How-To Geek

Install VMware Tools on Ubuntu Edgy Eft

Update: If you have VMware Workstation version 5.5.3, you will want to follow the updated guide. If you are using version 5.5.2 or below, continue on.

Ubuntu continues to evolve, and the pre-compiled vmware tools just don’t have the time to adapt. This makes it a little more difficult to install, but not impossible.

The first thing that is important is that you will need to know is that you have to install the compilation utilities, which aren’t installed by default. Run these commands to get you started:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`

The first command installs gcc and all the compiler utilities. The second command installs the header files for your currently running kernel. Notice that the ` is the one next to the 1 key on your keyboard.

Now you’ll want to navigate to the VM \ Install VMware Tools menu:

This will mount the vmware tools in Ubuntu so that you can begin the install. To install the tools, run the following commands:

cp /cdrom/*.gz /tmp/

cd /tmp

tar xvzf VM*.gz

cd vmware*

sudo ./

Select all of the defaults. It will prompt you that you need to compile the module for your system. Select yes and continue.

When you are all done, reboot your virtual machine, and that’s all there is to it.

Tested on: Ubuntu Dapper, Ubuntu Edgy Eft

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/19/06

Comments (59)

  1. Chxta

    I installed XP within Ubuntu using VMware, ( Problem is that in the last few days it has slowed down considerably. Do you have any advice as to how I can make it improve? Or do I downgrade to Win2k?

  2. childers

    This does not work with Ubunto 6.1.0 and VMWare Workstation 5.5.1.
    I get the following message at the end of compile:

    Detected version 7.1.

    Problem extracting verion of

    Execution aborted.

    Anyone know why this is happening?

  3. The Geek


    I’m using vmware 5.5.2… you may want to upgrade a version.

  4. childers

    Upgrading to 5.5.2 version of VMWare did the trick! Thanks!

  5. Thepumpkin1979

    Yes, upgrading to 5.5.3 version of VMWare fix my issue.

    Thank you.

  6. Florian Hackenberger

    I had to do the following before running
    cd /usr/src
    sudo ln -s linux-headers-`uname -r` linux
    cd linux
    sudo make oldconfig
    sudo make prepare

  7. Ash

    Worked fine with Xbuntu 6.1 and VMWare 5.5.3 within WinXPPro.


  8. Jay

    Actually alien is easier IMO.

    Worked perfectly for me.

  9. mashi

    It worked on Ubuntu Edgy Eft under VMware Workstation 6 beta (build -39849)

  10. sic

    Thanks =) works no problem.

  11. Joe

    Thanks! it works on ubuntu 7.04, VMware Fusion 1.0b3 (43733)!

  12. Nathan

    Hi, I’m using VMware Server Console v. 1.02 and ubuntu 7.04. The host OS is Windows Vista.
    I get the following error message whenever i run the VMware Tools install

    If you wish to have the shared folders feature, you can install the driver by running again after making sure that gcc, binutils, make and the kernel sources for your running kernel are installed on your machine. These packages are available on your distribution’s installation cd.

    The rest of the vmware tools install fine but i really want the shared folders feature. Any advice would be appreciated.


  13. Cisco

    I also have the same problem. The guest os is XP though. I am going to try the ‘crazy’ approach and listen to the message in the mean time…

  14. Cisco

    I did it by the book, there seems to be some issue with the header files when it ‘makes’ the driver

  15. Nathan

    Did the ‘crazy’ approach work?

  16. martins

    This howto works fine with ESX 3.0.1 and kubuntu Linux version 2.6.15-23-386 (buildd@rothera) (gcc version 4.0.3 (Ubuntu 4.0.3-1ubuntu5)

  17. ok, put /usr/bin/vmware-toolbox in the list of programs to run automatically

    F R E A K I N G can’t believe it, well it worked

    for me too using VMware WS 6 on Vista Ultimate

    with virtual Feisty

    don’t forget to put /usr/bin/vmware-toolbox in the list of programs to run automatically

  18. ok, put /usr/bin/vmware-toolbox in the list of programs to run automatically


    here is the feisty startup

  19. Alan

    Hi All,

    I am a newbie to Linux and Kubuntu. I am trying it out as a VM running as a guest under a WinXP Pro SP2 host.

