Cursor keys not working in Virtual Server 2 VM

Posted as a reminder to myself about how to fix this issue…

I couldn’t get some of the cursor keys to work properly on my virtual machines running under VMWare Virtual Server 2 on Fedora 10 x86_64. Kept giving funny behaviour like bringing up the screen capture applet!

A bit of searching the net came up with this one, which although not referring to Virtual Server 2 specifically, seems to work all the same…

Essentially, adding the line below to the following file fixes the problem

File (create it, if not already present):



xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = true

My thanks to “The Monkey Jungle”!

Disable password ageing on Windows 2008 Server Standard

Password ageing in Windows 2008 Server Standard edition (the one I generally use) is set to automatically requre passwords to be changed after 42 days…obviously a Douglas Adams fan responsible for that bit of the codebase!

NOTE – I don’t have access to other version of Windows Server (2003 or 2008) so I can’t speak for them, but I imagine it’s the same on them too.

That’s annoying for home use, where I have tons of VMs for research that I use periodically, so I asked my brother Steve how to stop this happening and he gave me some simple instructions…

First start the Local Security Policy editor by typing secpol.msc in the start/run box..


and then select Account Policies / Password Policy on the nagivation tree on the left. On the right hand side select Maximum Password Age and set this from the default of “42” to “0”. You’ll notice it now says “Password will not expire” above the value “0”.

Set Password Ageing off.msc

Seems to have done the trick.

Kinda handy having a brother who’s an MCSE and a VCP too. Useful when I get stuck with OS or VM stuff for my Oracle research!

By the way, if anyone happens to be looking for some skilled contract resource in the Virtualisation field (VMWare, ESX Server etc…) then Steve has just become available…please feel free to contact me, or Steve, via his website

Fedora 9 on Hyper V on Windows 2008 Server x64 – Firefox IPv6 DNS issue

I’ve been playing with Hyper V this week and came across an issue with Firefox, whereby I thought that the networking setup for Fedora 9 on a Hyper V virtual machine wasn’t working.

The environment is Windows 2008 Server on x64 with the RTM release of Hyper V. I then created a VM and installed Fedora 9 x64 from a DVD ISO – it took a while as I started with a multiple CPU, standard network adapter approach and it kept crashing during the install; when I changed to single CPU and “Legacy” network adapter it installed cleanly – given that Fedora isn’t a “supported” Hyper V OS I can’t really complain.

The problem I then came to was that it appeared that DNS wasn’t working, i.e. in Firefox, if I stuck in a URL, it came back with an error rather than showing the page. I then proceeded to go off on a wild goose chase checking all the Fedora networking setup and reading about Hyper V and it’s “synthetic” network adapter approach, but still couldn’t solve it. Everything seemed to be installed and configured exactly as everybody who had written about it had said…so it should be working right?

It was…but the problem is that Firefox was trying to resolve the name of the URL using IPv6 rather than IPv4…and my network was configured without an IPv6 DNS – I don’t need IPv6 and I’m perfectly happy with IPv4 so that’s what I use. I only discovered this by chance as I wondered whether it might be a Firefox issue (everything else ruled out kinda thinking), so I used the Konqueror web browser to see if it had the same issue and hey presto it was working fine whilst Firefox wasn’t.

How to fix Firefox? Well, basically as indicated in this post on the OpenSUSE website – essentially, you go to the URL “about:config” in Firefox, filter for “network.disable.IPv6” and set it to TRUE instead of FALSE (double click it to change the value). Then it all works fine.

OS trials and tribulations

I got tired of my apps not working on 64 bit Vista so I figured I’d bin the dual boot Vista 64 and Enterprise Linux 5 and just go Linux. EL5 wasn’t up to date (kernel wise) and I was unable to easily bring it up to date, without paying Oracle a licence fee, so I figured I’d just used Fedora 9 instead.

Then I saw this from Tim on ESX and I figured that sounded like a good idea…so I spent some time trying to get that working…only to realise that ESX needs SCSI for the disks (or one of the very specific SATA interfaces – that I don’t have)…so that idea also ground to a halt. ESXi, being more restrictive than ESX on hardware compatability, didn’t even install, whilst ESX managed to install after a bit of effort, but I couldn’t create any VMFS filesystems – that’s when I RTFM’d that it was not going to work without SCSI – even after much surfing travels.

I do hope that they get ESX to work with more SATA (i.e. mine) so I can use it…seemed like a good idea for my home research requirements. Never mind, will have to manage with Fedora 9 for now.

I’ve got Fedora 9 installed now and it was reasonably painless, except that the networking wasn’t working when it booted up – no access to the internet. After a bit of surfing, I found the website of Mauriat Miranda, who seems to have some great stuff, including an installation guide for Fedora 9, which covers the fix to my networking issue.

Big thanks to Mauriat there.