Convert Linux to use repository installed VMware Tools

Updated by Aaron LeMoine on Jan 16, 2016

On Linux machines that have had their VMware Tools installed via the tools installer in vSphere, installing distribution or kernel updates can cause the VMware Tools to fail. The solution to this problem is to remove the vSphere installed version and use a repository based version, which should not be affected by subsequent updates.

Detailed Steps

We first need to remove the existing vSphere installed version of VMware Tools. This is done by executing the following script that should exist if the vSphere installed version of VMware Tools is present. If any other versions of VMware Tools have been installed (including open-vm-tools older than 9.4.0 series), they must be removed.

RHEL / CentOS:

yum remove vmware*


apt-get remove vmware* Import the following keys

RHEL / CentOS:

rpm --import rpm --import


wget -O - | apt-key add - wget -O - | apt-key add -

Create the config file for the new repository:

RHEL/CentOS 5:

echo -e "[vmware-tools]\nname=VMwareTools\nbaseurl=\$basearch\nenabled=1\ngpgcheck=1" > /etc/yum.repos.d/vmware-tools.repo

RHEL/CentOS 6:

echo -e "[vmware-tools]\nname=VMwareTools\nbaseurl=\$basearch\nenabled=1\ngpgcheck=1" > /etc/yum.repos.d/vmware-tools.repo

Ubuntu 12.04:

echo "deb precise main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vmware-tools.list

Ubuntu 14:04:

echo "deb trusty main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vmware-tools.list

Install VMware Tools

RHEL/CentOS 5 & 6:

yum install vmware-tools-esx-kmods vmware-tools-esx-nox

RHEL/CentOS 7:

yum install open-vm-tools

Ubuntu 12.04:

apt-get update && apt-get install vmware-tools-esx-kmods-$(uname -r) vmware-tools-esx-nox

Ubuntu 14:04:

apt-get update && apt-get install open-vm-tools open-vm-tools-deploypkg

Additional Information

If you receive a message that vmware-tools-esx-kmods- doesn't exist, look for the one with the closest kernel version and install it. aptitude search vmware-tools-esx-kmods

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