    I think I have installed VMWare Tools in Kubuntu 7.04 correcly, and after a bit of searching I found it listed in the following location:

    System Settings – Advanced – System Services

    as ‘not running’ but with a cross in the ‘start on boot’ option – I am guessing that a cross means to run on boot rather than don’t run on boot since there is no way of getting a tick in that box (that I can find).

    I am also guessing that this is analagous to WinXP’s ‘services’?

    Not sure if relavent, but the run mode is ‘Multi-user Mode(2)’.

    I have rebooted the VM a few times, but I cannot seem to get the VMWare Tools to run automatically, nor will it start when when I click on ‘Start’ in the services app.

    Any ideas on what I should try?



  20. Hoopes

    Thanks for the great how-to and to the others that contributed…it certainly helped me.

    Took me a minute but I figured it out and thought it may help other n00bs;
    when you copy from /cdrom and you get errors make sure to unmount and run the vmware tools installation again (VM->Install Vmware tools).

  21. Joerg

    Thanks a lot for this info. Worked a treat.

  22. jano73


    I have problem with installing VMware tools on Ubuntu7.10 on vm5.5.0. First, it complained that /usr/src/linux/include did not exist, so I followed the advice above and linked it to linux-headers-`uname -r`. I also tried to run 2 commands:
    sudo make oldconfig
    sudo make prepare
    the first went through fine, while the second failed quickly with the following error:
    make[1]: *** No rule to make target `arch/i386/kernel/asm-offsets.c’, needed by `arch/i386/kernel/asm-offsets.s’. Stop.
    I ran sudo ./ again, and this time I got the following error message, which I don’t know how to fix:
    The directory of kernel headers (verstion @@VMWARE@@ UTS_RELEASE) does not match your running kernel (version 2.6.22-14-generic). Even if the module were to compile successfully, it would not load into the running kernel.

    Any advice?

  23. Renan

    Im having the same problem….

  24. Moises Andre

    It works! Very good! Tank you!

  25. kax

    To FIX:
    The directory of kernel headers (verstion @@VMWARE@@ UTS_RELEASE) does not match your running kernel (version 2.6.22-14-generic). Even if the module were to compile successfully, it would not load into the running kernel

    Copy the line (or similar):

    #define UTS_RELEASE “2.6.18-3-amd64”


    /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.18-3-amd64/include/linux/utsrelease.h /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.18-3-amd64/include/linux/version.h

    The vmmon module will then compile successfully.

  26. Edward Harkey

    This tutorial was extremely helpful and has worked for me in nine out of ten Linux distributions I’ve tried under VMware Workstation! Thanks HTG for providing us with consistently high quality information!

  27. mido elhelow

    I need help please i want to install vmware >>i use Ubuntu 6.06on vmware 1.04
    and ihave also volum control problem

    please any help

  28. krum74

    works on gutsy like a charm….thx!

  29. Ralf

    I’ve done almost everything to get the package installed, but still is sending me an error when it ask for a c compiler. i’ve tried to find almost anything and i can’t find a c compiler for kubuntu 6.06 amd64.
    it ask for the following:
    “what i sthe location of the directory of c header files that match your running kernel? [/usr/src/linux/include]
    i even installed the kernell headers, and they are located under:

    and it still send the error. i’m just lost. any help will be greatly appreciated.

  30. Addam

    this works great with the new Ubuntu 8.04 and VMware 6.0.2!

  31. Joan

    Hi! I’m having just a littlel problem:
    it’s asking me this

    In which directory do you want to install the binary files?

    I don’t know what to write :( any help?

  32. The Geek


    You can typically just hit the enter key and accept all the defaults.

  33. Joan

    Hi! Geek and Thanks!! a lot, I did not realize it was so simple, but now I have another problem :(

    I got the full screen working, but how about the Unity and the Drag and Drop, the’re not working, there’s any advise on that, Thanks!!!

  34. FM

    Thanks man i’m new Linux World….ur solution worked :) ,, i’ve added ur site to my fav… will b visiting alot :)


    Tanks for this tip / step!

    its work perfect with 7.10 kubuntu-server /updated….. host windows / client linux


  36. Ian R-P

    VMWare Workstation: 6.0.4 build 93057
    Host OS: Windows XP Pro SP3
    Guest OS: Ubuntu 7.10 32-Bit

    Works perfect.

