i have this problem and i can't figure it out how can i resolve it.

Maybe it's a Elementary OS... i don't know.

I running VMware Workstation (Trial version) on my Elementary OS (0.4.1 Loki), and when i try to power on any virtual machine, the screen messed up :

enter image description here

I followed every installation guide but everytime this problem occur.

My version of VMware Workstation is: 14.0.0 build-6661328 - Workstation pro 14

My system detail: Intel Core i7 - 2.0 ghz - RAM 8gb - 16.04.1-Ubuntu

This problem occured everytime with every guest os.

Can someone help me to understand why this occured and how i can resolve it?

I ask you apology for my english

8 Answers 8


VMware 'upgraded' how it works. I have the same issue. The best version to use on Elementary is VMware Workstation 12. I have a copy; I will see if I can link to after I upload it. This is an issue with a VMware update.



  • 1
    Thank you SO much Eosdude!! Thank to you, now i don't have to change my os! Thank you again :)
    – Jaco Viz
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 22:20

vmware-workstation works without problems with the root user, however, it is very annoying to open the terminal to open the program and believe that the icon is useless. I found a way to bypass the problem by clicking on the icon and the program open asking for root password without having to open the terminal. First we should open the file that is in /usr/share/applications/vmware-workstation.desktop and then modify the line: Exec=/usr/bin/vmware %U for: Exec=gksudo -k -u root /usr/bin/vmware %U

Note: You will need to have gksu installed:

sudo apt install gksu
  • 2
    Not sure why this answer was down voted. Clearly not ideal to run VMware as root, but at least for my testing it does solve the issue. Elementary OS Loki 0.4.1 / VMware 14.1.3 build-9474260
    – NuSkooler
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 15:32

Same problem in 2019, Elementary OS Juno, vmplayer 15. But running GTK_CSD=0 vmplayer on terminal works for me.

  • Your participation is much appreciatedđź‘Ť Let me inform you that we love informative answers with step by step guide. Please try to post detailed information so that it is simple enough for someone with zero technical knowledge to easily understand.
    – Hasan
    Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 21:24
  • Thanks, but it seems @Jaap Lelie already did that =)
    – simakwm
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 22:59
  • Hi, just adding my two cents -- I would prefer this solution over using gksu or pkexec (aka running as root). This is mostly security-related and also running as root causes a lot of permission issues, such as the created VMs being owned by root instead of a normal user and when transferring VMs can cause issues. Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 7:53

In my opinion, a more elegant solution to the CSD "Client-Side Decorator" GTK+ issue with VMWARE Workstation Pro/Player is to use the "env" command for the Applications menu desktop entry.

1.) Open the terminal app and type the following, without quotes, and enter your password when prompted:

"sudo nano /usr/share/applications/vmware-player.desktop" - For VMware player "sudo nano /usr/share/applications/vmware-workstation.desktop" - For VMware workstation

2.) Change "Exec=/usr/bin/vmplayer %u" to "Exec=env GTK_CSD=0 /usr/bin/vmplayer %u" without the quotes.

3.) Press Ctrl+x and press "Y" to indicate yes when prompted.

Now the application should function properly when launched from the Applications Menu or Dock.

  • This 100% resolved my issue (VMware Workstation 15.5; Elementary 5.1 Hera). Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 18:25

Managed to work around it, with the help of Simakwn's response in this thread.

  1. Create a map /usr/share/scripts

  2. Create a file /usr/share/scripts/Custom_VMware_WKS.sh

  3. Enter one line: "GTK_CSD=0 /usr/bin/vmware %U" (no quotes)

  4. chmod a+x the file using sudo

  5. Install AppEditor - this app allows you to create custom launchers, especially tailored to fit Elementary. Download it here: https://appcenter.elementary.io/com.github.donadigo.appeditor/

  6. Using that, create a copy of your existing VMWare Workstation, you do good to give it a unique name (i.e. add 'Custom' to its name)

  7. Modify the command line so that it points to the script in point 2

  8. Save it, and voilĂ . You can now run VMware Workstation without issues.

  9. Repeat the above steps for your VMware Player application (name it Custom_VMware_PYR.sh instead of course ;-)).

Again, kudos to simakwn for having the solution, and Aiman Ismail for pointing me to AppEditor in a separate post.


The procedure, as posted by @Carlos, is confirmed to be working:

  • Open a terminal window and execute sudo vmplayer OR modify the VMware Workstation Player .desktop file as outlined in the original answer

Confirmed with the following system and drivers:

  • elementaryOS Hera 5.3.0-26-generic
  • VMware Workstation Player 15.5.1 build-15018445
  • Nvidia driver 340.107

I have Elementary OS Juno (All updates 2019), installed VMware workstation 15 and i had the same problem.

I just installed VMware Player 15 (VMware-Player-15.1.0-13591040.x86_64.bundle ) and using this command (simakwm) works fine:

GTK_CSD=0 vmplayer


This also fixed VMware Horizon viewer 5.03 under Elementary OS Hera

Exec=env GTK_CSD=0 /usr/bin/vmware-view %u

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.