VMware Tools on Ubuntu

Posted: February 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

HowTo: VMware Tools on Ubuntu 8.10 Server

I managed to install VMware Tools on Ubuntu 8.10 Server build 110271. It was complicated so I thought I’d share because you just can’t find a good guide for 8.10 at the moment. Now When you define your VM, set the network adapter to be E1000 at first.
Start the virtual machine and in the console select the language and press F4 to change the mode to Install a minimum virtual machine. Press Enter to start the installation.
Select the following items from the desired services (this is for what I intend to do with my server, you might need different options):


  • Basic Ubuntu server 
  • OpenSSH server
  • Samba file server
  • Virtual Machine host
  • Lamp server

Don’t forget to install raid if you need it and attach all your drives.
Log into the machine and update it with: your details


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

I also added fluxBox and Webmin for extra ease of use, you may want to check these out!


According to Peter Cooper and many other posts out there, there is a problem compiling VMware tools in Ubuntu. So we will follow the workaround using parts of the open source tools.

Install dependency for VMware Tools:


sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r) psmisc
sudo apt-get install gcc binutils make wget

And for the hack with the open tools I also installed the following (although some of these were found on sites describing what’s needed for Ubuntu with a GUI, some might be unnecessary):


sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev
sudo apt-get install libproc-dev libdumbnet-dev xorg-dev
cd /tmp
sudo mkdir liburiparser
cd liburiparser
sudo wget http://ftp.ie.debian.org/debian/pool/main/u/uriparser/liburiparser1_0.7.2-0exp1_amd64.deb
sudo wget http://ftp.ie.debian.org/debian/pool/main/u/uriparser/liburiparser-dev_0.7.2-0exp1_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i liburiparser1_0.7.2-0exp1_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg –i liburiparser-dev_0.7.2-0exp1_amd64.deb
sudo apt-get install libicu-dev

Go to /tmp and download the open source version of the tools from here.



Unpack and build the open-vm-tools:


sudo tar xzvf open-vm-tools*.gz
cd open-vm-tools-2008.11.18-130226
sudo ./configure --includedir=/usr/include/uriparser
sudo make

In the VMware management console, right click on the VM and tell VMware to install the VM tools then copy the tools:


sudo mount /media/cdrom0
sudo cp -a /media/cdrom0/VMwareTools*.gz /tmp/
cd /tmp/
sudo tar -xzvf VMwareTools*.gz

From the open source modules/linux folder we have the vmblock, vmhgfs, vmmemctl, vmsync and vmxnet modules that we need to tar up and place into the official VMware tools tarball:


cd /tmp/open-vm-tools-2008.11.18-130226/modules/linux/
for i in *; do sudo mv ${i} ${i}-only; sudo tar -cf ${i}.tar ${i}-only; done
cd ../../..
sudo mv -f open-vm-tools-2008.11.18-130226/modules/linux/*.tar vmware-tools-distrib/lib/modules/source/

Now we can run the regular VMware tools installer accepting all the defaults:


cd /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib/
sudo ./vmware-install.pl

Activate the vmxnet drivers:


sudo /etc/init.d/networking stop
sudo depmod –a
sudo modprobe vmxnet 
sudo /etc/init.d/networking start

Shutdown with sudo


init 0

and in the management console edit the VM settings, delete the Network Adapter that was previously created and create new ones with vmxnet settings.
Start the VM and this step should be complete.


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