Virtual Machine Fails To Boot After Uploading to vSphere From VMware Fusion

As I wrote in my recent Projects for 2018 blog post, one of the things I wanted to do this year was to setup a VMware ESXi host once again. I have been using VMware Fusion and Workstation so much in the last few months that it would only make sense to also have a server to upload and download VMs to and from. So I did configure the host and I immediately started uploading all the VMs I had on my desktop machines.

All of them uploaded successfully, but one behaved strangely: in VMware Fusion, I would right-click on it, select Upload to Server…, choose my ESXi host and datastore and then select Upload, but the upload process completed immediately, in something like one second. This was very weird because this VM was 15 GBs in size so that was no way the upload had completed already.

However, what was even stranger was that the ESXi host showed the machine correctly uploaded to the host datastore, with configuration files and virtual hard drives. However, attempting to boot the VM would result in a network boot taking place, quickly followed by an Operating System not found error right afterwards, so the virtual machine would consistently fail to boot. This made me realize that there was definitely an issue with my virtual hard disk.

Operating System not found error after network boot

This is the Operating System not found error that would come up after uploading a virtual machine from VMware Fusion to a vSphere host

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My Projects For 2018

At the very beginning of last year I posted My Projects For 2017, in which I listed some of the technologies and projects I wanted to play with and study in the upcoming 12 months. I thought it could be a cool idea to do this regularly every year, so here is my projects for 2018 blog post, together with a short section looking back at what I wrote last year and what I ended up doing (and not doing).

My Projects From Last Year

These are the projects that, in January of last year, I said I wanted to work on during 2017, together with their status:

  • Learn and deploy Puppet [NOT STARTED]
  • Upgrade to XenServer 7 [NOT STARTED]
  • Work on a XenServer mobile app [NOT STARTED]
  • Find a good use for my new Raspberry Pi 2 [DONE]
  • Add some more web apps to my web server [DONE]
  • Test NextCloud and decide whether it’s going to be worth it migrating from ownCloud [DONE] (I migrated to Nextcloud after all)
  • Implement VLANs in my home network [DONE]
  • Consider switching to a hardware firewall [DONE]
  • Configure a new FreeNAS box to take the place of my Synology DS213J [NOT STARTED]

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How To Install Monica – Personal Relationship Manager – On Ubuntu 16.04

Monica is a web app for managing your personal connections. The official website for the project describes it this way:

Monica helps you have more meaningful relationships.

Monica is a simple, open source, personal CRM. For your personal life, not your business.

The project looks very interesting, and it sparked a ton of interest on is official GitHub page. That’s right, because Monica, besides offering a hosted version (both with a free and a paid tier) also decided to make the code completely open source so you can install it and download it on your own server (which is something that is definitely going to be appreciated by a lot of folks, looking at the intrinsically personal data that Monica will store).

Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, the instructions to install the app on your own server are either outdated or incomplete, making the installation process not very simple (also considering all the tools necessary to get it up and running). This article seeks to solve this issue with some step-by-step instructions.

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How To Install tmux On Raspbian

One of my favourite utilities ever is tmux, no doubts about it. It allows you to create a session when you are connected to a machine via SSH and restore that session later even if your SSH connection drops for any reason. Once you reattach the session, you will be brought back exactly to the point where you were before the disconnection.

This is extremely useful in cases where the command you launched would take a long time to complete (for example, if you are burning in your hard drives for FreeNAS or if you are generating DH parameters when configuring OpenVPN).

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Should you look into Intel Optane Memory?

The first time I heard about Intel Optane Memory my first thought was “Was this really necessary?”, so I decided to read more about the technology to find out if I was missing something. Now, after reading about this for a while, my question is still: was this really necessary?

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How To Make PIA Work On Linux When It Keeps Disconnecting

TL;DR: you probably have an encrypted home folder.

I have just had to install the PIA (Private Internet Access) VPN on a brand new Linux Mint 18.2 machine and I was surprised to see that, despite the installation completing successfully with no error messages whatsoever, connecting to any VPN server would not work. The application would start connecting, only to disconnect every time about a minute later.

I had no firewall blocking VPN access this time, neither on this machine or on the network, so it had to be something else. And I wasn’t the first one to stumble on this issue. The first help resource I tried was this support article which recommends to trying different ports. Needless to say, it didn’t help.

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How To Enable File Uploads In MediaWiki (Tweeki Theme)

The MediaWiki official documentation for enabling file uploads is very thorough, but if this is a new installation (and it’s probably likely if you are enabling file uploads), it can be somehow stripped down to get the functionality simply up and running quickly. I still recommend reading the whole documentation to make sure you tweak the system in the best possible way, and so you don’t forget the necessary security precautions.

Also, if you are running the Tweeki theme for MediaWiki, there is one step that is not mentioned in the official documentation and that got me stuck for a while. So this article shows you how to enable file uploads in MediaWiki when you are using the Tweeki theme.

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How To Have The Ping Command Make a Sound

There might be cases where you are testing your network and it would be useful to know if your ping command is working without having to keep an eye on your screen. Imagine being in a server room behind a switch, while your computer is somewhere else in the room: it would be great if you could hear some sound while ping is working, and no sound when ping stops working (so you know when you have disconnected the correct cable).

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How To Configure VLANs On a NETGEAR ProSafe Switch

Configuring VLANs on NETGEAR ProSafe switches has never been a very pleasant experience for me. Maybe it’s because I am used to the Cisco way of doing it which, at the end of the day, feels way more intuitive to me even if you have to take some time at the beginning to understand and remember all the CLI commands.

NETGEAR’s GUI, however, is just plain confusing to me, and it took me quite a few tries to get it working. Part of the reason is because I might be stupid, of course, but I also think that NETGEAR’s horrible documentation and “support” should take at least some of the blame.

Also, I really don’t think it’s necessary to have a Basic and an Advanced way of adding VLANs. If you need to configure VLANs, I assume you know what you are doing, so why the hell should there be a Basic option? Just get rid of that crap and leave just one option.

Anyway, rant over, this is a guide on how to configure VLANs on a NETGEAR ProSafe switch. For this tutorial, I have used a ProSafe GS116Ev2 switch, but I assume every other switch in the same line will be very similar if not identical.

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