Running Android x86 on VMware player with networking enabled

3 hours ! I’ve lost 3 hours trying to enable network support in an Android x86 VM running in VMWare player. Looks like I was not the only one: just search for “android x86 no network” in Google and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, Android x86 is an Android port to the x86 architecture, which means that you can run it on your PC (as opposed to running the slow-as-hell Google Android emulator). Check their website where you can download almost all Android distributions in .iso format.

There are litterally dozens of tutorials that explain how to run Android x86 in Vmware player. This one is one of the best. The most important part is when Vladan tells us to change the “ethernet0.virtualDev” property to “vlance” in the VM configuration file (Read this if you want to understand what the possible values are).

But I couldn’t make it work… do you know why ?

Because the VM configuration file must be modified before you start the VM for the first time. If you start the VM, install Android x86, play with Android and then shutdown the VM to change the configuration file, it’s too late ! (And don’t ask me why because I have no clue).

So, create a new VM making sure that the “Power on VM after creation” option is disabled:

Then, modify the .VMX configuration file (ethernet0.virtualDev = “vlance”) and finally, start the VM and proceed with the installation.


Another way to manually install VMware tools on Linux

Today I tried to install the VMware tools on a fresh new Fedora 17 VM, so I made sure that the VM CD drive was linked to a physical drive in “Auto detect” mode:

Then I started the VM and chosed the “Virtual Machine > Install VMWare tools” option from VMware player:

This standard message was then displayed:

And then… nothing ! (I was expecting the Linux file manager to automatically popup, which usually happens when the “automount” feature is activated).

So I tried to follow the instructions to manually install the tools, with no success:

[root@localhost mnt]# mkdir /mnt/mycdrom
[root@localhost mnt]# mount -t iso9660 /dev/cdrom /mnt/mycdrom
mount: no medium found on /dev/sr0

Well, if you have the same problem, then this is easy to fix since it turns out that when you choose the “Virtual Machine > Install VMWare tools” option, VMware player tries to mount the [VMWARE_PLATER_HOME]\linux.iso image. On my Windows 7 laptop, this file is located in C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player\linux.iso.

So all you need to do is to configure your VM so that the CD drive uses this image:

Then, stop and start the VM (rebooting didn’t work for me: I had to shutdown and restart it completely) and you should be good to go: