Install VMware tools On Ubuntu 10

Installing VMware tools on an Ubuntu guest

VMware tools can be obtained from:

  • the open-vm-tools package in Ubuntu
  • your VMware host (this method does not use .deb packages)


Installing from Ubuntu package open-vm-tools

The VMware tools are part of open-vm-tools. Make sure that the ”multiverse” repository is enabled and do:

# install kernel modules
apt-get install --no-install-recommends open-vm-dkms

# EITHER: install tools for an xorg install
apt-get install open-vm-tools
# OR: a headless install
apt-get install --no-install-recommends open-vm-tools

(Note: At the moment a plain install will also install Xorg – bug #628039. This is probably not what you want for a headless VM. Use the “–no-install-recommends” workaround)


Installing from

VMware provide packages for Ubuntu. The install procedure is documented in VMware Tools Installation Guide: Operating System Specific Packages.

To add the repository and install tools do:

apt-add-repository 'deb lucid main restricted'
wget -q -O- | \
    apt-key add -
# (The above links to the ESX "4.1latest" builds of VMware-tools; however, 
# these packages should be compatible with all VMware servers, not just ESX 4.1)

apt-get update
apt-get install vmware-open-vm-tools-kmod-source
module-assistant prepare
module-assistant build vmware-open-vm-tools-kmod-source
module-assistant install vmware-open-vm-tools-kmod

# EITHER: install tools for headless system
apt-get install vmware-open-vm-tools-nox
# OR: install for Xorg system
apt-get install vmware-open-vm-tools


Installing from your VMware host

Warning: This install method does not use Ubuntu packages. Instead, it bypasses dpkg and writes files directly to your system. This is generally not recommended.

Start up a terminal window and do the following to ensure that you have the required packages for building VMware Tools or your kernel.


sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r` psmisc

NOTE: linux-headers-uname -r is not required on a default build as these headers already exist. They are listed here in case you have made kernel modifications.

From the VMware menu, choose VM->Install VMware Tools. You should see a mounted CD image show up on the desktop. In the File Browser that pops up, right-click the VMwareTools*.tar.gz file and extract to the Desktop.

If the cdrom was not automatically mounted, mount the cdrom (in your guest OS) by doing

# make a mount point if needed :
sudo mkdir /media/cdrom

# Mount the CD
sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom

# Copy and extract VMWareTools

sudo cp /media/cdrom/VMwareTools*.tar.gz ~/Desktop

# You can extract with archive manager, right click on the archive and extract ... or

tar xvf VMwareTools*.tar.gz

# Install as below

Open a terminal window, and run the following commands.


cd ~/Desktop/vmware-tools-distrib
sudo ./

During, choose the default answers to everything (just hit the <enter> key).

You can configure the tools as root


sudo vmware-toolbox

Otherwise run them as a user (not root)


  • In order for the synchronized clipboard and mouse to function as well as the host shared folders feature, you must have vmware-toolbox running, although you can minimize the window.

To have vmware tools auto start with your sessions, go to System->Preferences->Sessions->Startup Programs. Click Add, enter vmware-toolbox, Ok, Close.

If you are running a Kubuntu guest OS.

echo "/usr/bin/vmware-toolbox" > ~/.kde/Autostart/
chmod +x ~/.kde/Autostart/

In order to get the scroll wheel to work again after the above install, you will need to make a minor change to the xorg.conf file.

In the “Configured Mouse” section, change the following line as indicated:


Option "Protocol" "imps/2"

If you have more than five buttons (scroll wheel counts as three), then you might need the following line:


Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"

Restart X.


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