When you install a virtual machine or a guest OS on your machine, it does not exactly perform like the host OS because it has some limitations regarding performance. But VMware presented a solution for this by introducing VMware guest tools that enhance and improve the performance of the guest OS.
VMware tools enable the integration between the host and the guest operating systems. It includes a set of utilities that improves the graphical performance of VM and enables sharing folders, clock synchronization, mouse tracking, and much more. Therefore, whenever you install a virtual machine on VMware, your first priority should be to install VMware tools before doing anything else.
In this article, we will explain how to install VMware tools in Debian using two different methods.
Let’s take a look at some of the features of VMware tools:
- Time synchronization between the host and the guest operating systems
- Copy-paste text between applications on two VMs or among a VM and host
- Improves graphical performance
- Enables Shared folder to allow exchanging the files between VM and the host
- Improves cursor movement
- Allow snapshots of the Guest OS
We will use the latest version Debian 11 for describing the procedure mentioned in this article. The same steps will work on Debian 10 as well.
Method # 1: Install VMware tools that come with the VMware virtualization application
In this method, we will install guest tools using VMware tools that come with the VMware virtualization application. Follow the below steps to do so:
Step 1: To install VMware tools in Debian VM, you will need to connect the VMware tools virtual CD to VM CD-ROM drive. To do so, go to the top menu of your VM manager and navigate to VM > Install VMware tools. In case, if you have already installed VMware tools and you want to repair it, then click on Re-install VMware tools.
Step2: Then check if your system has automatically mounted the VMware tools CD-ROM image by running the following command in Terminal:
If you see the output similar to below, then it is mounted. Otherwise, follow the below step.
Step 3: Mount the VMware Tools CD image. First, you will need to log in as a root. by typing the below command. When prompted for the password, enter the root password.
Then create a directory for mount point by typing the below command. If the directory exists already, skip this command.
$ mkdir /mnt/cdrom
Then type the below command to mount the CD-ROM drive at the mount point.
$ mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
Step 4: Now we will need to extract the VMware tools to another working directory let’s say /tmp. To do so, first navigate to /tmp directory by typing the below command in Terminal:
$ cd /tmp
Then run the below command to extract the installer files:
$ tar zxpf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-10.2.0-7259539.tar.gz
10.2.0 in the file name is the product version number, and 7259539 is the build number of the VMware product release. These numbers might differ. you can use this alternative extract command which extracts the archive independent of the exact version:
$ tar zxpf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz
Step 5: Now we have extracted the installation files to /tmp directory, so we do not need the VMware tools CD-ROM image anymore. We will unmount it by running the below command:
$ umont /dev/cdrom
Step 6: Now we will install VMware tools. For that, navigate to the vmware-tools-distrib folder inside the /tmp directory by running the below command:
$ cd vmware-tools-distrib
Then run the below command as sudo to install and configure VMware tools:
$ sudo ./vmware-install.pl
During installation, accept all the default values by pressing Enter
To view the version of VMware tools, use the below command in Terminal:
$ vmware-config-tools.pl -h 2>&1 | grep "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 the open-source implementation of the VMware Tools. It is specifically made for Linux distributions and it is available in standard repositories of most Linux distributions. So we will install it from the Debian repository by using the apt package manager. It is much easier to install compared to standard VMware tools installation.
To start the installation, launch the Terminal in your Debian OS and enter the below command to install open VM tools using the apt package manager:
$ apt-get install open-vm-tools
When prompted, press y to continue the installation.
Wait for a while until the installation is completed. Finally, reboot the system for the changes to take effect.
To view the version of Open VM tools, use the below command in Terminal:
$ /usr/bin/vmware-toolbox-cmd -v
In this article, we have learned how to install VMware tools in Debian 11 using two different methods. You can use any one of these methods to improve functionalities and enjoy the enhanced graphical experience.