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HOW TO: Install open-vm-tools for Linux on a VMware Linux virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) Host Server

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
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EE Fellow, 2xMVE, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert 2020-2011
In this article, I will show you HOW TO: Install Open Virtual Machine Tools for Linux on a VMware Linux virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) Host Server, using the VMware Host Client. The virtual machine has Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Desktop edition installed.
In my previous  Experts Exchange Articles , most have featured Basic and Intermediate VMware and Virtualisation Topics.

If you would like to read my Basic VMware articles, they are listed at the end of this article for your convenience.

In this series of basic VMware articles for the Novice, I'll be showing you the basic VMware skills required to install, configure and deploy virtual machines using VMware's  FREE  VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi).

In this article we will show you HOW TO: Install open-vm-tools for Linux on a VMware Linux virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) Host Server. This procedure can be followed to install open-vm-tools on any Linux distribution.

What is VMware Tools?

VMware Tools are a suite of utilities that enhances the performance of the virtual machine's guest operating system and improves the management of the virtual machine. Installing the VMware Tools package will greatly enhance graphics and mouse performance in your virtual machine. Without VMware Tools installed in your guest operating system, guest performance lacks important functionality. 

What is Open Virtual Machine Tools?

Open Virtual Machine Tools or open-vm-tools package is an open-source development by the online community of VMware Tools for Linux distributions.VMware now recommends the use of open-vm-tools for use in it's Linux virtual machines See http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2073803 for more information.

The open-vm-tools FAQ is  here . 

In this tutorial, we will be installing Open Virtual Machine Tools or open-vm-tools. Please see my article Part 10: HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Linux on a VMware Linux virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) Host Server if you would like to install VMware Tools.
      
You can check if you have VMware Tools installed by checking the Summary of your virtual machine using the VMware Host Client if using VMware vSphere 6.7 or 7.0. If VMware Tools is installed VMware Tools will read  VMware Tools version is compliant or VMware Tools is not managed by vSphere  (in previous versions it stated OK), an IP Address and DNS hostname will appear in the Summary page. If VMware Tools is not installed, it will state No, and Not installed.  VMware Tools is not optional and should be installed with all virtual machines.


Also, a warning message will be displayed as follows

 


1. Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) or vSphere vCenter Server using the VMware Host Client.


Please refer to my EE article on  Part 2: HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) using the vSphere (HTML5 Web) Host Client 7.0

 
Click the icon of the virtual machine.
      


2. Checking if VMware Tools is installed in the Virtual Machine


Check the summary information for the virtual machine.
 
        
Under VMware Tools, if No is present next to Installed, VMware Tools is not currently installed.

If VMware Tools is installed and running, VMware Tools Running Status states  Installed and Running , and an IP Address is displayed. Also, the VMware Tools Version Status states -  Current . If VMware Tools is not installed, please continue with the following steps. ESXi 7.0 states -  VMware Tools version is compliant. If you have open-vm-tools installed it will state VMware Tools is not managed by vSphere.

As you can see from the above information VMware Tools has not been installed on any of our virtual machines, "My First Linux Virtual Machine" or "My First Windows Virtual Machine".  Please see my previous EE Article  Part 8: HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Windows on a VMware Windows virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) Host Server  to install VMware Tools on "My First Windows Virtual Machine". To install VMware Tools on Linux, please continue with this tutorial.
 

3. Interacting with the Virtual Machine


Right-click the virtual machine "My First Linux Virtual Machine" and Select Power On, the virtual machine should automatically boot the operating system. Then select the Open Console function so you can interact with the virtual machine. You may find it easier if you Right-click the virtual machine "My First Linux Virtual Machine" and select Open Console.

The virtual machine should automatically boot the operating system. The Open Console function is similar to the Keyboard/Video Machine (KVM) function in a datacentre, which allows you to toggle between console screens of computers, it allows you to interact with the virtual machine, with keyboard and mouse movements, and displays the screen. The Ubuntu desktop screen will be displayed.

    

4. Log in to the virtual machine


Hit enter and enter your password

 

5. Installing open-vm-tools for Ubuntu.


Installing open-vm-tools for Ubuntu, downloads and installs the open-vm-tools package from the online Ubuntu repository. So, therefore, the virtual machine requires internet access to perform this function.


   
Open up and run the terminal application.

 
The Ubuntu bash prompt opens. If you are not familiar with Linux commands, the following is a summary, and what are going to do.

  1. Create a sudo bash prompt (sudo - "supervisor do" allows us to run supervisor privileges on the Ubuntu workstation.
  2. Update the Ubuntu desktop from the online repository for security and critical updates.
  3. Restart the workstation.
  4. Download and Install open-vm-tools.



Type

sudo bash
and enter your password,  this command allows us to run supervisor privileges on the Ubuntu workstation. 

Type

apt-get updates
this command downloads a list of updates available.
apt-get upgrade
this command downloads and installs the updates.


Type

Y 

when prompted.

The updates will be downloaded and applied.


After installing Ubuntu updates it's recommended to restart the workstation.

Type

init 6
to restart the virtual machine.

After restarting the virtual machine, log in to the workstation, and open a terminal and type.

sudo bash
and enter your password,  this command allows us to run supervisor privileges on the Ubuntu workstation.

apt-get install open-vm-tools
download and install open-vm-tools from the Ubuntu online repository.


Enter

Y

When you are returned to the bash prompt, open-vm-tools has been installed.

If you now repeat Step 2 above  Checking if VMware Tools is installed in the Virtual Machine

   
An IP address is now displayed, which is the IP address of the virtual machine,  VMware Tools Status  - VMware Tools is not managed by vSphere  and  VMware Tools Version Status 
open-vm-tools 11.0.5 build 15389592.

VMware Tools has come under much scrutiny in the last few years, with security issues and critical updates. Hence why the online community has released open-source VMware Tools (open-vm-tools for many Linux Distributions). See http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2073803 for more information.

The open-vm-tools FAQ is here.

Congratulations, you have successfully installed open-vm-tools for Linux on a VMware Linux virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) Host Server

Basic VMware Articles Series:

These articles are also applicable to VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0, 5.5, 6.0.
                         
These articles are applicable to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5.










These articles are applicable to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.7.









Previous articles in this VMware vSphere 7.0 series are here.












If you found this tutorial helpful, please do click the  Thumbs-Up  icon below. This lets me know what is valuable for EE members and provides direction for future articles. If you have a related question based on this article, please click  here.

Thank you very much! 

Regards, Andy
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