This post will go through how to install VMware Tools 5 on Ubuntu Server from terminal. It will likely be accurate on most Debian based distributions but in my example I’m using Ubuntu 12.04.4 – Precise Pangolin. I’m running this on VMware ESXi 5.5 so VMware Tools is also 5.5.
VMware Tools is essential on VMware guest systems. It provides a layer of communication and functionality between the host and the guest such as guest power management and time sync. Most importantly it contains device drivers for network, input devices, display adapters etc.
1. First we need to make sure the system is completely up-to-date:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade
If your kernel is upgraded you will need to reboot before we continue.
2. Install kernel headers and build tools for compiling VMware Tools:
sudo apt-get -y install linux-headers-server build-essential
The system is now ready for VMware Tools to be installed.
3. Open VMware vSphere Client and right click the Ubuntu guest and choose Guest – Install/Upgrade VMware Tools.
This will mount an iso file that will be presented as a virtual CDrom for the guest.
4. Back at the terminal on our guest create a directory for the cdrom and mount it:
sudo mkdir -p /media/cdrom
sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom
5. Copy the VMware Tools package from the mounted cdrom to the local /tmp dir:
cp /media/cdrom/VMwareTools-5.x.x-<xxxx>.tar.gz /tmp
6. The cdrom is not needed anymore so unmount it and change directory to the /tmp dir:
sudo umount /media/cdrom
7. Extract the archive and change directory to the extracted dir:
tar -xzvf VMwareTools-5.x.x-<xxxx>.tar.gz
8. You’re now at /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib. From here we start the actual installation using default settings by providing -d:
sudo ./vmware-install.pl -d
9. When installation is complete reboot and you’re done:
VMWare Tools should now be listed as Running (Current) in vSphere Client.
If you need to upgrade VMware Tools later on, you just do step 3 again and click OK.
Reconfigure after kernel upgrade
Whenever you perform a kernel upgrade on your system you need to reconfigure VMware Tools on the guest.
To do this just login and run from terminal:
And you’re all set!