How to Install VMware Tools on Linux?

Either you want to install VMware tools on Linux (on Guest VM) then this is going to help you. Installing VMware Tools is a great idea as with VMware tools, you will enable more features.

Here are some of the features that you will enable after the installation of VMware tools.

  • Drag and drop files between VM and host OS.
  • Multiple monitor support.
  • If the virtual machine runs a desktop operating system, the display will automatically resize.
  • 3D graphics acceleration.
  • Improved graphics support.
  • Sharing the clipboard to facilitate copying and pasting text.
  • Virtual machine sound support.
  • Synchronized the virtual machine and host’s time.
  • Within virtual machines, shared folders.

Related: How to Install Ubuntu on Windows 10 using VirtualBox?

How to install VMware Tools on Linux VM?

install vmware tools linux
install vmware tools linux

For downloading and installation of VMware Tools, we are going to use “open-vm-tools”. If you have VMware tools already, then you are recommended to check for new versions using this command. 

So, why is it so complicated to install it? Well to answer this, you will need to take a look at different Linux distributions. As, you will get different types of packages for different Linux distributions, which makes things complicated. Here is what you will get on downloading VMware tools on different Linux distros and also what you are using for installation:

  • Ubuntu, Debian and Related OSes from this family use apt to install Debian (*.deb) packages
  • Redhat, Fedora, and CentOS use dnf or yum to install RPM (*.rpm) packages
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) and OpenSuSE use zypper to install RPM (*.rpm) packages

The package names are “open-vm-tools” and “open-vm-tools-desktop”. SLE and OpenSuSE ship another package “libvmtools” as a dependency. The package management system automatically installs this dependency when “open-vm-tools” or “open-vm-tools-desktop” are installed.

Perquisites for installation

You are going to set up the package repository properly for the guest. And this is it.

Install VMware tools on Linux

1-      Ubuntu, Debian, and Related OSes

Check for the latest version from the command below. If found then you will download the latest version else will install or upgrade.

NOTE: use the Sudo command, as we are going to bring changes as a root user.  

sudo apt update
sudo apt update
sudo apt-get update

Install or upgrade open-vm-tools-desktop:

sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop

Else, use this one:

sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools

2-      RHEL, Fedora and CentOS

sudo yum install open-vm-tools-desktop

Otherwise, install open-vm-tools:

sudo yum install open-vm-tools

3-      SLE and OpenSuSE

If the VM is the option then you will install or upgrade open-vm-tools-desktop:

zypper install open-vm-tools-desktop

Else, install open-vm-tools:

zypper install open-vm-tools

Install with RPM

You can also use RPM (Red Hat Package Manager) for installing VMware Tools on Linux VM Guest OS. For using RPM, you will need to access the command shell.

To begin, by running your VM and then select VM from Menu. Here you will navigate through Guest > Install/Upgrade VMware Tools and click on OK. 

Now you will create a new mount point.

mkdir /mnt/cdrom

Then you will mount this CDROM using the command below:

mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

OK, you are all done. Use the command given to install VMware Tools using RPM on Linux VM.

rpm -ivh /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-version.rpm

NOTE: don’t forget to use Sudo, as we are doing all these works as root users. Secondly, if you have downloaded the tools in “*.tgz” then you are going to extract it first and then do the installation.

Configure tools on Kernel

If you are using the Kernel system then use the command below to configure it.


And after the installation and configuration, you will unmount the CDROM:

umount /mnt/cdrom

Now go to VM in Menu; select Guest > End VMware Tools Install.

How to install VMware tools on Kali Linux?

To install VMware tools on Kali Linux, you are going to use “sudo apt-get update” and then “sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop” and “sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools”. These commands will begin the downloading and then do the installation on Kali Linux.

Can you install VMware tools in Ubuntu?

Yes, you can install VMware Tools on Ubuntu. And here is the guide to install it on Ubuntu too. The entire process is easy and doesn’t require any third-party tool. Follow the guide for full installation on Ubuntu.

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1 Response

  1. whoiscall says:

    Good luck!

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