Installing RES HyperDrive Hypervisor Tools

RES Software have finally released RES HyperDrive and it’s available as a virtual appliance for VMware vSphere, VMware Workstation, Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V. One thing that might surprise you is that the relevant hypervisor integration tools are not preinstalled. It surprised me, but then I thought about it; how will RES know what particular build of vSphere or XenServer you’ll be running?!

Installing the integration tools will allow the RES HyperDrive appliance to play nicely with the hypervisor and permit migration and dynamic memory support etc. Whilst there are numerous articles on the internet, I thought I’d put a few notes together in one place to make it easy for people to evaluate or deploy the virtual appliance into production.

VMware Workstation 8 and vSphere 5

Installing VMware Tools into both VMware Workstation and VMware vSphere is relatively straight forward.

  1. Mount the VMware Tools CD/DVD by choosing the “Install VMware Tools” option within VMware Workstation/vSphere client
  2. Logon to the HyperDrive console or access the virtual appliance via SSH
  3. Mount the CD image with mount /dev/cdrom /mnt
  4. Copy the installation files to the temp directory cp /mnt/VMwareTools-x.x.x-xxxxx.tar.gz /tmp
  5. Change the temp directory cd /tmp
  6. Extract the Tarball tar zxpf /mnt/VMwareTools-x.x.x-xxxxx.tar.gz
  7. Dismount the CD image with umount /dev/cdrom
  8. Install VMware Tools by running ./vmware-tools-distrib/
  9. Accept all the defaults and select a default resolution for X support (not that it appears to be used on the appliance!)
  10. Reboot the virtual appliance
  11. If using vSphere the tools should be reported as installed

If you need to reconfigure the VMware tools configuration simply rerun the /usr/bin/ command as and when required.

Citrix XenServer 6

This is where the fun begins.. Installing the XenTools into the XenServer virtual appliance image is just as easy as VMware Worksstation/vSphere.

  1. Mount the Citrix XenTools CD/DVD by choosing the “Install XenServer Tools” or manually mount the xs-tools.iso image within XenCenter
  2. Logon to the HyperDrive console or access the virtual appliance via SSH
  3. Mount the CD image with mount /dev/cdrom /mnt
  4. Install XenTools by running /mnt/Linux/
  5. Accept all the default prompts
  6. Reboot the virtual appliance

Once you reboot the appliance you may find that XenCenter still reports that XenTools are still not installed?! After some investigation (and not being a Linux expert) it appears that the kernel used to build the appliance in not paravirtualization (PV) aware, rather in HVM mode. Therefore, without recompiling the kernel it’s impossible to get the XenServer tools installed to support live migrations. Hopefully this is a simple oversight on RES’s part and will be rectified in future builds (I hope!).

In the meantime I will try to find out how to recompile the HyperDrive appliance kernel. I’ll let you if I’m successful but it doesn’t look particularly easy. There appears to be an issue with the configured Nomadesk YUM repository and it won’t retrieve the package list correctly to install the additional kernel. My recommendation at this point would be utilise the VMware appliances wherever possible or live with the fact that you’ll need to shut the HyperDrive appliance down to move it to another host.. Sad smile

I’ve not played with the Hyper-V appliance as we have no customers running it but please let me know if it works and how to install them!

Replacing the default XenServer WSS Certificate

Something a little bit different from the normal RES related posts this time. During the deployment of the Demo Showcase platform we needed to replace the SSL certificate used by the XenServer Web Self Service (WSS) servers. Reviewing the WSS documentation revealed very little about how to achieve this. As you can see the user and installation guides offer very little guidance!


Much to my surprise, I couldn’t locate a web resource that details how to do this, i.e. generate the required ssl.crt and ssl.key files. There are lots of snippets of information but no simple post that details the requirements nor the steps to perform. This is my attempt to rectify this situation!


Before you begin there is the assumption that you have the following prepared/installed:

  1. The required SSL certificate has been exported into .PFX format (and you know the private key password!);
  2. You have OpenSSL is installed;
  3. WinSCP (or other SCP client) is installed.

Converting the Certificate to a .CRT and .KEY Pair

The WSS appliance expects the certificate and private key to be provided as two separate files rather one as contained in the .PFX (or .PEM) file. We can generate the correct files by utilising the OpenSSL tools. The secret to this part is to ensure that the generated .KEY file is not encoded with a password. If there is, you’ll receive an error when attempting to start the web service on the WSS appliance.

To export the certificate (.CRT) component from the .PFX file run the following OpenSSL command: openssl pkcs12 -in <ssl-certificate.pfx> -clcerts -nokeys -out <ssl.crt>

To export the private key (.KEY) without a password, run the following OpenSSL command: openssl pkcs12 -in <ssl-certificate.pfx> -nodes -nocerts -out <ssl.key>

Transferring the Certificate Files to the WSS Appliance

Once you have the required .CRT/.KEY file pair, you’ll need to copy them to the Web Self Service appliance. This is a fairly straightforward process but requires enabling the SSH daemon on the appliance first. To do this you’ll need to connect to the WSS appliance console via XenCenter. Once you’ve logged onto the console, issue the following command: service sshd start

You’ll also want to stop the Web Self Service process by running the following command: service webss stop

After the SSH service has started and WSS services are stopped, you can now copy the .CRT and .KEY files to the /root/sse/conf directory via WinSCP (or your tool of choice). Note: you might want to rename the original .CRT and .KEY files before copying the replacements in!

Restart the WSS services by executing: service webss start

All being well, you should receive no errors and when browsing to the WSS homepage you should not be warned about the SSL certificate! Here’s an example using a certificate with the Common Name set as the default sse-https-server.


Simples! I hope someone finds this useful one day! Iain