Installing VMware Tools on Fedora 19

Sunday July 21 2013

A freshly installed Fedora 19 guest comes preinstalled with open-vm-tools, an open-source version of the VMware tools for guest operating systems. However, these tools can't do everything the proprietary version can, at least on VMware Fusion, so here's the steps required to swap things out.

First, we need to remove open-vm-tools from the system:

sudo yum remove open-vm-tools open-vm-tools-desktop

Next we need to install the kernel header files required for compiling VMware tools:

sudo yum install -y kernel-devel-$(uname -r)

Normally this would be the last step before starting the tools installation, but Fedora 19 (and RHEL 6.4) have a version.h file that's not where the tools installer expects it. So, copy it to where it's needed:

sudo cp /usr/src/kernels/$(uname -r)/include/generated/uapi/linux/version.h \
  /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/build/include/linux/

Now, initiate the VMware tools install - on VMware Fusion this is the menu item Virtual Machine -> Reinstall VMware Tools. After the virtual CD is mounted, proceed with the install:

cd /tmp/
cp /run/media/bbrowning/VMware\ Tools/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz .
tar xzf VMwareTools-*.tar.gz
sudo vmware-tools-distrib/

I just accepted all the defaults for every prompt, including allowing the installer to run

Hope that helps - having to copy the version.h file is the biggest thing that will trip up experienced VMware users.

Fedora 19 and Amazon Instant Video

Wednesday July 17 2013

Amazon Instant Video and other DRM-laden flash websites don't work out of the box with flash on Fedora 19. Below is the list of steps I took to get this working in case it helps anyone else. The majority of these instructions were pieced together from the post and comments at The linked RPMs were originally taken from that post and recompiled for Fedora 19. These steps have only been tested in Firefox and 64 bit Fedora 19 - I don't think they'll work for Chrome.

First, head to and download the "YUM for Linux (YUM)" RPM. Then:

# Install Adobe Flash and its browser plugin
sudo yum install -y adobe-release-x86_64-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
sudo yum install -y flash-plugin

# Install a simple SELinux policy file for Flash
sudo yum install -y policycoreutils-devel
checkmodule -M -m -o adobedrm.mod adobedrm.te
sudo semodule_package -o adobedrm.pp -m adobedrm.mod

Download the fakehal RPMs for Fedora 19 at and

# Install the fakehal RPMs
sudo yum install -y fakehal-0.5.14-7.fc19.x86_64.rpm \

At this point, make sure all Firefox windows are closed.

rm -rf ~/.adobe/Flash_Player/
sudo mkdir -p /usr/share/hal/fdi/preprobe \
  /usr/share/hal/fdi/information \
  /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/20thirdparty \
sudo ln -s /usr/share/hal /etc/hal
sudo touch /var/cache/hald/fdi-cache
sudo systemctl start haldaemon.service

Now start up Firefox and watch your favorite Amazon Instant Video. Let me know if it works for you!

JRubyConf Presentation

Wednesday August 24 2011

I had a blast at JRubyConf 2011 this year, and not just because of the whisky tasting. It was fun to finally put faces to all the people I interact with over the internet and to meet a few new ones.

Video and slides from my presentation are below:

Scaling Rails Applications with TorqueBox

Friday June 17 2011

Below are video and slides from my Scaling Rails Applications with TorqueBox presentation given at JUDCon:2011 Boston on May 3rd, 2011. This was my first opportunity to speak at a conference and I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from it. That's one of the great things about having a video of the presentation; I see plenty of things I can improve upon for next time.

Despite my critiques, I feel the talk went well and look forward to bringing Ruby to more JBoss users and developers at next year's JUDCon!