Wednesday, April 9, 2014

VMware Tools on Linux - Quick-N-Dirty

I have found myself doing a lot of work on Linux VMs lately.
Thus a lot of VMware tools installs on systems I am not at home in.

This method from VMware Support resources works on every flavor I have used to date:

NOTE: This was written for 5.0 but works for any version. Just check your mounted CD for your version as it will change the command structure.

3. As root (su -), mount the VMware Tools virtual CD-ROM image, change to a working directory (for example, /tmp), uncompress the installer, then unmount the CD-ROM image.

Note: Some Linux distributions automatically mount CD-ROMs. If your distribution uses automounting, do not use the mount and umount commands below. You still must untar the VMware Tools installer to /tmp.

Some Linux distributions use different device names or organize the /dev directory differently. If your CD-ROM drive is not /dev/cdrom or if the mount point for a CD-ROM is not /mnt/cdrom, you must modify the following commands to reflect the conventions used by your distribution.

mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

cd /tmp
(I use the root of my home folder ~/ lets me keep the tools around for re-install as needed.)

Note: If you have a previous installation, delete the previous vmware-distrib directory before installing. The default location of this directory is

4. Untar the VMware Tools tar file:

tar zxf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-(Your Version Here).tar.gz

umount /dev/cdrom

Where <xxxx> is the build/revision number of the VMware Workstation release.

Note: If you attempt to install a tar installation over an rpm installation — or the reverse — the installer detects the previous installation and must convert the installer database format before continuing.

5. Run the .tar VMware Tools installer:

cd vmware-tools-distrib


Respond to the configuration questions on the screen. Press Enter to accept the default value. (Note: All defaults here should work just fine)

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