How to install VMware Tools on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux using command line

Learn how you can enable VMWare tools on its hypervisor for not only Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux but also for previous versions such as Ubuntu 18.04,19.04,16.04, including Linux Mint, Debian, Elementary OS and more…

VMware is one of the oldest entities that deal with Virtualization technology and stability with the performance of Vmware Workstation Player on Windows and Linux OS is proof of that. As we know, we have only a couple of Type-2 virtualization platforms to run on our OS in which Vmware Player, VirtualBox, and KVM are the best options. Well, if you leave the KVM aside then between VirtualBox and VMware, the performance I got while using Ubuntu 20.04 on Vmware Player was much faster then the VirtualBox.

Therefore, if you are also using Ubuntu on VMware workstation player and want to install VMWare Tools on it, here is the tutorial on that. It is just the same as we have VirtualBox Guest Additions for Oracle VBox.

Now, What functions we will get from VMware Tools?

VMware Tools is the package that is meant to enhance the functionality of the Virtual machines running on Vmware Workstation Player or fusion. Once you install it, it will enable several features on the VM, lets’s say you are running Ubuntu Linux on VMware Player and now want to copy-paste or drag-drop files directly from the host machine to guest VM then that is possible after installing Vmware Tools on Linux or Windows.

Apart from that, the Guest VM will automatically start adjusting the display size the moment you increase or decrease the area of its window using the mouse which means increased graphics performance will be there too. Even share folders and other performance enhancement process will be activated after getting the VMware tools on your Virtual Machine running on VMware hypervisor.

Install Vmware Tools on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux using the command terminal

If you can’t install Vmware tools the option is grey out on the graphical user interface of the software then the command line will be the best and easiest possible way…

Start Virtual Machine

Simply go to the VMWare, select, and start the virtual machine where you can’t mount Vmware tools or it is showing in grey color under PlayerManager.


Open Command Terminal

As we are here not using the graphical user interface thus, to use the command line we will access the terminal. Either click on the Show Applications, search Terminal, or simply use the keyboard shortcut that is Ctrl+Alt+T.


Update Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Before going further make sure the installed packages on your system are up to date. This will also rebuild the repo cache so that APT could find the latest packages in the system added source lists.

sudo apt update


Use APT to install VMware tools via Open VM Tools packages

The easiest way to get the VMware Tools using APT package manager on Ubuntu 20.04/18.04/16.04 is to download and install the Open VM Tools which is an open-source version of VMware Tools for Linux virtual operating systems. It is available in the official repo of the Ubuntu, thus, we don’t need to add any other third-party repository.

For Servers & Desktops:

sudo apt install open-vm-tools
sudo apt install open-vm-tools-desktop

command line to install VMware Tools

Update & Upgrade

Once you are done with that, once again update and run upgrade command:

sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade


Restart Guest VM

Finally, restart your Debian based Ubuntu 20.04 LTS guest virtual machine to make sure the installation of VMware Tools takes effect properly.

install VMware Tools on Ubutnu 20.04 Linux

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