How to Install VMware Tools in Ubuntu Guest

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VMware player is a free virtualization software which can be used to run multiple operating systems without disturbing or modifying the host operating system (the operating system you physically installed in your machine). Recently, we have shown you how to install Ubuntu in VMware and to enjoy its full potential, you need to install VMware tools.

Actually, VMware tools are installed by VMware player automatically, but sometimes VMware may fail to install those essential tools due to reasons like crashing, network connectivity, etc. If your Ubuntu guest doesn’t come with VMware Tools installed, here is how you can get it done.

Setting up a guest operating system inside a host operating system using VMware is relatively easy, but managing and scaling the installed guest operating system is totally a different issue. The important thing that VMware tools does is that it will integrate your guest operating system with the host operating system so that you can do all sorts of complex tasks like sharing hardware devices like printer, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. and sharing files and folders between guest OS and host OS, improving graphical performance, drag and drop support, etc.

Apart from all these, installing VMware tools greatly increases speed and efficiency of the guest operating system by synchronizing it with the host operating system.

Installing VMware tools in Ubuntu is really simple, all you have to do is to issue a couple of commands, and you are done installing VMware tools in Ubuntu.

Note: The commands shown here are case sensitive, pay attention while reproducing them.

1. To start with, we have to mount VMware tools to a CDROM. To do that, navigate to “Player -> Manage” and select “Install VMware Tools” to automatically mount the VMware tools image to your virtual CDROM.

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2. After mounting VMware tools to the virtual CDROM, a window will open showing you the contents of the VMware tools image (ISO). It will look  something like the below image.

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3. Now open the Ubuntu terminal by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + T” or by going to the dash and typing “terminal”. Once the terminal is opened, enter the following command and press the enter button. What this command does is extract the package to a temp directory.

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4. Once everything is extracted, use the following command to start installing VMware tools in Ubuntu.

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In the above command, we are using the switch “-d,” which makes the installation of VMware tools automatic by accepting the defaults. If you want to change something like the default directories for scripts, files, daemon files, etc.., then use the above command without the switch “-d.”

That said, only change the default settings if you know what you are doing because changing defaults may interfere with the working of VMware tools.

When the installation is completed, VMware tools will greet you and unmount the mounted CDROM.

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Just restart your Ubuntu virtual machine and you can enjoy the full potential of the VMware. That’s all there is to do.

Leave a comment below if you face any problems while installing VMware tools in Ubuntu virtual machine.

2 comments

  1. VMware and other virtualization software just introduces another layer of software which can cause problems and needs to be debugged in case of failure. It also introduces another layer of software that needs to be configured properly. Besides, even using VMware, you can only run one O/S at a time.

    I avoid all that bother by installing each O/S on a separate HDD then put each drive in a removable tray. Each O/S has complete control of the computer’s hardware. I do not need to worry about incompatibilities between the different layers of software. If I want to switch O/Ss, I just switch trays.

    • The latest version of VMware Player lets you run several virtual machines simultaneously. It doesn’t require any special hardware. You are limited only by the amount of RAM you have available to give to each vm.

      It’s very easy to allocate a few gigabytes of RAM and 10 or more gigabytes of disk to a vm and install a guest OS. You can clone or delete the VM with a click or even copy it to another host. Looking for a new Linux distro? With virtualization you can try out several at the same time. If you want, you can switch O/Ss just by clicking on a window.

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