Installing Linux Integration Components on W2008 R2 Hyper-V VM’s

Microsoft has a set of version 2 Linux integration components for SUSE Enterprise Linux 10 and 11 virtual machines.  They support x86 and x64 architectures.

The download contains two files:

  • An ISO file containing the additions.  If you use VMM then go ahead and stick that in your library or libraries.
  • A PDF containing all the step-by-steps for installing the IC’s.

I’m not going to bother copying the steps from the PDF.  It’s a well written and clear document.  You can read as well from it as you can from here.

A few things to note:

  • After I’ve installed the IC’s I can no longer mount /dev/cdrom.  Instead I have to mount /dev/hdc.  That took me (a Windows admin) an hour to figure out.
  • If you installed a synthetic network card (not the legacy one) then it won’t be available until after you’ve installed the IC’s.  Then you need to run yast2 lan to configure the card and the IP set up.
  • SLES 10 is very quick and easy.  SLES 11 requires a few extra steps before and after the instructions for SLES 10.
  • You won’t be booting up from the XEN kernel anymore so there’s no need to install it.
  • You cannot do hot add/remove of storage with the SCSI controller like you can with Windows VM’s.
  • Jumbo frames and TCP offload for Linux VM’s is not supported.
  • The following Integration Services are not available to you: Operating System Shutdown, Time Synchronization, Data Exchange, Heartbeat, Volume Snapshot Backup.  I really miss that shutdown one.
  • There is support from MS for these IC’s on the supported SUSE platforms via email.


If there is any chance at all that you will migrate this VM in any way (live migration, offline migration, quick migration) then set the VM to have a static MAC or Ethernet address.  This is very easy in VMM; it’s just a tick box in the network card properties.  If you don’t then you will have network issues with the VM after migration.  MS states that “certain versions of Linux” are affected.  I’ve seen some people report the issue as well on Hyper-V clusters.  Just tick that box and you’re safe.

You cannot install the IC’s from VMM.  That’s a pity.  I’ve love to see that feature.  I know the IC’s are making their way into the kernels of new Linux distros but what about future upgrades?  Don’t bother telling Linux admins to upgrade their servers.  I can’t ever remember hearing of a Linux admin I’ve worked with ever doing an upgrade.

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