VMware & Ubuntu 8.04

I have been having, to put it lightly, some problems with VMware server and an Ubuntu guest. My guess as to why is this: VMware server is, in my eyes, built for production-level server virtualization. It's not really built for on-the-side home server virtualization, like the kind that I'm doing, and on fairly desktop-oriented hardware to boot. Basically, my Ubuntu install often has trouble with disk access, and sometimes network access as well. (I'm running a Vista Home Premium host with an Ubuntu Server 8.04 guest.)

My disk access problems probably stem from the fact that my VMware disk and my system boot disk are both the same partition and the same disk. This probably causes all sorts of access issues, especially while my computer is booting (I have noticed that my computer takes forever to stop thrashing the disk after logging in). The network problems are more evasive, however. I'm using the NAT networking interface so that I can assign my Ubuntu a static IP address that will never change, even if my physical computer changes location (and it will, often). However, pretty frequently the DNS "server" that VMware provides breaks down, and while Ubuntu is able to send packets to the network, it cannot perform DNS queries through the local DNS service. Occasionally, the network will fail to operate altogether, and Ubuntu will be unable to send any packets anywhere (including to the host computer!). This is a problem which I've looked for solutions for online, but have so far come up with nothing.

Finally, I would like to be able to serve files from the host computer through a web server on Ubuntu, and my current method of mounting the host shares with CIFS and then sharing them with Apache is not optimal (the least of the problems with this method is redundant network usage). I would like to get the VMware shared folders feature working, except that I cannot seem to compile the VMware tools' kernel modules on Ubuntu 8.04 (even following other references online). VMware's kernel module builder is not quite as polished, evidently, as others' (like nVidia).

Hopefully I will find solutions to these problems soon, as I really like the idea of running a virtualized Linux server on a Windows host, and hope that this sort of arrangement will prove fruitful.


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