How to Install VMware Tools on Debian 10

When you install a virtual machine or guest OS on your computer, it doesn’t work exactly like the host OS because it has some performance limitations. But VMware has provided a solution to this problem with the introduction of VMware Guest Tools that enhance and enhance guest OS performance.

VMware tools provide integration between host systems and guest operating systems. It includes a set of utilities that improve the graphics performance of the virtual machine and provide folder sharing, clock synchronization, mouse tracking, and more. Therefore, whenever you install a virtual machine on VMware, your first priority should be to install the VMware tools before doing anything else.

In this article, we will explain how to install VMware Tools on Debian in two different ways.

Let’s take a look at some of the features of VMware tools:

  • Time synchronization between host and guest operating system
  • Copy and paste text between applications in two virtual machines or between a virtual machine and a host
  • Improves graphics performance
  • Includes a shared folder allowing file sharing between the virtual machine and the host
  • Improves cursor movement
  • Allow guest OS snapshots

We will use the latest Debian 10 to describe the procedure mentioned in this article.

Method # 1. Install the VMware tools that come with the VMware virtualization application.

In this method, we will install the guest tools using the VMware tools that come with the VMware virtualization application. To do this, follow these steps:

Step 1: To install VMware Tools on a Debian virtual machine, you need to connect the VMware Tools virtual CD to the virtual machine’s CD-ROM drive. To do this go to the top menu of Virtual Machine Manager and navigate to VM> Install VMware Tools. In case you have already installed VMware tools and want to restore them, click Reinstall VMware Tools.

Step 2: Then make sure your system has automatically mounted the VMware tools CD image by running the following command in Terminal:

$ mount

If you see output similar to the one below, then it is installed. Otherwise, follow the next step.

Step 3: Mount the VMware Tools CD image. First, you will need to be logged in as root. by typing the command below. When prompted for a password, enter the root password.

# su

Then create a directory for the mount point by entering the command below. If the directory already exists, skip this command.

$ mkdir /mnt/cdrom

Then enter the command below to mount the CD-ROM drive at the mount point.

$ mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

Mount CD drive

Step 4: Now we will need to extract the VMware tools to a different working directory, say / tmp… To do this, first go to / tmp directory by entering the following command in Terminal:

$ cd /tmp

Then run the following command to extract the installer files:

$ tar zxpf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-10.2.0-7259539.tar.gz

Unpack the archive of VMWare tools.

10.2.0 the file name contains the version number of the product, and 7259539 is the build number of the release of the VMware product. These numbers may vary. you can use this alternative extract command, which extracts the archive regardless of the exact version:

$ tar zxpf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz

Step 5: We have now extracted the installation files into / tmp directory, so we no longer need the VMware tools CD image. We will unmount it by running the following command:

$ umont /dev/cdrom

Disable CD drive

Step 6: Now let’s install the VMware tools. To do this go to vmware-tools-distrib folder inside / tmp directory by running the following command:

$ cd vmware-tools-distrib

Then run the following command as sudo to install and configure VMware Tools:

$ sudo ./vmware-install.pl

Accept all defaults during installation by clicking Enter

Run the VMWare Tools installer

To view the version of VMware tools, use the following command in Terminal:

$ vmware-config-tools.pl -h 2>&1 | grep "VMware Tools"

Check installed version of VMWare Tools

Method # 2: Install VMware Guest Tools using Open VM Tools.

In this method, we will install VMware Guest Tools using Open VM Tools.

Open VM Tools is an open source implementation of VMware Tools. It is specially designed for Linux distributions and is available in the standard repositories of most Linux distributions. Therefore, we will install it from the Debian repository using the apt package manager. It is much easier to install than standard VMware tools.

To start the installation, launch Terminal on your Debian OS and enter the following command to install the open virtual machine tools using the apt package manager:

$ apt-get install open-vm-tools

Press y when prompted to proceed with the installation.

Install Open VM Tools

Wait for a while until the installation is complete. Finally, reboot your system for the changes to take effect.

To view the version of Open VM tools, use the following command in Terminal:

$ /usr/bin/vmware-toolbox-cmd -v

Check your Open VM Tools version

In this article, we have learned how to install VMware Tools on Debian 10 OS in two different ways. You can use any of these methods to improve functionality and enjoy an improved graphical user interface.

How to Install VMware Tools on Debian 10

Sidebar