VMware Player – How to install VMware Tools on a Slackware Linux guest

I usually prefer VirtualBox for my non-commercial virtualization needs, but since I already had VMware Player 6.0.2 installed on a Windows 8.1 64-bit host I decided go with it for my Slackware Linux 64-bit guest.

Installing VMware Tools with VMware Player
The VMware Tools installer failing to load the CD image.

To get any kind of performance and functionality on the guest system, it’s necessary to install VMware Tools. This should in theory be as easy as navigating to “Manage” => “Install VMware Tools…” from the Player menu, but in my case this got me nowhere. The expected result was having the guest operating system mounting the VMware Tools installation CD, but that just didn’t work.
After reading through the vmware.log the problem became pretty obvious.

2014-06-22T17:30:43.945+02:00| vmx| I120: TOOLS INSTALL entering BEGINNING state.
2014-06-22T17:30:43.945+02:00| vmx| I120: TOOLS INSTALL 'C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player\linux.iso' not present or not readable
2014-06-22T17:30:43.945+02:00| vmx| I120: TOOLS INSTALL Initialization failed.
2014-06-22T17:30:43.945+02:00| vmx| I120: TOOLS INSTALL entering IDLE state. 

For some reason my VMware Player installation was missing the linux.iso which contains the actual VMware Tools. I have no idea if this is a bug or just a calculated oversight on VMware’s behalf, but either way it’s rather annoying.

After some digging around I found the packages I needed at vmware.com. Be aware that the packages are organized by Player version and build number, so make sure you pick whatever matches your installation.

As of June 22, 2014, 6.0.2/1744117 is the latest version of VMware Tools: http://softwareupdate.vmware.com/cds/vmw-desktop/player/6.0.2/1744117/windows/packages/

Download the file named tools-linux-9.6.2.exe.tar and extract the archive. Subsequently run the tools-linux-9.6.2.exe file. This will create the linux.iso containing the VMware tools in your VMware Player installation folder.

With the linux.iso image in place, the “Install VMware Tools” procedure will now work as expected by auto mounting the CD image.

The following commands are for installing VMware Tools on Slackware Linux 14.1 64-bit. The installation require a working build environment, which you’ll have with a full Slackware installation.

cd /media/VMware\ Tools/
tar zxf VMwareTools-9.6.2-1688356.tar.gz -C /tmp/

# change to root, create the expected pam directory and execute the installer
su -
mkdir /etc/pam.d
cd /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib
./vmware-install.pl

With a Slackware guest you’ll do fine with the default options as suggested by the installer. When the installation completes, log out and restart X and you’re done.

The screenshots below show Slackware booting with VMware tools installed, and using the unity mode which allow guest applications on the host system desktop.


One thought on “VMware Player – How to install VMware Tools on a Slackware Linux guest”

  1. hmm..

    packing the tools in a tar archive, which cant be extracted wid default windows packager and wraping it in anexecutable, which can’t be unpacked on a linux host..

    not the best idea.
    but thx for providing the package anyways…

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