Installing Citrix NetScaler VPX into VMware Workstation

I hope I don’t need to explain that this is for testing/evaluating purposes only and is not at all supported by Citrix in any way.  The reason for me to create this how-to is because I am stumbling on a lot of forum posts asking if is at all possible to install Citrix NetScaler VPX into VMware Workstation and if it passes traffic when it is installed within VMware Workstation. Well, I’m doing this all the time for testing purposes with every new version of Citrix NetScaler VPX that comes out.

In this guide I will only show how to get a working Citrix NetScaler VPX into VMware Workstation VM.

Materials used for this:
– Citrix NetScaler VPX for ESX 10 Build 54.6 (link);
– VMware OVF Tool 2.1.0 (link);
– VMware Workstation 8;
– WinRAR.

Download Citrix NetScaler VPX for ESX 10 Build 54.6 from the Citrix download section on www.citrix.com, this requires an active MyCitrix login account.

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The download will consist of a .ZIP file which will contain the Citrix NetScaler VPX files that you would normally import into a VMware ESX environment. We are going to extract these files into a temporary directory. You can delete the .ZIP file afterwards.

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Then just right mouse click the .OVF file and click “Open with VMware Workstation” or click the button in Windows Explorer. This will migrate the .OVF to .VMX and copy the .VMDK to your default Virtual Machine path. If this works you’re done! Smile

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Should the above not work then you could always try and convert the .OVF manually. Do this by using the VMware OVF Tool.

Before running the conversion make sure you have created an output directory somewhere. In the below example my input directory is:
C:\Users\%username%\Desktop\Citrix NetScaler\
And my output directory is:
C:\Users\%username%\Desktop\Citrix NetScaler\Citrix NetScaler VPX

The downloaded Citrix NetScaler VPX for ESX are the input files, specifically the NSVPX-ESX-10.0-54.6_nc.ovf file. By now you should have downloaded and installed the VMware OVF tool, after you install this tool it can be found at C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware OVF Tool\ovftool.exe.

Use VMware OVF Tool to convert the OVF into a VMX. It is a command line tool and the syntax is as follows: C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware OVF Tool>ovftool “C:\Users\%username%\Desktop\Citrix NetScaler\NSVPX-ESX-10.0-54.6_nc.ovf” “C:\Users\%username%\Desktop\Citrix NetScaler\Citrix NetScaler VPX\NSVPX-ESX.vmx”

Remember to use quotes when you have spaces in your folder structure.

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I’d recommend not using any version number in the output files since you maybe willing to update the Citrix NetScaler VPX to a later version and then you’d be stuck with old version numbers in you VMware files which are pretty hard to rename.

Now we have a Citrix NetScaler VPX folder with a “Citrix NetScaler VPX.vmx”” file which we can add to VMware Workstation. Maybe you would like to move/copy the folder first to your Virtual Machines default location. Open VMware Workstation, File, Open, open the “Citrix NetScaler VPX.vmx” file.

Dependent of the VMware Workstation version you are using you can choose “Upgrade this virtual machine”, in my case I am using VMware Workstation 8. I upgraded the VM to a VMware Workstation 8 level.

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All right, let’s boot it up!

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We’re up! Usually Citrix NetScaler starts an initial configuration wizard but there is a bug in version 10 for ESX  that is preventing this from happening, just logon as nsroot/nsroot and enter the command configns. There you can configure basic IP data, save and reboot.

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Next step is to go to MyCitrix and acquire a license to get working on Citrix NetScaler! Happy testing all.

About Henny Louwers
I work as a Consultant specialized in Application Delivery, Virtualization of Servers, Desktops and Apps.

5 Responses to Installing Citrix NetScaler VPX into VMware Workstation

  1. nell says:

    Is it possible to configure VPX Express 10 on vmware workstation 8 with only 1Go RAM ?

    After I boot my VPX, I can only logon with nsrecover/nsroot (nsroot/nsroot fail)
    During the boot, a message indicate that there is no file /nsconfig/ns.conf and that VPX need 2CPU & 2Go RAM…
    Configuring IP/MASK with ‘nsconfig’ fail…

    I try to use a VPX 9.2 / 9.3 and 10
    each time with only 1Go RAM

    any idea ? thanks

    Like

    • AFAIK that is not possible. Any NetScaler VPX version will not boot if it has less then 2vCPU and/or 2 Gb’s of RAM.

      Like

  2. andi says:

    great article,
    one questions, do you know if it possible to use the netscaler-vpx on MAC OS 10.8 and paralles hypervisor?

    best regardas andy

    Like

    • Nope, sorry, Unfortunately I do not own a MAC.

      Like

    • nbctcp says:

      You can try using VMWare Fusion. Maybe work because same company as VMWare Workstation

      Like

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