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 ./vmware-install.pl

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

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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