For Linux virtual machines, you manually install VMware Tools by using the command line. For later Linux distributions, use the integrated open-vm-tools version.


For more information on OS compatibility for open-vm-tools, see the VMware Compatibility Guide at

  • Power on the virtual machine.

  • Verify that the guest operating system is running.

  • Because the VMware Tools installer is written in Perl, verify that Perl is installed in the guest operating system.

  • For vSphere virtual machines, determine whether you have the latest version of VMware Tools. In the vSphere Client inventory, select the virtual machine and click the Summary tab.


  1. Mount the VMware Tools virtual disc on the guest operating system.

    VMware Product


    vSphere Client

    Inventory > Virtual Machine > Guest > Install/Upgrade VMware

    vSphere Web Client

    Right-click the virtual machine and select Guest OS > Install VMware Tools.


    Virtual Machine > Install (or Upgrade) VMware Tools

    Workstation Pro

    VM > Install (or Upgrade) VMware Tools

    Workstation Player

    Player > Manage > Install (or Upgrade) VMware Tools

  2. In the virtual machine, open a terminal window.
  3. Run the mount command with no arguments to determine whether your Linux distribution automatically mounted the VMware Tools virtual CD-ROM image.

    If the CD-ROM device is mounted, the CD-ROM device and its mount point are listed in a manner similar to the following output:

    /dev/cdrom on /mnt/cdrom type iso9660 (ro,nosuid,nodev)
  4. If the VMware Tools virtual CD-ROM image is not mounted, mount the CD-ROM drive.
    1. If a mount point directory does not already exist, create it.
      mkdir /mnt/cdrom

      Some Linux distributions use different mount point names. For example, on some distributions the mount point is /media/VMware Tools rather than /mnt/cdrom. Modify the command to reflect the conventions that your distribution uses.

    2. Mount the CD-ROM drive.
      mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

      Some Linux distributions use different device names or organize the /dev directory differently. If your CD-ROM drive is not /dev/cdrom or if the mount point for a CD-ROM is not /mnt/cdrom, modify the command to reflect the conventions that your distribution uses.

  5. Change to a working directory, for example, /tmp.

    cd /tmp

  6. (Optional) Delete any previous vmware-tools-distrib directory before you install VMware Tools.

    The location of this directory depends on where you placed it during the previous installation. Often this directory is placed in /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib.

  7. List the contents of the mount point directory and note the file name of the VMware Tools tar installer.
    ls mount-point
  8. Uncompress the installer.
    tar zxpf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-x.x.x-yyyy.tar.gz

    The value x.x.x is the product version number, and yyyy is the build number of the product release.

  9. If necessary, unmount the CD-ROM image.
    umount /dev/cdrom 

    If your Linux distribution automatically mounted the CD-ROM, you do not need to unmount the image.

  10. Run the installer and configure VMware Tools as a root user
    cd vmware-tools-distrib
    sudo ./

    Usually, the configuration file runs after the installer file finishes running. If you attempt to install a tar installation over an RPM installation, or the reverse, the installer detects the previous installation and must convert the installer database format before continuing.


    For newer Linux distributions, users are prompted to choose the integrated open-vm-tools.

  11. Follow the prompts to accept the default values, if appropriate for your configuration.
  12. Follow the instructions at the end of the script.

    Depending on the features you use, these instructions can include restarting the X session, restarting networking, logging in again, and starting the VMware User process. You can alternatively reboot the guest operating system to accomplish all these tasks.


If you are using vCenter Server, the VMware Tools label on the Summary tab changes to OK.

What to do next

If you upgraded VMware Tools as part of a vSphere upgrade, next determine whether to upgrade the virtual machines in your environment. To review and compare the hardware available for different compatibility levels, see the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration documentation.