WMware parallel port access in Opensuse 11 HOWTO

This may be of help if, like me, your M/B have a parallel port and you need to access a dongle or an old printer connected to it.

VMware accesses the parallel port through the parport0 device. In OS 10.2 no parport was created by default, while in OS 10.0 parport0-4 existed in /dev regardless of the hardware, IIRC.

In my install of OS 11 X86_64, after installing VMplayer 2.5, only parport0 exists in /dev and it is persistent between reboots.

However, for VMplayer to be granted access it is necessary to change group and/or permissions to:

/dev> ls -al /dev/par*
crw-rw---- 1 root users 99, 0 2008-09-27 10:27 /dev/parport0

As adding myself to the original group parport0 belonged to didn’t work. In my system, group r/w permissions were already set, so it was enough to use:

chgrp users /dev/parport0

to change group ownership to users. To make this persistent I put this command in /etc/init.d/boot.local.

In OS 10.x I had to remove the lp module (# rmmod lp) or it would seize the parallel port, making it unusable to VMware. Note that removing the module makes the port unavailable to the linux host.

In OS 11 the lp module is not loaded by default, at least in my system. You can check if it is loaded with the ‘# lsmod’ command. If it is, you could blacklist the module or include the ‘rmmod lp’ command (no quotes) in the boot.local file.

One problem I had, apparently unrelated to the parport settings, is that after installation VMPlayer would start normally, but after a reboot it would fail with a ‘vmmon module not found’ message. Some people solved this (not so common) issue by manually loading it with ‘# modprobe vmmon’.

However I found out that this module, together with vmnet, vmblock and vmci should be loaded by the vmware service. This service, although enabled in Yast>System>System Services, for some reason was not being started at boot time. Disabling and enabling it again in the System Services list made it work as it should, I haven’t the faintest idea why.


To the sysadmin:

IMHO this post may be of more help (if any) in the Unreviewed How-To and Faq forum. May I just post it again there or do you prefer to move it?