Install Vmware Tools On Centos

admin13 April 2024Last Update :

Understanding VMware Tools and Its Importance

VMware Tools is a suite of utilities that enhances the performance of the virtual machine’s guest operating system and improves management of the VM. Installing VMware Tools on CentOS, or any other guest OS, is crucial for several reasons:

  • Improved video resolution: Enhances the display capabilities of the guest OS.
  • Better mouse performance: Allows seamless movement between host and guest screens.
  • Efficient data transfer: Enables copying and pasting between host and guest.
  • Synchronized time: Keeps the VM’s clock in sync with the host.
  • Automated logon: Facilitates the integration of guest OS login with the host.

Prerequisites Before Installation

Before proceeding with the installation of VMware Tools on CentOS, ensure that you have:

  • A running instance of CentOS within a VMware environment (Workstation, Fusion, ESXi).
  • Appropriate permissions to access and modify the VM settings.
  • An active internet connection for downloading necessary packages.
  • The latest updates for your CentOS system installed.

Installation Methods Overview

There are multiple methods to install VMware Tools on a CentOS virtual machine:

  • Using the command line: This method involves using terminal commands to install VMware Tools directly from the repository or using an installer script provided by VMware.
  • Through VMware Workstation or vSphere client: These graphical interfaces offer options to mount the VMware Tools ISO onto the guest system, allowing for manual installation.

Each method has its own set of steps which we will explore in detail.

Installing VMware Tools Using Command Line

Step 1: Preparing the Environment

Firstly, update your CentOS system to ensure all existing packages are up to date. Open a terminal window and execute the following command:

yum update

Once the update process is complete, install the required development tools and kernel headers with:

yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
yum install kernel-devel

Step 2: Installing VMware Tools from Repository

CentOS repositories contain open-vm-tools, which is the open-source implementation of VMware Tools. To install it, run:

yum install open-vm-tools

After the installation, start and enable the vmtoolsd service:

systemctl start vmtoolsd
systemctl enable vmtoolsd

Step 3: Verifying the Installation

To confirm that VMware Tools are installed and running, use the following command:

systemctl status vmtoolsd

You should see an output indicating that the service is active and running.

Installing VMware Tools from VMware Workstation or vSphere Client

Step 1: Mounting the VMware Tools ISO

From the VMware Workstation or vSphere client, right-click on the CentOS VM and select ‘Install VMware Tools’. This action mounts the VMware Tools ISO as a CD-ROM on your CentOS guest OS.

Step 2: Copying the VMware Tools Installer to the Guest OS

Create a directory to mount the CD-ROM and copy the VMware Tools tar.gz file to a local directory:

mkdir /mnt/cdrom
mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
cp /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools*.tar.gz /tmp/

Step 3: Installing VMware Tools

Navigate to the directory where you copied the installer and extract it:

cd /tmp
tar -zxvf VMwareTools*.tar.gz

Change to the extracted directory and run the installer script:

cd vmware-tools-distrib

Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.

Troubleshooting Common Issues During Installation

Sometimes, you may encounter issues when installing VMware Tools. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

  • If the kernel headers do not match the current kernel version, update the kernel and reboot the VM before attempting to reinstall VMware Tools.
  • In case of missing dependencies, use the yum package manager to install any missing packages.
  • If the VMware Tools ISO does not mount automatically, you can manually attach the ISO through the VM settings in the VMware interface.

Configuring VMware Tools for Optimal Performance

After installation, configure VMware Tools for optimal performance by editing the configuration file if necessary. The main configuration file is located at:


Here, you can adjust various settings such as timesync, display resolution, and more according to your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use open-vm-tools instead of the official VMware Tools?

Yes, open-vm-tools is the open-source alternative to VMware Tools and is recommended by VMware for distributions like CentOS.

Do I need to reboot my CentOS VM after installing VMware Tools?

It is a good practice to reboot your VM after the installation to ensure all modules are correctly loaded and the system recognizes the changes.

How do I uninstall VMware Tools if needed?

To uninstall VMware Tools, you can run the uninstaller script located in the VMware Tools directory:


Alternatively, if you used open-vm-tools, you can remove it via yum:

yum remove open-vm-tools

What should I do if the VMware Tools services fail to start?

Check the service logs for errors using journalctl or systemctl status and resolve any reported issues. Ensure that all required dependencies are installed and that there are no conflicts with the kernel version.

Is it necessary to install VMware Tools on CentOS for a production environment?

While not strictly necessary, installing VMware Tools is highly recommended for improved performance, better resource management, and enhanced interaction between the host and guest operating systems.


For further reading and external resources, consider the following links:

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