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VMware Installation

There are a few things to note if you would like to install Tiny Core Linux into a VMware Virtual Machine.
Similar things apply when you use the VirtualBox virtualisation software.

Key Points

VMware does not have a pre-defined Guest Operating System choice for Tiny Core Linux. Select the 'Guest operating system' as Linux. Use the appropriate Other-type version for the kernel used. Tiny Core Linux 3.x by default uses Linux kernel 2.6.33.3 32-bit so the appropriate choice is 'Other 2.6x Linux (32-bit)'. The default kernel in Tiny Core Linux does not have the appropriate driver for the default SCSI adapter.

Hard Drives

Tiny Core Linux does not require a hard drive to function. It is run out of RAM by default.

Using IDE

By default VMware products will create a SCSI virtual hard drive for a Linux VM. This is not recognized by default in Tiny Core Linux. Depending on the VMware product and version there may or may not be a 'Virtual Device Node' setting available in the 'New Virtual Machine Wizard'. If available, the easiest configuration is to use adapter 'IDE0' device '0' (which is seen in Linux as /dev/hda).

If not available, create the VM with a tiny SCSI disk at first. After you have finished creating the Virtual Machine, remove the SCSI disk then add an IDE disk. The procedure for this depends again on the product and version. For some, you must go to 'Edit virtual machine settings' from the Virtual Machine page/tab. For others, you can click the SCSI drive drop down, then remove then 'Add Hardware' and add an IDE disk.

Using SCSI

In order to use the default SCSI disks, you'll need to load the kernel SCSI modules. For the default 32-bit kernel before Tiny Core 4.0, these are available in the vm-scsi-KERNEL.tcz extension (for Tiny Core Linux 3.6, KERNEL is 2.6.33.3-tinycore). For the 64-bit kernel and all versions since Tiny Core 4.0, no extension is available to just provide the needed SCSI modules (as of 2011-05-01). Instead, you can use the scsi-KERNEL.tcz extention (for Tiny Core Linux 3.6, KERNEL is 2.6.33.3-tinycore64). To use the SCSI drive on boot, you must remaster your initrd setup. See Remastering for more details.

Settings (that seem to work well)

RAM: 64 MB minimum; more is suggested based on your desired use.

Network Adapter: Most products use the PCNet32 network adapter by default (recognized with no additional effort) Network Adapter Connection: NAT (an Internet connection is suggested; Bridged may also work but is host-configuration dependent)

IDE virtual disk (optional): 64 Mb (cannot be increased, so choose a larger size if you intend on installing many programs)

VMWare and Open VM Tools

Both the proprietary VMWare Tools and the Open VM Tools can be compiled and installed in a TinyCore guest virtual machine. These require Xorg because there is an xf86-vmware driver that must be used. Capabilities known to work are:

  • Automatic resizing of the desktop with the guest window including full screen support (reposition wbar to upper left of desktop)
  • Automatic mouse grab and ungrab
  • VMXnet network module in place of the PCNet32 module
  • Host shared folder access using HGFS (mounted at /mnt/hgfs)
  • Time synchronization with host
  • Copy/paste to/from host/guest

Because VMWare doesn't provide prebuilt binaries for TC, the automatic update feature can't work. The steps to building the open-vm-tools.tcz extension are here.

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