Install VMware Tools in CentOS 7

20160708-01The VMware Tools are an essential part during the installation of a Virtual Machine. For many Operating Systems you can go the easy way and install the VMware Tools right from the vSphere Web Client. You will install the VMware Tools that comes bundled with vSphere ESXi.

BTW, Since September 2015, there is also a downloadable version of VMware Tools (versions 10.0, 10.0.5, 10.0.8 and 10.0.9). The Downloadable versions (should be seen as a Solution) support all version of ESXi from 5.0 and later, see VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes. See the release notes of the latest version.

So far so good, for Windows Operating Systems, the installation of the VMware Tools is a no brainer. For Linux operating systems, installation is more complicated, for most reasons because Linux Operation Systems do have multiple options to install software.

In my case, I usually work with CentOS (based on the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux RHEL). CentOS uses RPM as a packet manager. Packet Managers do have many advantages while maintaining a Linux server. Unfortunately, the bundled version of the VMware Tools doesn’t come in .rpm format, but as an archive file in tar.gz format. Although installation of a .tar.gz is straightforward, it is not the way to go.

An alternative is using VMware’s OSP repository, see this nice post in case you want to know more. You can browse the OSP repository here. For CentOS, browse the corresponding RHEL version. You will also notice that there is no entry for RHEL7. Trying the RHEL6 version failed in my case.

The recommended way to install VMware Tools in CentOS 7 is by using YUM (YUM is a command line package management utility which depends on RPM and works with package repositories).

So the correct way to perform the installation is:

# yum install open-vm-tools

Do not forget to reboot the server after finishing the installation.

If you are going to build a Template based on CentOS 7, you also need to install the deployPkg Tools, see for more information this document provided by VMware.

The Open VM Tools is the Open source implementation of the VMware Tools and its purpose is to enable operating system vendors and/or communities and virtual appliance vendors to bundle VMware Tools into their product releases. For more information about the various packages and their content, see VMware KB “VMware support for Open VM Tools (2073803)”.

Note that after installation, in the vSphere Client, the VMware Tools status doesn’t show the well know green “Running” status. Instead, it shows a Question mark with “Running (Guest managed)”.

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In the vSphere Web Client, you will also see the version number.

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As always, I thank you for reading.

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2 Responses to Install VMware Tools in CentOS 7

  1. Mihir says:

    Hi, Thanks for the article! Could you please explain a bit more what you mean when you say “Although installation of a .tar.gz is straightforward, it is not the way to go.” Thanks!

    • paulgrevink says:

      Usually applications are offered as a package, most common .rpm files for Red Hat, SuSE and .deb for Ubuntu, Debian. Packages do have many advantages for removing and updating applications. Sometimes applications are also offered as an archive file, usually a tar.gz file. The archive has all components and often a kind of installation script, but is not “visible” for the packetmanager. As CentOS 7 uses .rpm packages, I avoid installing components offered as .tar.gz.
      I hope this explains my “not the way to go”

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