Installing VMware Tools On Ubuntu

There are a couple different ways to install the VMware Tools into an Ubuntu VM that I have used and documented internally, here’s the two methods I’ve found to be the easiest. I prefer using the vSphere client installer method simply because it’s the way that I’ve found stays in sync with the hosts best. If you know a better way to do it, let me know in the comments below.

Method 1: Using "Install VMware Tools" in the vSphere client

  1. Insert the virtual disk by right clicking on the VM, selecting "Guest", and then choosing "Install VMware Tools"

  2. Mount the virtual disk

     sudo mkdir -p /dev/cdrom
     sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom
     cd /media/cdrom
  3. Copy the compressed installer files to a local directory

     sudo cp VM* /tmp
  4. Unmount the disk

     sudo umount /media/cdrom
  5. Install the neccessary packages to run the installer

     sudo apt-get -y install linux-headers-server build-essential
  6. Unpackage the compressed installer

     cd /tmp
     sudo tar xzvf *.tar.gz
  7. Run the installer (remove the -d to customize the installation)

     cd vmware-tools-distrib
     sudo ./ -d

Method 2: Installing from Aptitude repository

  1. Install gnupg in order to add the VMware repo keys

     sudo apt-get install gnupg
  2. Download and install the VMware repo public key

     curl -O
     sudo apt-key add
  3. Create the VMware Aptitude repo, replacing {version name} with the Ubuntu code name (e.g. quantal => 12.10, lucid => 12.04, etc) by adding the follwing line to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vmware/list

     deb {version name}  main
  4. Run update

     sudo apt-get update
  5. Now install the tools and reboot!

     sudo apt-get install vmware-tools-core vmware-tools-esx
     sudo shutdown -r now

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