Installing VMware Guest Tools on Ubuntu

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install VMware Guest Tools on Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04.

Not very long ago we wrote that those who are studying to become IT professionals or taking exam classes should have virtualization software as one of the many tools in their arsenal.

We then said that two power players in the virtualization software category are VMware Workstation Pro and VirtualBox. We also showed users how to install both VirtualBox and VMware workstation pro.

This tutorial shows students and users how to install VMware guest tools on Ubuntu guest systems.

It’s very important that you install the guest operation tools on VMware virtual machines. When the guest tools are installed, they enhance the graphic performance, provide shared folders and drag n’ drop operations between the host and guest machines.

Step 1: Installing VMware Workstation Guest Tools

Installing the guest tools on Ubuntu is not as straightforward as on Windows systems. The installation on Windows guest machines is a simple process.

On Ubuntu, it’s a bit different. There are basically two ways to install the guest tools on Ubuntu systems.

Method #1

Originally, the only way on used to install the guest machine tools was to install VMware Tools the came with the host software. It is part of the host installation.

To install the guest machine tool using method #1, first update Ubuntu guest machine by running the commands below.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade && sudo apt-get autoremove

After updating the Ubuntu guest machine, on the host computer click on VM –> Install VMware Tools from the menu of VMware Workstation Pro.

This will temporarily mount VMware Workstation virtual CD drive with the guest tools content. Next, open the command terminal and run the commands below

tar -xvf /media/$USER/"VMware Tools"/VMwareTools*.gz -C /tmp

Then run the commands below to install the guest tool with the default settings.

sudo /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib/ -d

Restart the Ubuntu guest machine and the guest machine should perform must faster than before.

Method #2

The second method is to install the Open VM Tools (OVT) that can be installed from Ubuntu default repositories. OVT is the opensource implementation of VMware Tools consisting of utilities to enhance the guest machine.

The second method is the easiest and might provide the best experience, since it was packaged specifically for Ubuntu virtual machines.

To install the guest tools using the second methods, run the commands below.

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

Reboot the guest machine and you’re done.

This is how to install VMware Workstation guest machines tools.

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