How to install VMware Tools in an Ubuntu virtual machine

How to install VMware Tools in an Ubuntu virtual machine

I'm writing this tutorial because it is different to the official documentation which still valid if you want to install VMware Tools using the old process and compile the modules, something similar to install the VirtualBox guest additions.

Why is important install the VMware Tools?

You are getting these features with the package:

  1. Synchronization of the guest OS clock with the virtualization platform.
  2. Enables the virtual infrastructure to perform graceful power operations (shut down) and file system quiescing of the virtual machine
  3. Provides a heartbeat from guest to# the virtualization infrastructure to support vSphere High Availability (HA).
  4. Publishes information about the guest OS to the virtualization platform, including resource utilization and networking information.
  5. Provides a secure and authenticated mechanism to perform various operations within the guest OS from the virtualization infrastructure.
  6. Accepts additional plug-ins that can extend or customize OVT functionality.


Thanks to Canonical to start supporting these drivers and now we can use the official repositories and install it using this simple command:

sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools

Now if you installed the desktop Ubuntu version you need install the X drivers with this command:

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

And you will get these feature for your Desktop:

  1. Enables resizing of the guest display to match host console window or the VMware Remote Console Window for vSphere.
  2. Enables text copy and paste operation between host and guest UI (either direction).
  3. Enables drag and drop operation between guest and host (either direction) for the VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion products (not supported on vSphere).

There are other two packages that are optional, and you will need for specific reasons:

  • open-vm-tools-devel: for development purposes.
  • open-vm-tools-debuginfo: if you want extra information about the VMware modules installed on your system.