When you start an automatic upgrade of VMware Tools, you do not need to perform any operations in the guest operating system that is running on the virtual machine. The automatic upgrade uninstalls the previous version of VMware Tools, installs the latest version that is available for your ESXi host.

Automatic VMware Tools upgrade is supported only for virtual machines with Windows or Linux guest operating systems.


The following requirements are for each virtual machine in the upgrade:

  • Power on the virtual machine.
  • Verify that the guest operating system is running.
  • To determine whether you have the latest version of VMware Tools, look on the Summary tab for the virtual machine.


  1. Select Automatic Tools Upgrade.
  2. (Optional) In the Advanced Options text box, enter advanced options for the guest operating system.
    Option Action
    Microsoft Windows Guest Operating Systems Enter /s /v "/qn" /l "Microsoft_Windows_location\filename.log" to perform a silent upgrade of VMware Tools and create a log file in the specified location on the guest operating system.
    Linux Guest Operating Systems
    • Enter --default to perform the default behavior. Perform a silent upgrade of VMware Tools. Install tools bin, lib and doc files in the default /usr directory.
    • Enter --prefix=binary_location,lib_location,doc_location to perform a silent upgrade of VMware Tools and install the binary, library, and document files in the specified locations.
  3. Click OK.


The VMware Tools label on the Summary tab changes to OK.

Important: When you upgrade VMware Tools on Linux guest operating systems, new network modules are available but are not used until you either restart the guest operating system or stop networking, unload and reload the VMware networking kernel modules, and restart networking. This behavior means that even if VMware Tools is set to automatically upgrade, you must restart or reload network modules to make new features available.

This strategy avoids network interruptions and allows you to install VMware Tools over SSH.

What to do next

Upgrade the virtual machine compatibility.