How-To Geek

Install VMware Tools on Ubuntu Edgy With VMware 5.5.3

The VMware Workstation 5.5.3 release notes indicate that it includes “Experimental support for Ubuntu Linux 6.10, 32-bit and 64-bit”, which means that you can install the VMware tools directly on Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) without having to compile.

If you are using a version prior to 5.5.3, you will want to follow this guide.

To install the VMware tools, start by choosing “Install VMware tools” from the menu:

You will see a new icon on your desktop, and a File Browser window should be opened immediately. If the file browser doesn’t open, just double-click on the cdrom icon.

You will see a file named VMwareTools-5.5.3-xxxxx.tar.gz. Right click it and choose Extract To. Pick a location to extract the files to.

The tools will be extracted into the folder you chose in the previous step:

For the next step, you will have to open a terminal window and change directory to the location you extracted the files to. Make sure you are inside the vmware-tools-distrib directory, and then run this command:

sudo ./

If you have a prior version of the VMware tools installed, you will see this message:

The vmxnet network driver is in use, please stop the network by invoking the command…

You will have to use sudo before the commands instead of the way they are listed in the error message, so run these two commands before re-running the vmware tools install script.

sudo /etc/init.d/networking stop
sudo rmmod vmxnet

sudo ./

The installation of vmware tools should proceed smoothly at this point. It’s important after the installation is done to run the following commands:

sudo /etc/init.d/networking stop
sudo rmmod pcnet32
sudo rmmod vmxnet
sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe vmxnet
sudo /etc/init.d/networking start

At this point, everything should be back up and running. You’ll probably want to reboot just to make sure everything is going to start back up smoothly.

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 11/24/06

Comments (20)

  1. Jan


    Strange, using VMware 5.5.3 and Ubuntu 6.10, but after clicking on Install VMware tools, nothing appears on the Ubuntu desktop inside VMware.

    I don’t know what could be the problem. A side effect is that I cannot input any text anymore after this action.


  2. The Geek


    If you had a cdrom already mounted, vmware won’t know how to handle it. You should make sure you don’t have anything mounted already.

    You can also check in your /cdrom/ folder in the file system to see if the files are there.

    Another thing you could do is just use vmware to mount the ISO with the name linux.iso that is stored in the VMware workstation program folder.

  3. Jan


    In fact I just downloaded the Ubuntu 6.10 iso image and in the connection settings I have put the location of this iso image.

    So after installation of Ubuntu 6.10 what are the exact steps to follow ?

    – disconnect cdrom ?
    – change connection to ‘use physical drive’ ?
    – connect (mount) cdrom again ?
    – click on : install VMware tools ?


  4. The Geek

    Change the connection to “use physical drive”, and make sure there’s no cd in your physical drive.

    Then click on Install Vmware tools again.

    If it doesn’t autoplay and show the icon on your desktop, you can run this command:

    sudo mount /dev/cdrom /cdrom

    The files should show up in your /cdrom/ folder inside ubuntu.

  5. Jan

    Hi Geek,

    Thanks for your comments. Finally the (my) problem is solved. In fact it was just a very stupid thing (but nevertheless, I was overlooking this and it took me a few hours to find out), I was still using the ‘live cd’ in stead of really installing Ubuntu itself.

    After figuring this out, after the installation of Ubuntu, it was easy to configure using the explanation above.

    Cheers, Jan

  6. The Geek

    Glad I could help!

  7. Glenn

    I’m running Ubuntu 6.10 on VMware 5.5.3. It has the strangest network behaviour. I have installed the tools and have a Ethernet connection listed. Ping shows me I can ping anywhere successfully, and sometimes I have got firefox to work, but mostly it just times out trying to get to any site at all.

    I’m on my fifth reinstallation and getting frustrated with it. Sometimes after installing I get a message that 69 updates are available for download and it installs them; other times I don’t that message after install and that install will never navigate anywhere. It seems random. For example on my current install, when I go to the update manager it times out trying to download the update information, but strangely enough I can navigate firefox to my ISPs site, but can’t navigate to Google or any other site on the Net.

    What is wrong with this set up? Its just a straight forward install of VMware and Ubuntu, but this networking is driving me mad. Seems there is some incomatibility somewhere, but I have no idea where to start to find it. Is the above issue common with Ubuntu?

  8. Daniel

    I had your problem once in SuSE, Glenn. Had my MTU set to the standard 1500bytes, which was apparently too high. Might want to try reducing it. Not sure how to do it in Ubuntu though, has ceased to be an issue after switching away from my DSL provider to the local cable provider.

  9. Benjamin

    hi, I’m having a hard time setting up the VMware tool 5.5.3 in my ubuntu 6.10(Edgy Eft), I did as instructed but I still cannot get my VMware tool to work..

