13th January 2014

Upgrading VMware Tools

The version of the VMware Tools built into the One Step to GNUstep Virtual Machine will probably be adequate for most users. However, if you wish to use the official version from VMware, Inc., you need to download and install it.

Installing the tools takes up to 30 minutes, depending on your machine configuration and the installation options you choose. You need to answer questions that the installer asks from time to time.

Obtaining the VMware Tools

1.   To download the current version of the VMware Tools; start up VMware, select the GNUstep Virtual Machine and start it up, then choose menu item:

Virtual Machine —> Install VMware Tools….

If an earlier version of VMware Tools has been downloaded, the menu item is Update VMware Tools. If the current version has already been downloaded, the menu item is Reinstall VMware Tools.

This should download the installation file. On a Linux host, you will find it in:

/usr/lib/vmware/isoimages/linux.iso

However, there may be a problem. The author's most recent attempt to download the tools failed:

A certificate error occurred for the update server. Check your Internet settings or contact your system administrator

There is an unofficial work-around for this problem. If you need it (at own risk!), please get in touch with the author.

Downloading the VMware Tools will also update the CD/DVD details in the Virtual Machine Settings, to identify this file as the ISO image to be mounted on the Virtual CD/DVD drive.

If you later need to re-install the VMware Tools in the guest — for example, because you have re-installed the Virtual Machine — you do not need to download them to the host again, unless your previous download has been corrupted or you wish to upgrade to a newer version.

Uninstalling the Old VMware Tools

Warning: once you have uninstalled the old VMware Tools, you will no longer be able to access Shared Folders on the host machine from the guest. Make sure you have transferred any files you are going to need on the guest before you uninstall.

2.   Login as root (password linux).

3.   To uninstall a version of the VMware Tools that you have previously downloaded and installed by following this procedure: in the xterm window that appears after you login, type

vmware-uninstall-tools.pl

Installing the New VMware Tools

4.   VMware Tools installation is a lengthy and memory-intensive process, which can be slowed down by backing-store activity. If you have a slow machine or one with limited memory, it is recommended that you close down the Graphical User Interface by entering the following command in the xterm window:

init 3

After a few seconds, the GUI will close down to leave a plain terminal screen with a login prompt. You may need to click on the screen and then press the Esc key in order to see the messages. Login as root (password linux).

5.   Mount the VMware Tools virtual CD-ROM image.

If necessary, create the /mnt/cdrom directory.

mkdir /mnt/cdrom

Then mount the CD-ROM drive.

mount -t iso9660 /dev/sr0 /mnt/cdrom

6.   Change to a working directory.

For example,

cd /tmp

7.   Delete any previous vmware-tools-distrib directory before you install VMware Tools.

The location of this directory depends on where you placed it during the previous installation. Often it is placed in

/tmp/vmware-tools-distrib.

8.   Enter the command:

ls /mnt/cdrom

to obtain the file identifier of the VMware Tools installer.

9.   Uncompress the installer.

tar -xpzf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-<x.x.x>-<yyyy>.tar.gz

where VMwareTools-<x.x.x>-<yyyy>.tar.gz is the identifier you obtained at step 8. The value <x.x.x> is the product version number, and <yyyy> is the build number of the product release.

10. Unmount the CD-ROM image.

umount /mnt/cdrom

11. Run the installer and configure VMware Tools.

cd vmware-tools-distrib
./vmware-install.pl

The installer will ask you questions from time to time; you can safely just hit Enter in reply to each, to go with the defaults.

Usually, the vmware-config-tools.pl configuration file runs after the installer file finishes running. If you need to start it explicitly,

vmware-config-tools.pl

This will run for a considerable time and ask further questions. Eventually, it will inform you whether installation was successful.

A problem was observed in VMware 5.0.2, but appears to be fixed in VMware 6.0.1: compilation of the vmblock kernel module failed, due to vmblock requiring a kernel symbol that is not present in the kernel used in the One Step to GNUstep VM. This caused the installation to terminate without completing. If this occurs, you should rerun vmware-config-tools.pl and choose 'no' when asked whether you want the vmblock feature to be included. Installation will then complete successfully, but cut, copy and paste between guest and host will be unavailable due to the absence of the vmblock module.

12. Installing VMware Tools may have removed the GNUstep theming from your initialisation screen. If it has, and you want the theming, you need to recreate the initrd file by entering the command:

mkinitrd -k vmlinuz-2.6.37.1-1.2-default -i initrd-2.6.37.1-1.2-default

13. If you closed down the GUI at step 4, enter the command

shutdown -r now

to perform a clean reboot of the system.

14. If you did not close down the GUI at step 4, reboot the virtual machine or manually reload the pvscsi, vmxnet, and vmxnet3 Linux kernel modules.

If you reload the modules, networking on the virtual machine is interrupted. Enter the following commands to restore the network:

/etc/init.d/network stop
rmmod vmxnet
modprobe vmxnet
/etc/init.d/network start

You will also need to start the vmtoolsd daemon:

/etc/init.d/vmtoolsd start

15. Each time the Virtual Machine is booted, the vmtoolsd daemon should start automatically at the end of system initialisation. If it does not, run YaST2 and go to System —> System Services (Run Level). Look down the list for the entry for vmware. Click on Enable (you may need to disable vmware first, before you can enable it), then on OK. That should enable the vmtoolsd daemon for the current session and for subsequent sessions as well.

16. The VMware User process should start automatically when a user logs in (it is not started for root). If you need to start it manually, login and type the following in a Terminal window or in the Run… command dialogue box:

vmware-user &

17. If you subsequently need to uninstall the VMware Tools,

vmware-uninstall-tools.pl