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Re: VMware Server 2.0, selinux, and F10

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Daniel J Walsh wrote:
> 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?
Looks like the following bug covers the problem.

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