How to install VMware Tools on Ubuntu?

VMware Tools Head Image 2

In this tutorial, we will learn about VMware Tools, its importance, features, and of course, the methods to install VMware Tools on Ubuntu or any other Linux Distributions.

What are VMware Tools?

VMware Tools enhances the functionality of the Virtual Machines running on VMware Workstation Player, VMware player, or fusion. The Guest OS does not behave like the Host OS. When it comes to performance and operation, there are certain limitations. To overcome those limitations, VMware Tools was introduced to enhance the overall performance.

Features of VMware tools:

  1. Clipboard Sharing
  2. Fast Graphic Performance
  3. Drag and Drop operation
  4. Network acceleration
  5. Time Synchronization between the Guest OS and the Host.
  6. Improves video resolution and Sound support.
  7. Auto resize Guest OS display.

We can install VMware Tools using open VM tools or official VM tools.

Installing VMware Tools using open VM tools

Open VM Tools is an open-source package available in the official package repository of Ubuntu. To install VMware Tools from the Ubuntu repository:

  • Run the following command to update the packages using the sudo command:
sudo apt update
Update Packages

The packages should be updated.

  • If you are using Server OS (Ubuntu Guest OS), enter the following command:
sudo apt install open-vm-tools
Openvm Tools

If you are using a Desktop OS (Ubuntu Desktop), enter the following command:

sudo apt install open-vm-tools-desktop
Openvm Tools Desktop
  • Press Y and enter to confirm. Reboot your Virtual Machine.
Reboot 1
  • That’s it. Open VMware Tools is installed successfully.

Installing VMware Tools using official VMware Tools

We can install official VMware Tools either using terminal or GUI.

1. Using Ubuntu Terminal

  • Open the VMware player, workstation, or fusion. Start the Guest Virtual Machine.
  • Select VM-> Install VMware Tools.
sudo mkdir /mnt/cdrom
New Directory 1

To mount the CD-ROM (the directory that we created above), run the below command:

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
Mount Directory

Run the following command to find the exact name of the VMware Tool bundle:

ls /mnt/cdrom
List Directory

To extract the content of the VMware bundle, enter the following command:

tar xzvf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-x.x.x-xxxx.tar.gz -C /tmp/

The above command is the general syntax. There are different versions of VMware Tools. Replace the VMwareTools-x.x.x-xxxx.tar.gz with the file name you found above.

Extraction Cmd

Now, run the following command to change the directory to the VMware distribution folder.

$ cd /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib/
Change Dir Cmd 1

Finally, run this command to install VMware Tools:

sudo ./
Vmware Install

2. Using GUI (Graphical User Interface)

If you are not familiar with the command line, you can easily install VMware Tools using GUI.

  • Open VMware Player, Workstation, or fusion. Start the Guest Virtual Machine.
  • Navigate to VM -> Install VMware Tools.
  • Mount the official VMware Tools CD/DVD mounted on the desktop by double clicking on it.
Vmware Desktop 1
  • Right click on the tar.gz file and click on Extract to to extract the compressed file.
Vmwaretools Extract
  • After the extraction. A vmware-tools-distrib folder will be created. Change the directory by running this code:
cd Desktop/vmware-tools-distrib
Changedir Vmware 2
  • Now, Enter the following command to install the official VMware tools:
sudo ./ 
Vmware Install 1
  • Press <enter> to accept all the defaults. Reboot your Virtual Machine for changes to take effect.
Enter Defaults
  • You have successfully installed Official VMware Tools.
Installation Success 1


You can use any of the above methods to install VMware Tools for stability and better performance. Now, you will be able to copy-paste and share files easily between Guest OS and the Host.