  37. Joakim

    Thanks a lot for these easy instructions. Works like a charm.

  38. Alan


    I am using VM 6.0.4 and Ubuntu 8.04 and am trying to install the VMware tools…

    I go to VM, install VMware tools and then I see a CD on my desktop. When I open the CD I see two files… a RPM file and a Tar archive file.

    However when I try to run the RPM file I get the following message
    “couldn’t display “/media/cdrom0/ VNwareTools-6.0.4-93057.i386.rpm”

    do you have any idea what that means?

  39. josh

    When i use the command
    “cp /cdrom/*.gz /tmp/

    cd /tmp

    tar xvzf VM*.gz

    cd vmware*

    sudo ./”

    It goes through the commands , and at the end it asks for permission to install more files. (Y/n) i type Y and it aborts anyway? Im kinda new to the world of linux. Any ideas?

  40. Marcus

    I just tried this on VMware ESXi 3.5 Update 2, worked great. after the VMWare Tools install .. using the script, rebooted and had a whole list of screen resolutions to play with :)

    Untar the TAR archive file using tar xzvf … into /tmp and you should see a in the extracted folder .. run that .. and accept all defaults.

    Josh … Accept defaults for the all questions .. should work.

  41. AlztGamer

    When I run ./ it stops with message:

    The kernel defined by this directory of header files does not have the same address space size as your running kernel.

    How to fix it?

  42. ExistenceGuest

    thanx it is very very helpful

  43. Roy

    scoured the net for this till 3 in the morning, found this tut, done within 20 min amazing thank you very much :D


    Just used it to install VMware tools for Ubuntu 8.10 (downloaded the VM already) worked perfectly.


  45. Kemal

    Thank you, buddy. It was such a great tutorial.

  46. my nonme

    Thanks a 3llion mate!

    fantastic tutorial, ubunto 9.04 on vmware 6 and it worked perfect!

    love you!

  47. PW

    Yep, Works great with 9.04 and WMware Workstation 6.5

  48. mahensa

    this was help me a lot

  49. boscage

    Works when installing VMware Tools 4.0.

    I have several new Ubuntu VM’s on vSphere 4.0.


  50. peter


  51. eundv

    Ditto what krum74 said. ty ty ty

  52. Matt

    Have tried all of this … having a nightmare.
    Ubunutu Server 10 install hangs on VMWare Workstation at the install VMWare Tools stage.
    I left it for a day and it just sat there and did nothing. Have started over three times.
    When I follow all the clever ideas above, I find that get nothing under /cdrom. yes, if I change to that directory I find zero files in it.
    The ISO image for Ubuntu Server in set up as the CDROM in the VM config.
    What am I doing wrong….?

  53. Alex

    works perfect on linuxmint 9

  54. Gerd

    Thank you so much, I hit the wall of concrete because my Ubuntu 10.10 server was installed without the build-essentials and so the vmhgfs module was not there.
    After re-running the the module got compiled and loaded and the shares defined in VMWare setup of this machine were linked into /mnt/hgfs/

    YMMD – thanks


  55. sipho63

    i tried with 10.10 and it ain’t working at all… any1 with a better solution?

  56. Yoshiyah

    Why do people want to use a system that requires everything run as a command line. It is 2011 now, 10 years into the 21st Century and they are still making systems that require command line. SMFH. No wonder why Windows has 99.9% of the market.

  57. pham van thanh

    thanhs a lot

  58. Edwin

    You can install tools for the Ubuntu 10.10 VM from the Ubuntu repositories.

    sudo aptitude install open-vm-tools open-vm-toolbox open-vm-dkms

    Wait for the install to finish, and reboot, and you should have a VM working with tools. Be sure to remove the open-vm-dkms package if you ever upgrade from one version of Ubuntu to another (you can install it again once the upgrade is complete) — if it is installed during the upgrade, it will try to compile the tools kernel modules against the wrong kernel, fail, and thus cause the entire upgrade to fail.

    thanks to: Aaron44126

  59. Matt

    Worked like a charm in ESXi 4.1. I had to manually mount the cd-rom to get to the vmware tools installer. Thanks for posting.

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