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Re: VMware Server 2.0, selinux, and F10

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Christopher A. Williams wrote:
> I had promised to do this and post my results a week ago and got
> thoroughly tied up over the holidays - sorry about that. It was a good
> Christmas for us though! :)
> So - I did get around to loading up a server with the latest version of
> F10 (32-bit in this case) to run the 32-bit version of VMware Server 2.0
> (build 122956) to try and answer the burning question: Does selinux need
> to be disabled for VMware Server to run properly on F10?
> I know the inpatient out there can't wait to read the whole post, so
> here's the answer:
> Yes.
> According to our testing (a friend of mine who also frequents this list
> was here too), the current version of VMware Server DOES NOT RUN on F10
> (32-bit) unless selinux is DISABLED. Permissive mode doesn't cut it - it
> still causes VMware Server to not run.
> Here are the details:
> Server: "Whitebox" Supermicro 1U chassis, dual 2.4GHz Pentium Xeon
> processors, 4GB RAM, Dual Gig-E NICs, dual 250GB IDE drives
> OS: F10 32-bit, with all patches as of 12-28-08
> Kernel: (PAE version - required to see the full 4GB)
> We loaded a fresh copy F10 with all of the required development tools
> and supporting stuff VMware Server needs to compile, and left selinux in
> its default (enforcing) mode and targeted policy. The system was
> intentionally updated with all of the latest available patches. After
> rebooting (kernel update that included a switch to the PAE kernel), we
> then installed VMware Server from the RPM via Package Kit. The initial
> RPM install went as expected with no errors or issues beyond the warning
> that the RPM is not signed (Request to VMware: Please, PLEASE make sure
> that you always sign your RPMs!).
> Next up was to configure the system. We fired up a terminal window,
> switched user to root, and then launched vmware-config.pl as normal. The
> script properly found everything it needed, set up the virtual networks,
> and compiled all of the modules against the PAE kernel with no errors at
> all. All of the services reported in as having started successfully when
> the script exited, which was when the trouble started.
> We immediately picked up an selinux error saying that one of the modules
> required the ability to use text relocation. No big deal here, which is
> why I don't remember off hand which module committed the offense. I'll
> go back and pull it up next chance - I'm on a different system right
> now. The selinux troubleshooter gave us the required command to address
> this issue, so we fixed the problem and off we went.
> ...Or so we thought.
> It seems that something else in selinux is interfering with a new VMware
> Server 2.0 service called VirtualMachines. I'm not sure what the problem
> is, how it happens, or why. What happens is that you can launch Firefox
> to talk to VMware server (http://localhost:8222 in this case) and get
> the VMware Server login page. However, from there you are unable to
> login. The system times out with a message basically saying that
> communication with the back-end server processes has been lost. Further
> checking (service vmware status) shows that several VMware Server
> services are actually NOT running.
> Upon trying to restart the vmware services (service vmware restart), we
> see that the VirtualMachines service has failed. There are no errors I
> can see, and nothing in dmesg out of the ordinary.
> Next, we placed selinux into permissive mode to see if anything might
> pop up or change, and then rebooted the system. We saw exactly the same
> behavior from VMware Server as before when selinux was in enforcing
> mode.
> Finally, we disabled selinux altogether and rebooted once more. This
> time, VMware Server came up and ran flawlessly. In fact, it was
> impressively fast given the age of the hardware.
> Just for grins, we then completely erased VMware Server, rebooted, and
> double-checked to make sure everything about it was completely gone from
> the system. We then re-installed it using the exact same procedure as
> before. VMware Server installed and ran flawlessly. In fact, just to be
> sure again, we rebooted the server one more time. Again VMware Server
> came up and ran without issues.
> Thus, in our testing of this, it is clear there are multiple issues with
> VMware Server and selinux. One of the issues is that a specific module
> requires text relocation, which is easily solved. The other issue is
> going to be a little more difficult to troubleshoot, but clearly there
> is something that conflicts between selinux and one of the new VMware
> Server services, and the only way to get around it at this point is to
> disable selinux.
> I'll have the system handy for the next day or so to do some additional
> testing, but then I have to put it back into production. Let me know
> what specifics I should look for next to find the source of the problem.
> Cheers,
> Chris
> --
> ==================================
> By all means marry;
> If you get a good wife, you'll be happy.
> If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
> --Socrates
Must be a kernel issue, have you opened a bugzilla?

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