How To Install VMware Tools on Ubuntu 8.04 Guests

By | 2008/06/07

Installing VMware Tools on virtualized guests gives you a much more enjoyable experience within your virtual environment.  Screen resolution, mouse behaviour, etc will be improved for your virtual sessions after installing these additional tools.  Installing these tools within Ubuntu 8.04 virtualized guests is fairly simple, just follow along below.

Installing VMware Tools

The first requirement, of course, is that you have Ubuntu 8.04 installed within VMware Server and that Ubuntu 8.04 is running.

Once you’ve got your Ubuntu 8.04 guest logged in, navigate to the “VM” menu option (File, Edit, View… VM) and select “Install VMware Tools”.  This will notify you once again that your guest must be logged in.  If that is the case, click “Install”.

note: The next step in the process may be simpler if you make sure any other CD images are unmounted before continuing.

This part of the process mounts a virtual CD image with the VMware Tools contained on it.  To find these tools for installation navigate to Places > Computer > CD Drive.  You should find these two files listed there:


For Ubuntu guest installations we’ll want to use the .tar.gz file.  Now we have access to the needed file, the next part of the process is opening the archive and installing the tools.

Below I’ve put together a copy-paste list of commands you should be able to use to unpack and setup VMware Tools on your Ubuntu 8.04 guest.  All of these commands happen within the Ubuntu 8.04 Guest machine:

sudo aptitude install build-essential linux-headers-generic
cp /media/cdrom/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz /tmp/
cd /tmp/
tar xf VMwareTools-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-tools-distrib/
sudo ./

You should be able to safely select the defaults for most of the questions.  You might want to pay attention at the step where it asks for your preferred available resolution and set that properly.  For the new VMware Tools to be available once this process is done you’ll need to reboot your Ubuntu 8.04 guest.  Enjoy.

31 thoughts on “How To Install VMware Tools on Ubuntu 8.04 Guests

  1. Richard


    I’m trying this with Ubuntu 8.04 server.

    I get The path “/usr/src/linux/include” is not an existing directory.

    any ideas ?

    1. Architectonic

      Richard, and anyone else, I just solved this, the path is just suggested, it will look more like
      " /usr/src/[INSERT LINUX KERNEL VERSION HERE]/include "
      your kernel version can be found by typing "uname -r"
      (or by navigating to the address above and seeing what the name of the folder in "/usr/src" is.)

  2. Bruce

    Yes, Thanks so much for this web page. It was clear and best of all, it worked perfectly!
    (on my Mac OS 10.5.4 & VMware v1.1.3)

    Why doesn’t VMWare have this information? I hope they pay you for your support of their customers!

  3. Tom

    I struggled with the instructions when needing to copy the tar file after clicking Install VMWare Tools. Turns out that VMWare wasn’t actually mounting the CD. So I added: mount /dev/cdrom mnt/cdrom and voila, I could finally find the tarball.

  4. scbickle

    This guide worked fine to enable the screen drivers and enhanced mouse support, thanks. However it failed to compile the filesystem driver (vmhgfs module). What else would I need to do to achieve this?

  5. clem

    Exactly the same for me. Impossible to get these drivers working.
    vmhgfs doesn’t work, meaning that I can’t share files between my host system and Ubuntu.
    The other bad thing: the driver for memory doesn’t work.
    Any guess ?

  6. Dan

    ok, for those of you installing vmware tools in Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS Server edition, the apt-get command should read:

    apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-2.6.24-16-server

    Then you need to do the following before the vmware tools install/config:

    cd /usr/src
    ln -s linux-headers-2.6.24-19-server linux

    This will then allow tools to install correctly.

  7. Byron

    My attempt with installing VMwareTools yielded this.

    A previous installation of VMware software has been detected.


    Execution aborted.

  8. Joel

    Very simple, worked like a charm. I had trouble installing Tools using other suggestions and with only six commands, this was simple even for a newb like me. I am using Ubuntu now under Fusion 2.0 (which has added the Unity feature and full drag/drop), so this has been a great help. Many thanks!