    I extracted d file into my desktop, and I ran it using my terminal as written above, the installation process is smooth until the last part while it was configuring for the first time run..

    …. the module loads perfectly in the running kernel

    detected version 7.1
    problem extracting version of
    execution aborted.

    i believe the installation is not successful.. so what seems to be the problem? it was like this also while I was in 5.5.1(followed the guide from the other page) before I upgraded to 5.5.3.

  10. Yuval

    I had the same networking issues and I resolved it somehow. The problem is that the DNS does not work well. What I did to fix:
    1. Disabled ipv6 (look up in google how)
    2. Edited /etc/resolv.conf to have my router’s address as the DNS server and not the vmware one.

    That did it. It’s now working very nice..

  11. Byte-Biter


    I have installed Kubuntu 7.04 in VMware Workstation 5.5.3.
    I am quite new at Linux I just have a little bit of experience with Suse10.x (in VMware 5.0). And Suse knew how to deal with the VMware RPM…

    I followed the guide here and ran into trouble. VMware tools are running (succes!) but now VMware says the networkcard is not running…

    Here’s what happend:

    sudo /etc/init.d/networking stop
    sudo rmmod pcnet32 –>> Error: command not found
    sudo rmmod vmxnet –>> Error: command not found
    sudo depmod -a
    sudo modprobe vmxnet –>> Error: command not found
    sudo /etc/init.d/networking start –>> All kinds of error about not finding hardware

    After rebooting though, I clicked the ethernetcard-icon (with the cross) in the VMware and checked “connected” (connect on start on was already checked (it’s ‘bridged’)) and it worked again!

    So what started out as a question turned out to become a tip for n00bs just like me :-)

    Thanks @ The Geek for the instructions.


  12. Byte-Biter

    Addendum: The ethernetcard-icon is in the statusbar (typically te right bottom).

  13. Al

    I just tried installing the vmware tools but the install failed because I wasn’t in the right directory when I executed:

    sudo ./vmware-tools-distrib/

    now, when I try to run it from the correct directory I get a failure message saying:
    A previous installation of VMware software has been detected.


    Execution Aborted

    How can I reset this so that I can properly run the install? I’m a Linux noob. Thanks in advance.

  14. xant

    Go to the bin dir, and run the script. Then install will work.

  15. Aaron Smith

    # In response to Al
    #I just tried installing the vmware tools but the install failed because I wasn’t in the right directory when I #executed:
    #sudo ./vmware-tools-distrib/
    #now, when I try to run it from the correct directory I get a failure message saying:
    #A previous installation of VMware software has been detected.
    #Execution Aborted

    Another way to get around this it to go into the /etc dir and rename the folder ./vmware to ./vmware.bak
    from command line this would be
    $ mv /etc/vmware /ect/vmware.bak
    then try to reinstall
    You should be all set, i had to figure this out myself cause there was no
    Good luck people!
    The only reason I am leaving this is if you find it via google and need help!!!

  16. InDiSent

    Hey Guys,

    I’m trying to install vmware tools in Ubuntu 8.04. It’s a little differrent and I am getting a prompt that is not covered in the how-to. Any ideas? Here’s how it looks:

    xxxxx@Ubuntu:~$ ls
    Desktop Examples Pictures Templates vmware-tools-distrib
    Documents Music Public Videos
    xxxxx@Ubuntu:~$ cd vmware-tools-distrib
    xxxxx@Ubuntu:~/vmware-tools-distrib$ sudo ./
    [sudo] password for xxxxx:
    sudo: ./ command not found
    xxxxx@Ubuntu:~/vmware-tools-distrib$ ls
    bin doc etc FILES INSTALL installer lib
    xxxxx@Ubuntu:~/vmware-tools-distrib$ sudo ./
    Creating a new VMware Tools installer database using the tar4 format.

    Installing VMware Tools.

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

    Where do iwant to install the binary files? I’m using VmWare 6.03. Thanks.

  17. Andy

    I’m having a similar problem as InDiSent (29 April 2008 post) — installing tools on Ubuntu 8.10 in VMware Fusion (v.2.0 build 116369) on an iMac and also on XP Pro and Vista host boxes running Workstation 6.5. I’m a total newbi to linux and am completely lost when it comes to using the terminal, so, I’m sure that I’m doing something wrong or missing a step somewhere. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

  18. Erick

    I-m new in Ubuntu, I have 10.04 LTS, but it says I have to be the super user….How can I be the super user

  19. Lion

    try with the command $sudo -s please

  20. pothurai

    sudo /etc/init.d/networking stop
    sudo rmmod pcnet32
    sudo rmmod vmxnet –>> Error: command not found
    sudo depmod -a
    sudo modprobe vmxnet –>> Error: command not found

    after installing vmware when i run the above commands i am getting the errors how can i resolve the problem………………………..

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