Sunday, July 24, 2011

Building new Windows XP Guest

Currently I have the need to build a new Windows XP Guest in VirtualBox.  So I figure that I want the latest and greatest so that I wont have to keep upgrading it. 

On the OS side, I want it to be pre-installed with SP3, and possibly some or all of the patches

On the Virtual Hardware side I want for the Hard drive to be SATA, not IDE, and for the bridge to be ICH9, not PXII3.

My ultimate goal is for it to be point and shoot, no installing as IDE / PXII3 and convert, but to choose SATA / ICH9 straight from the start.  Also want to do it without any other tools like nlite.  Starting work today, lets see where this gets us

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cracking the contents of the VMware VMU vibs files

I was patching my ESXi server today with the VMware Host Update Utility and was thinking about a couple of things.  First when I do an update the VMU first downloads a bunch of data to my C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VI Update\vmw, about 1.2GB of data.

I was thinking that if I wanted to switch back to using a scripting tool then I would have to re-download all of the patches again manually and then script it up.  So I wanted the shortcut to see if I really needed to download it again. Inside the MetaData directory, there are four zip files; 4.0 ESX and ESXi, and 4.1 ESX and ESXi. and then in the vibs directory there are a bunch of vibs files ranging from 60 to 130 MB.  Those had to be the patches.

Any search on how to open a VIBS file came up empty so I then looked at the Metadata zips again and opened them all up.  Inside there is a file called Packages.  Once I looked into it I noticed that it was all names of the patches, but was was most interesting was the filename was a .deb file.

So I renamed one of the .vibs file to a .deb copied it over to my Linux server and ran the command ar vx something.deb, and viola, it opened up and showed its contents. 

Unfortunately for me, it looks like the contents inside the .deb / .vibs file is not easily compatible the downloaded manual patches, but I learned a little more on how the VMware VMU architecture works.

What I found very interesting was that even though it was for ESXi, these are debian patch packages, so still somewhere in that tiny ESXi Hypervisor, there is some Linux, however small.

Thanks to on how to extract DEB packages