  9. spritz

    Thanks, very simple to install with these directions, really just copy and paste. Thanks

  10. j.a.

    Pretty good! I did the procedure and worked fine.

    What about how to install VMWare Player 2.5 in Ubuntu 8.04? Any clue?

  11. jd

    Thanks, very helpful directions, really.

  12. Alfonso

    Gracias, preciso y conciso tutorial

  13. Boodito

    I am trying this with Intrepid but the installation process hangs after entering the screen resolution on:

    Starting VMWare Tools services in the virtual machine:
    Switching to guest configuration: done
    Guest vmxnet fast network device: done
    New Host-Guest communication path: done
    Blocking file system:_

    any ideas?

  14. NZSouthernMan

    Awesome – thanks for this. Really helpful and well written.

  15. Oliver Smith

    Excellent! I was piddling about with rpm 🙂

    Only thing I haven’t gotten figured is making Unity work (Vista -> VMware Workstation 6.5 -> Ubuntu 8.10). Tells me it can’t resize the guest.

  16. sadicote

    how do I install Vmware tools after an Ubuntu(8.10) installation on a Vmware Workstation?

    I am a wannabe Linux user and would trouble you to pursue this topic further. Please bear with me.

  17. blackhu

    Thanks very much, it’s useful

  18. SilverKilla

    How do I open the console to type those commands?????????????????????????????

  19. Raggajunglist

    First wall I ran into is that VMwareTools-*.rpm is missing from my CD image for some reason and in its place is manifest.txt …I never figured out why. But luckily it seems VMwareTools-.tar.gz is the important file.

    I found Terminal and entered the first line as instructed:
    sudo aptitude install build-essential linux-headers-generic

    and it says…

    [sudo] password for user:

    I try to type my password but Terminal refuses to accept text input. I relaunch Terminal and try again, thinking I may have made a typo – same result. This is so lame.

    No wonder nobody uses Linux – I feel like I went 15 years into the past and am using DOS again! In OS X this would have been as easy as mounting a .dmg clicking through a couple menus and getting on with my life. I am now on day 2 of the VMWare Tools installation adventure.

    Arrrrrgh! *bangs head against wall for the rest of eternity*

  20. Raggajunglist

    My Linux-savvy friend informed me of a KEY PIECE OF INFORMATION: (for those of you unfamiliar with the Linux Terminal) it does NOT display your passwords as you type them. It’s not being unresponsive. It’s not locked. It just won’t show you the typical password “dots”. Apparently this is for security reasons so nobody knows the length of your passwords.

    *stops banging head against wall*

  21. moorsel

    I tried to follow this approach vor Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS desktop but installing vmhgfs support fails. What would be the steps to install the vmware tools under Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS desktop (or where can I download an Ubunto 8.04 LT desktop distro)

  22. mariano


    Ubuntu 8.04

    VMWare Workstation 5.5.1 build-19175

    Message: What is the location of the directory of C header files that match your running
    kernel? [/usr/src/linux/include] /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.24-24/include

    The path "/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.24-24/include" is a kernel header file
    directory, but it does not contain the file "linux/version.h" as expected. This
    can happen if the kernel has never been built, or if you have invoked the "make
    mrproper" command in your kernel directory. In any case, you may want to
    rebuild your kernel.

  23. Clarck

    muito boa explicação… obrigado

  24. raju

    I had install ‘Ultimate Ubuntu 2.0’ in VMware workstation.
    How can i install VMware tools to it?
    I am new user to it.
    Please provide me every details.

  25. Victor

    If you’re getting the “linux/version.h” error and are running a server installation of Ubuntu (like 8.04 LTS server), make sure that you have install the “linux-headers-*-server” package, where * is the version of your current Linux kernel.

    Good luck!


  26. kira

    i tried in the way as you said above … but i’m getting this error
    “bash: ./ /usr/bin/perl : bad interpreter : No such file or directory found”
    please help with this error
    advance thanks for your help:)

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