How to install VMWare Tools on Ubuntu/Debian

VMWare Tools are ready-to-install or ready-to-compile on most of the supported guest systems; on Ubuntu/Debian, you have to do a bit more to be able to compile them, since the system doesn’t come with necessary headers and tools.

Only steps 7. – 9. are really necessary for the compilation of VMWare Tools, but the following steps are recommended:

1. Switch to root shell

# sudo bash

2. [optional] Update your package list

# apt-get update

3. [optional] Upgrade your components

# apt-get upgrade

Note: Repeat previous 2 steps as needed to make all components up-to-date.

4. [optional] If necessary, do a dist-upgrade (i.e. including Linux kernel); of course, only if you do wanna upgrade your system ;-)

# apt-get dist-upgrade

5. [optional] Once you have have done all the core updates you can, edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file and uncomment all the application repositories you want to include in your updates. You can uncomment them all, but that is your call.

6. [optional] Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all patches have been applied. Once this is done, you are ready to install the packages VMWare will need.

All this updating so far has been intended only to make the system up-to-date, so you don’t need to repeat the following steps any time soon:

7. Install build tools

# apt-get install build-essential

8. Get version of your kernel: # uname -r. You will use the output from this step in the next step.

9. Install the linux headers for your kernel (this will install the linux headers VMWare needs to compile their tools):

# apt-get install linux-headers-{output of prev step here}

To make the shared folders work, you have to run the vmware-config-tools.pl script (simply by executing the script’s name from the command line as root), and follow the on-screen instructions. After the vmware-guestd daemon restarts (this should be typically done by the script), the shared folders should show under /mnt/hgfs.

If they still don’t show up, restart the daemon manually, and/or make sure you have the support for NTFS installed.

8 responses to “How to install VMWare Tools on Ubuntu/Debian

  1. Hi, i follow all the steps, but i need to share a folder in my virtual machines, i know that in fstab need to show a line puted by the vmware tools but i cant found how to make it! can you help me? in the folder /mnt/hgfs/ should appear my shared folder and i cant see it!

  2. I updated the post with instructions on how to make the shared folders to work, thanks for pointing it out – I do it so automatically, that I didn’t even realize I should put it there.

    Thanks for the visit, I hope I’ve been of any help… :)

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