I got few questions recently concerning VMware Tools. Usually Installation of VMware tools is easy process. Few clicks in the vSphere client and you install the VMware tools automatically or interactively. There is a third supported way to install VMware tools. In case you want to do a manual install of VMware tools from within the guest OS with the latest available packages from an online repository.
So if I recap, the VMware Tools can get installed inside of the VM three different ways (supported):
- Automatic VMware tools install
- Interactive Install – you validate and manually from the ISO presented by the hypervisor.
- From Online repository (OSPs) – Installing with latest VMware Tools which you can download from the Online repository. This is an alternative way (supported) of installing VMware tools, which also means that the version of VMware tools is maintained from within the guest OS. (not by the hypervisor) . Also, like this you can get the latest VMware Tools if you're running older VMware product. Ex. ESXi 4.x.
Operating System Specific VMware Tools packages. (OSPs) – This is the official name for the VMware tools available online. These VMware Tools OSPs are packaged using native package formats and standards of the supported guest OS (ex. RPM or DEB). They usually take less space than the packages presented natively via the VMware hypervisor. On the other hand, the installation process takes longer.
Another advantage of using the OSPs is that you can configure to update the VMware tools from inside of the guest OS, and do the update from the online repository.
VMware tools download – OSPs
To download the Operating System Specific Packages, see the package repository:
For Ubuntu VMs, starting with version 8 of Ubuntu. Please note that open-vm-tools is packaged with the multiverse repository. VMware does not support the use of these packages in VMware virtual machines. I've outlined of the installation of VMware tools in Ubuntu in my post here – How to install VMware Tools in Ubuntu based VMs.
There are two pdfs that you might want to read:
- For ESX version 4.1 and earlier, see the guide at: https://packages.vmware.com/tools/docs/manuals/osp-esx-41-install-guide.pdf
- For ESXi versions 5.1 and 5.0, see the guide at https://packages.vmware.com/tools/docs/manuals/osp-esxi-51-install-guide.pdf
There are tools for x32 or x64 systems, depending the version of your VM that you're running. You can also get the latest Windows VMware tools, which can be used then as an ISO package to be mounted via vSphere Client, or EXE file.
I usually copy the ISO file to a shared datastore, then it's easily accessible to any VM of my environment. If I need it. Concerning the VMware Tools EXE file, it might be difficult to actually copy this exe file inside of a VM if this VM does not does run any version of VMware tools, as without VMware Tools present there will usually be no network connection…
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