Matt Pson Just another dead sysadmin blog


VMware Tools on Debian Squeeze (a short howto)

(this post is more of en extended memory, now I know where I have written this down 🙂 )

So, installing VMware Tools on a virtual machine running Debian Squeeze (6.0.1 in this case) is really comparable to a walk in the park. First, prepare your installation by installing even more packages required to build the kernel modules:

# apt-get install make gcc linux-headers-$(uname -r)

(this will install a whole bunch of packages needed depending on what you already installed before)

Next, select your virtual machine in your vSphere Client and right-click and select Guest->Install/Upgrade VMware tools. This will put a virtual CD into your virtual machines CD-rom drive (hopefully you didn't remove that, did you?). Next mount it, extract the VMware tools package to /tmp (or any other location of your choice):

# mount /media/cdrom
# cd /tmp
# tar xfz  /media/cdrom/VMwareTools*.tar.gz

Then it's time to build the tools and install them:

# cd vmware-tools-distrib
# ./

This will trigger a bunch of questions and while it is safe to accept the default on all of them I usually like to keep my non-Debian stuff in /usr/local rather than in /usr to avoid any future conflicts I change that (one of the first questions). When the installation is finished VMware ESX/ESXi can communicate with the virtual machine which is really handy and there is some other useful perks like the balloon driver and some custom vmware drivers.

After the installation I clean up after me:

# cd /tmp
# rm -rf vmware-tools.distrib
# umount /media/cdrom

All done and we're finished, just a quick check in the Summary tab in my vSphere Client tells me that my virtual machine now has VMware Tools installed.