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I am running VMWare server on a linux host and was wondering if there is a particular distribution I should lean towards or away from.

I am currently running it on Ubuntu but seem to have a lot of weird stability issues with the management console not showing up and not being able to shut down VMs.

I don't want this to devolve into "My flavor of linux is best" flame fest. If the answer is "they should all work equally well for vmware" then that's great. I just don't know any other people running VMWare on linux so I didn't know if the community at large had any knowledge along the lines of "Distro X is known to be problematic with VMWare server".

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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's very stable on RedHat variants.

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2nd this. I have server 1.x running on RHEL 5.x on HP DL 360G3/G4s rock solid. We have most of our production servers running in VMWare server. –  RateControl Aug 13 '09 at 16:04
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I have heard quite a bit about using Red Hat or CentOS for hosting, but I've used Ubuntu as well without issues.

There might be information at VMWare's site...if they distribute native packages for a particular distro, that might be an indication of what to narrow down your choices to (.deb for debian or Ubuntu, rpm for redhat/centos...)

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The advantage of going with RedHat or a clone is that VMWare distributes rpm packages (At least when it comes to 1.x Server).

So you don't have to go through the setup script as much, and since they make an RPM, it is probably more 'supported'.

I have several production Windows 2003 virtual machines that run as VMs on Redhat/CentOS machines. They have been stable for at least a year.

Keep in mind that the biggest penalty going to a VM is generally disk IO, especially if using vmdk files instead of pass through to disk.

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I'm running a VMWare Server Edition (2.0.0) on an Ubuntu LTS 6 box with 8GB of ram and 2 dual-proc Xeons. I have not had any issues as far as stability of the management console nor have had any issues with my VMs.

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