What do I have to type in the terminal to install VMware tools. I already have it showing up as a cd in the file system. I am new to Linux systems and operating the terminal.

4 Answers 4


This is an example how it works in VMWare Workstation. There're minimal differences to other versions of VMWare.

1) Mount the VMWare Tools CD.

VM >> Install VMWare Tools

2) Open File Manager and go to VMWare Tools. Extract the VMWareTools-xxxx.tar.gz to a known directory.

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3) Open Terminal and go to the directory of the extracted archive.

cd Directory/vmware-tools-distrib/

4) Run installation

sudo su -c "./vmware-install.pl"

5) After installation enable VMWare Tools and reboot


sudo reboot
  • While this answer is quite old, it showed me what I was doing wrong. I was trying to invoke vmware-user as root, which wasn't working. Thank you. Commented May 18, 2017 at 18:49
  • With Elementary 6.1 I did see a segmentation fault during the install. Seems like it still worked though after reboot. (using VMware)
    – djangofan
    Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 22:38

To install the updated and open-source version of VMware tools run the following command in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools open-vm-tools-desktop

Then reboot.

  • Just a quick addition: open-vm-tools are now the VMware recommended way of installing tools for "modern linux systems". No feature updates will be made to the bundled tools for linux.
    – Lewis Goddard
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 20:06
  • FYI: The install from the vmware tools cdrom seems to also be the open-vm-tools-desktop package
    – djangofan
    Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 22:40

sorry not at home with my elementary install ... so I cannot verify that this package is there ... you could install open-vm-tools (note it is in Ubuntu) ...


I encountered the same issue with the error being logged as:
RPC greeting failed: Host software version may not be compatible with the upgrader

I found that VMware now only makes updates to open-vm-tools open-vm-tools-desktop and that the tools bundled with VMware Fusion or VMware Workstation are legacy products.

That said, this is how to install them.

This will be similar to pdunker's answer but more command oriented.

  1. Mount the drive: Open Files and click the CD icon with the label VMware Tools.
  2. Right click in any empty space and select Open In > Terminal.
  3. Run the following code:
cp VMwareTools-*.tar.gz ~/
tar -xzf VMwareTools-*.tar.gz
# this will uncompress to vmware-tools-distrib
cd vmware-tools-distrib
sudo ./vmware-install.pl
  1. Follow the interacetive shell to make choices and your install should complete normally.

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