VMware Fusion 5 Black Screen

After upgrading to my version of VMware Fusion 4 to 5, I noticed upon VM boot none of my machines displayed any graphics except a black screen, essentially rendering them useless.

The quick fix for this I found is to dive into each ‘.vmware’ folder for each of your VM’s located by default in:

~/Documents/Virtual\ Machines.localized/

Right click Show Package Contents will display VM contents.

Open the related .vmx file in your favourite text editor, append the following line, then save and quit. = TRUE

Support article from VMware here


Set hostname (FQDN & short name) in CentOS 6.x

To update system short name. Edit /etc/sysconfig/network and update the HOSTNAME field to the desired short-name.


To update the systems fully qualified domain name. Edit /etc/hosts and insert a new entry following the notation of (host_ip // FQDN // short-name).
In our example:

  • host_ip = (Yours will be different)
  • FQDN = node1.mydomain.local
  • short-name node1 node1.mydomain.local node1

Convert VMware Fusion (.vmwarevm or .vmdk) VM’s to Xen

This technique allows you to convert VMware based VM’s across to the Xen Hypervisor (current version 4.1.3)

This step might be unnessaray for VM’s that don’t utilise sparse based virtual harddrives, but its best just to do it so everyone is at the same step. Find the vmware-vdiskmanager utility included with your VMware install.

On Mac for VMware Fusion this can be found at:


Or in some other versions

/Library/Application\ Support/VMware\ Fusion/vmware-vdiskmanager

Change ‘cd’ into the relevant directory once found.
Consolidate the VMDK file

./vmware-vdiskmanager -r vm_to_be_converted.vmdk -t 0 temp.vmdk

Copy the temp VMDK across to the target Xen Hypervisor

scp temp.vmdk root@target_ip:/var/lib/libvirt/images

Once copied, use qumu-img to convert the VMDK file to a RAW format
qemu-img convert temp.vmdk -O raw /var/lib/libvirt/images/temp.img

Create a basic config file for the new VM

cd /etc/xen/new_vm_config

name = “new_vm”
memory = “256”
disk = [ ‘file:/var/lib/libvirt/images/temp.iso,hda,w’, ]
vif = [ ‘bridge=br0’, ]
on_reboot = ‘restart’
on_crash = ‘restart’

Boot up the new VM

xm create new_vm

You may find network may be unavailable, due to a change in MAC addresses assigned to the VM. Use virsh edit to find the current MAC address assigned to the VM, and update the network interface within the VM accordingly. Then reboot the VM or restart network services in order to re-establish network access.


Installing VMITools (VM Introspection Toolkit) with Xen on CentOS 6

This guide provides a good introduction on how to install VMI Tools and Xen on CentOS 6.

Due to dependancy requirements, CentOS 5 is unable to support VMITools by default unless a more recent version of glib2 is compiled from source. Therefore we base this installation on CentOS 6 (6.3 at time of writing).

Xen Installation

Redhat dropped support for Xen based virtualisation with the released of RHEL 6, resulting in the need to manually install the required Xen packages. In previous versions of this post I have referred to Falko’s excellent guide on installing Xen 4 on CentOS 6, link to guide can be found here.

However the recent release of the Xen kernel 3.6 has broken compatibility with the latest version of the libVirt (virsh). In order to restore compatibility we will install the slightly older version of Xen until the libVirt library is updated to resolve the error.

First we add the repos that still contain the older versions of Xen.

cd /etc/yum.repos.d/

Edit gitco-centos6-x86_64.repo and add ‘enabled’ switches, so it looks like this. We only need this middle entry for Xen Files. The other repo we downloaded contains a better packaged Xen Kernel which we will use.

name= GITCO [ KERNEL DOM0 ] Repository

name= GITCO [ XEN-4.0.1 ] Repository

name= GITCO [ MISC PACKAGES ] Repository

yum install xen kernel-xen

follow the rest of falkos guide for the libvirt installation.

VMITools Installation

Install the required packages for installation.

yum install git glib2-devel check-devel

We create a folder named src in the root directory, to use as a basis for our installation.

mkdir /root/src/

cd into the src directory, and checkout a clone of the latest VMITools.

git clone

cd into the vmitools folder, then run the following commands.


After a while the output should return success. Then perform make.


As well as installing the library (Optional, necessary for applications wishing to implement the libVMI framework.

make install

Now when you try to compile some of the examples you will run into this error.

Can be easily fixed by editing your .bashrc file within your home folder, and adding this line.

1.) use < .bashrc > file in your home directory (instead of .bash_profile)
2.) add the following line to this file:


DO ONE MORE THING : also add this line to < /etc/ > file


JimStim v1.5 stimulator board – Assembly

Today I did some soldering and constructed the JimStim V1.5 stimulator board. This nifty little board is a MegaSquirt simulator that enables you to bench-test your MegaSquirt ECU by simulating all the necessary sensor inputs required for the MegaSquirt to work.

The MegaSquirts sensor inputs can be easily tested using JimStim. This is achieved through using potentiometers to variate sensor voltages to be processed by the ECU.

JimStim is capable of simulating the following sensor outputs:

  • MAT (manifold air temperature)
  • CLT (coolant)
  • TPS (throttle position sensor)
  • O2 (O2/lambda sensor)

Included also is a nifty micro-controller that allows JimStim to simulate a toothed wheel sensor signal, which in turn simulates engine RPM. This feature is especially handy as you can confirm that your MegaSquirt operates correctly in what is effectively a controlled test environment. When building a MegaSquirt (especially if it’s your first time building) it can be a lifesaver in identifying any issues with your MegaSquirt that could potentially damage your expensive EFI kit, as well being a HUGE timesaver (I can’t empathise this one point enough) when it comes to physically wiring the MegaSquirt into your car. For example, if you were attempting a first-start after a new install and encountered issues with establishing a stable RPM sync, you could can during testing that the MegaSquirt you built works perfectly and that the issue must lie somewhere else within the car.

JimStim can be purchased from DIYAutoTune as a unassembled kit for you to solder together, or as a ready-to-go preassembled board.

Here are a few shots of soldering together my JimStim.