VMWare Server 2.0: SSL Exception: error:00000000:lib(0):func(0):reason(0)

Last week, someone at work approached me, stating that he was unable to log into the web interface of a VMware Server machine. I was shocked to learn that we still had a VMware Server up and running. Then, I tried to log into the web interface myself and received an SSL error as well.

It turns out the machine was standing under someones desk and still had one single VM running. In order to migrate the machine to our ESXi infrastructure and fix the problem, I examined the logs on the server and found this:

root@vmware-server:/var/log/vmware# tail hostd.log
[2012-09-11 15:18:18.403 'Proxysvc' 1097857360 warning] SSL Handshake on client connection failed: SSL Exception: error:140D9115:SSL routines:SSL_GET_PREV_SESSION:session id context uninitialized
[2012-09-11 15:18:18.410 'Proxysvc' 1091570000 warning] SSL Handshake on client connection failed: SSL Exception:
[2012-09-11 15:18:18.415 'Proxysvc' 1087932752 warning] SSL Handshake on client connection failed: SSL Exception:
[2012-09-11 15:18:18.428 'Proxysvc' 1081649488 warning] SSL Handshake on client connection failed: SSL Exception: error:00000000:lib(0):func(0):reason(0)
[2012-09-11 15:18:18.432 'Proxysvc' 1097492816 warning] SSL Handshake on client connection failed: SSL Exception:

So back in 2010, Martin Theobald wrote an article on the same error and applied a quick hack to solve the problem:

Edit the file /etc/vmware/hostd/proxy.xml and replace all occurrences of “httpsWithRedirect” with “httpAndHttps”:

:%s/httpsWithRedirect/httpAndHttps/g

This basically allows you to circumvent the problem by allowing simple HTTP (and not HTTPS). Note that therefore your traffic with the server will be unencrypted and this is only a temporary solution.