RZFeeser_vmware_logo_tools_linux_installThis posting outlines the steps required to install VMware Tools in a Linux environment. Specifically, it lists the commands that should be issued at the command line to mount the VMware Tools CD-ROM image, unpack, and then install the VMware Tools tarball.

While these steps should work in almost any Linux environment, I created them using the Linux Mint OS. Mint is a fork of the Ubuntu project. Ubuntu has its roots in Debian. Check out the Linux Mint OS if you are looking for a friendly Linux GUI.

The only caveat that should be observed is that some Linux distributions will auto-mount the CD-ROM image. If your distribution does auto-mount, than disregard the steps that involve the mount and umount commands.

How to install VMware Tools in a Linux environment


  1. Power on the virtual machine. When the machine boots up, you should see a pop-up like the one below. Click ‘Install Tools
  2. RZFeeser_vmware_logo_tools_linux_install_now
    ** If you don’t get the pop-up, you can tell VMware you’d like to install VMware tools. In Workstation 9, the command is found by clicking:

    Workstation Menu > VM > Install VMware Tools

    The pop-up should change, and look similar to the one below.

  3. Skip this step if your distribution auto-mounts – Mount the CD-ROM:
  4. # mkdir /dev/cdrom/
    # mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

  5. Determine if a previous installation exists. If it does, remove the files associated with the old installation. The default installation location is /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib. If you do find files here, issue the following command to remove them:
  6. # rm -rf /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib

  7. Now it is time to untar VMware tools. Issue the following two commands:
  8. # cd /tmp
    # tar zxpf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-‘x.x.x-xxxx’.tar.gz
    ‘x.x.x-xxxx’ is the VMware version number. The easiest way to untar the proper file, is to use the ‘Tab’ auto-fill command after you type ‘VMwareTools’.
    ** If this command fails, unmount the CDROM, restart the VM, and try again.

    Steps to install VMware tools

  9. Skip this step if your distribution auto-mounts – Unmount the CD-ROM:
  10. # umount /dev/cdrom

  11. Run VMware Tools install script:
  12. # ./vmware-tools-distrib/vmware-install.pl
    You will now be asked a series of questions. If this is the first time installing VMware Tools, just press ‘Enter’ to accept the defaults.

  13. Restart your virtual machine
  14. # shutdown now -r

There you have it! Enjoy using VMware Tools.

Materials used

  • VMware Workstation Version: 9.0.3
  • Host Machine OS: Windows 7
  • VM OS: Linux Mint 17 64-bit edition
  • VM Devices: Memory 1 GB, Processors 1, Hardisk 20 GB, Network Adapter (x1) (NAT)
  • References: VMware Tools Installation Guide