‘s/$releasever/5.3/g’ CentOS53-Base.repo

# append ’53’ to each repo name
sed -i ‘s/]/53]/g’ CentOS53-Base.repo

# downgrade glibc, etc.
yum downgrade glibc\* nscd gcc gcc-c++ cpp libstdc++\* nss_ldap

# add the following to /etc/yum.conf
exclude=glibc* nscd gcc gcc-c++ cpp libstdc++* nss_ldap

# recompile/configure VMWare Server
vmware-config.pl

UPDATE: Mid February 2010 – the 5.3 repos are now out of service, so you can no longer use the mirrorlist!

Since all 5.3 repos are now gone, so the update is as follows to use vault.centos.org backup copy of 5.3 rpm’s:

cd /etc/yum.repos.d/
sed -i ‘s/mirrorlist/#mirrorlist/g’ CentOS53-Base.repo
sed -i ‘s/#baseurl=http:\/\/mirror.centos.org\/centos/baseurl=http:\/\/vault.centos.org/g’ CentOS53-Base.repo

to change this:

[base53]
name=CentOS-5.3 – Base
mirrorlist=http://mirrorlist.centos.org/?release=5.3&arch=$basearch&repo=os
#baseurl=http://mirror.centos.org/centos/5.3/os/$basearch/
gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-CentOS-5

to this:

[base53]
name=CentOS-5.3 – Base
#mirrorlist=http://#mirrorlist.centos.org/?release=5.3&arch=$basearch&repo=os
baseurl=http://vault.centos.org/5.3/os/$basearch/
gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-CentOS-5

Part of this is here at vmware’s forum as an update to 5.3 repos missing:
http://communities.vmware.com/message/1487959#1487959

One comment

  1. Man, you just saved a life :-D
    Thanks a lot

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