Monday, February 15, 2010

Howto: Installing VMware tools in a Linux VM

Installing VMware tools in a Linux VM take a few more steps than on a Windows VM. This is done the following way (tested on VMware Workstation 7 and Ubuntu Desktop 9.04 VM appliance).
  • install the guest OS (click here to see if guest OS is supported)
  • to exit the gui to simulate no X server: sudo service gdm stop and then alt+f1 to get console
  • right click the VM and choose install/update VMware tools. This will connect the cdrom with the VMware tools ISO file (if files are not already available, they will be downloaded) but you still need to mount the cdrom manually: sudo mount /dev/scd0 /media/cdrom (if folder don't exist, create it first)
  • copy the tar file to /tmp folder and untar it: tar -xvf VMware-tools-vXX.tar.gz
  • ls to the untar'ed folder and run sudo ./
  • start the gui: sudo service gdm start or simply startx
  • verify that VMware tools are running: sudo ps -auxwww 'pipe-symbol' grep vm (look for /usr/bin/vmtoolsd and you will also find the balloon driver vmmemctl). You can also check if the vmtools startup script has been put into the startup folder /etc/rc0.d/
link to VMware KB article on installing VMtools (alternatively this KB article)

Update 2011.10.28: When installing VMware tools in Linux Redhat Enterprise 5.6 the installation failed as it needed gcc and some kernel developer packages. I ran the following commands and then reran the tools installation again after ./

yum install gcc
yum install kernel-devel
yum install kernel-xen-devel

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