Skip to content

How To Install VMware VMtools (VMware Tools) on Ubuntu Linux

So, you need to install vmtools on Ubuntu. You’ve come to the right place. I’ve done it hundreds of times, but recently a friend of mine was having some difficulty doing this. I thought I would put a quick how-to together so I could maybe help some more people out. Here goes.

How To Install VMtools on Ubuntu

First thing’s first. Before going any further, I suggest you update apt, and then upgrade. This will make sure everything is up to date on your virtual machine.

#  sudo apt-get -y update

#  sudo apt-get -y upgrade

Now, you need to attach the VMware tools installation disc to your virtual machine. In ESXi / vSphere, just right click on the virtual machine, in the left pane, go to Guest, then select “Install/Upgrade VMware Tools.” Like this.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 3.43.46 PM

If you are using VMware Workstation, or VMware Fusion, select the virtual machine in the library, then under the Virtual Machine pull down menu at the top, select “Install VMware Tools.” In VMware Fusion, it looks like this.


Once you’ve selected Install VMware Tools, the installation disc, or iso, is mounted to the virtual machines optical drive.

Now, lets get all of the necessary build tools installed.

#  sudo apt-get -y install linux-headers-server build-essential

Next, we need to mount the disc and copy its contents to a temporary folder.

#  sudo mkdir -p /media/cdrom

#  sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom

#  cd /media/cdrom

#  sudo cp VM*.tar.gz /tmp

#  cd /tmp

Now we can go ahead and unmount the installation disc and extract the archive we copied to the tmp folder.

#  sudo umount /media/cdrom

#  sudo tar xzvf VM*.tar.gz

After the archive is extracted, we can run the installation script.

#  cd vmware-tools-distrib

#  sudo ./ -d

And last, but not least, a simple reboot.

#  sudo reboot

Warning – If installing on Ubuntu 11.xx

If you are installing vmtools on Ubuntu 11, or another distribution and you get the following error:

Unable to create symlink “/usr/lib64/” pointing to file ”/usr/lib/vmware-tools/lib64/”.

There is a simple fix, just create a special directory and run the install script again.

#  sudo mkdir -p /usr/lib64

This is only necessary if you get the symlink error shown above. That’s it! This procedure will work on all versions of Ubuntu and VMware. If you run into trouble or have any questions, please feel free to ask for help in the comments below. Thanks!

Leave a Reply