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This article has been obsoleted by the final release of VMware Server 1.0.
It is left here as a reference only.


**** Article Obsoleted ****

One thing I noticed when test driving VMware Server beta was the performance drop compared to the more mature ESX and GSX versions.

Of course there is nothing wrong about that considering the product still being in beta stage. It is however very hard to get an idea of the speed to be expected by the final product.

Luckily enough, VMware provides you with everything needed to circumvent this.

Of course, you shouldn't try this if you are not willing to accept random crashes, possible lockups or other weird behaviour. VMware Inc. will most definitely deny any liability if you follow this procedure. READ: You should only try this if you are willing to take the risk. Neither blame me nor VMware if anything bad happens!

So to disable debugging mode in VMware Server beta, it's hardly recommended to first shutdown all running services and VMs.

/etc/init.d/vmware stop

should do this. If you don't have the VMware Tools installed it's better to shut down your guest systems manually before stopping VMware.

Now go to the vmware lib directory at '/usr/lib/vmware'.

There you'll find a directory called 'bin-debug'. Move it to a new location, e.g.

mv /usr/lib/vmware/bin-debug /usr/lib/vmware/bin-debug.bak

Now make a symlink from the 'bin' directory to 'bin-debug':

ln -s /usr/lib/vmware/bin /usr/lib/vmware/bin-debug

The 'bin' directory contains the binaries stripped from debugging code. At least it did so on my installation :-)
After creating the symlink, simply start up VMware Server:

/etc/init.d/vmware start

There you are now -- without debugging mode :-)

Btw: I'm still looking for the 'real' way to do this, as there must exist some command line argument, environment variable or something to put even the beta version in 'non-debugging' mode.

I found a reference to such a variable inside the /usr/lib/vmware/serverd/init.pl script, which says:

#27 if( -d '%debugdir%' ) {
#28 $PREFIX_PATH = '%debugdir%';
#29 } else {
#30 $PREFIX_PATH = '/usr/lib/vmware';
#31 }

This scripts seems to be invoked by the vmware-serverd binary and the extract has definitely something to do with debugging. Though it does not specify the 'bin-debug' prefix in favour to the 'bin' directory.

Grepping the other files in /usr/bin and /usr/sbin and /etc/vmware gave me also some matches, though nothing that would of use to me, since most of them were located in binary files.
I will try to find out more on this. In the meantime, the workaround will allow you to testdrive VMware Server beta with debugging turned off. This will be of great use in getting a better idea of the actual performance rating.
A more recent article of mine covers another (the real?) way to disable debugging on VMware Server.
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