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VMware tools installation on Redhat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6

Posted on 2013-12-12
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Last Modified: 2014-03-04
Hi, I need to migrate a couple of hundred RHEL 5 and RHEL 6 vm's from an ESX 4.1 Environment to an ESXi 5 Envionment.  I am having some problems getting vmware tools installed/updated on some of my vm's.

Could anyone advise me the best way to install and/or update vmware tools on my vm's?  I have tried doing manual installs from vCenter and also going into "edit settings" on the vm and setting the option to upgrade vmware tools on reboot but on some of my vm's this doesn't work and nothing happens.  I am not a linux administrator, so I would like a way to upgrade tools from vCenter and if possible a way to install and upgrade tools in an automated way rather than having to manually upgrade each vm.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks.
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Question by:carbonbase
6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Sean
ID: 39714163
Here is the how to for this.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1018392

There is no way to do it just by using vcenter, all that does it mount the ISO for the install you will need to fallow those steps provided in the link.
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39714171
see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

Part 9: HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Linux on a VMware Linux virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server

I'm afraid with Linux Distros, it's very hands on because re-compile of drivers, kernels maybe required.
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Author Comment

by:carbonbase
ID: 39723576
Thanks all for your responses.  Hanccocka is right that the process appears to have changed for ESXi 5x.  

Is there a way to automate the install at all?  I have 200+ vm's to do.

Can i download all the files I need for my RHEL 5 and 6 vm's and just point the vm's to them rather than having to download additional components each time?
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LVL 119
ID: 39723598
The issue, is you may need to re-compile the drivers for each VM.

which involves, downloading gcc, make, kernel headers and source for each VM.

So it's manual.

We generally include this activity at Security Patch time, to reduce downtime, and get the Change escalated into Change Control at the same time as patching.
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Author Closing Comment

by:carbonbase
ID: 39764630
Thank you for your help.  On most of the vm's I'm migrating I go to "edit settings" then "options" then "vmware tools" then "check and upgrade tools during power-cycling".

this works in most cases to upgrade vmware tools already installed on the vm's, where the upgrade doesn't work I your manual install.
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Michael W
ID: 39903547
I know the question is closed, but if you're in need of a script that can be run on RHEL 5 and 6 servers, I have this one I created and can be deployed via Puppet (or any other deployment package) and then remotely run (using say something like Puppet or even Func).

#!/bin/sh
#
# VMware Tools Installation and Update Script for RHEL/CentOS Platforms
#
# Usage: vmware-tools-updater
#

#
# Cleanup residual VMware Tools directories...
#

echo "Cleaning up residual VMware Tools directories under /tmp..."
if [ -d "/tmp/vmware-tools-distrib" ];
        then
        rm -rf /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib*
fi

if [ -d "/tmp/vmware-root" ];
        then
        rm -rf /tmp/vmware-root*
fi

if [ -d "/tmp/vmware-config0" ];
        then
        rm -rf /tmp/vmware-config0*
fi

if [ -d "/tmp/vmware-config1" ];
        then
        rm -rf /tmp/vmware-config1*
fi

if [ -d "/tmp/vmware-file-mod0" ];
        then
        rm -rf /tmp/vmware-file-mod0*
fi

if [ -d "/tmp/VMwareDnD" ];
        then
        rm -rf /tmp/VMwareDnD*
fi

if [ -e /tmp/VMwareTools* ];
        then
        rm -rf /tmp/VMwareTools*
fi

if [ ! -d "/mnt/cdrom" ];
        then
        echo "Creating mount point for VMware Tools ISO to be accessible..."
        mkdir -pv /mnt/cdrom
else
        echo "Attempting to mount VMware Tools ISO to local RHEL VM..."
        mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
        echo "Copying VMware Tools ISO Zipfile to /tmp..."
        /bin/cp /mnt/cdrom/VMware* /tmp
        cd /tmp
        echo "Uncompressing VMware Tools ISO Zipfile..."
        /bin/tar -xf VMwareTools*gz
        echo "Attempting to install/update *latest* VMware Tools ISO on RHEL VM platform..."
        /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib/vmware-install.pl --default EULA_AGREED=yes
fi

Open in new window

To use the script, the only thing you need to make sure is that the VMware Tools CD is enabled under VMware for each VM.

---

Something else you can try using is connecting to the VMware Tools repository and creating a customized vmware-tools.repo to be deployed to each RHEL server and just use that for updating the tools to the latest version available. This option works great if you have RHN Satellite server as it can be just added as a channel and used via the management module for all of your RHEL servers.

Reference:
https://www.vmware.com/support/packages
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