When trying to build the VMware tools in my Ubuntu 9.10 64 bit guest on a VMware Server 2.0.2 host with Debian 5 I'm getting strange errors like:

Building the vmmemctl module.

Using 2.6.x kernel build system.
make: Gehe in Verzeichnis '/tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only'
make -C /lib/modules/2.6.31-19-server/build/include/.. SUBDIRS=$PWD SRCROOT=$PWD/. modules
make[1]: Betrete Verzeichnis '/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.31-19-server'
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only/backdoorGcc64.o
In file included from /tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only/backdoor.h:29,
             from /tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only/backdoorGcc64.c:38:
/tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only/vm_basic_types.h:108:7: warning: "__FreeBSD__" is not defined
  CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only/os.o
In file included from /tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only/os.c:51:
/tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only/compat_wait.h:78: error: conflicting types for ‘poll_initwait’
include/linux/poll.h:70: note: previous declaration of ‘poll_initwait’ was here
make[2]: *** [/tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only/os.o] Fehler 1 
make[1]: *** [_module_/tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only] Fehler 2
make[1]: Verlasse Verzeichnis '/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.31-19-server'
make: *** [vmmemctl.ko] Fehler 2
make: Verlasse Verzeichnis '/tmp/vmware-config8/vmmemctl-only'
Unable to build the vmmemctl module.

I googled half the Internet but couldn't come to a solution. None of the kernel modules seems to build correctly.

While googling I read something about a bug in this kernel tree.


Ubuntu and VMWare do not, in my experience, play well together.

http://chrysaor.info have done a bunch of work to create various Ubunutu VMWare Images that you can simply install and run. If you can start with a fresh image, I highly recommend them.

They also have scripts to build and install VMTools onto Ubuntu: http://chrysaor.info/?page=faq but do not seem to have a script for 9.10 available.

  • "Ubuntu and VMWare do not, in my experience, play well together." Please elaborate on this. I've actually made quite the opposite experience. – joschi Mar 4 '10 at 9:16
  • Unfortunately I can't start with a fresh image. – Ulf Klose Mar 4 '10 at 11:59
  • Mostly, it's been VMTools. Every release I've had to jump through major hoops to get them compiled & installed, while on other distros (CentOS, for example), it's been a piece of cake. – Jeff Leyser Mar 4 '10 at 14:47

You probably want something like this: http://communities.vmware.com/message/76957

Older VMware products that do not support these newer distros will often have trouble compiling the VMware Tools against the newer kernels. The kernel headers can change a bunch and the source VMware ships for the various Tools modules doesn't change unless you upgrade to a new version.


Try to change the locale before running vmware-config-tools.

export LC_ALL=C

sudo vmware-config-tools.pl

  • Doesn't work either :-/. Same errors when building the kernel modules. – Ulf Klose Mar 4 '10 at 12:00

Why not just use open-vm-tools and open-vm-source?

  • They do not compile either :-/. – Ulf Klose Mar 4 '10 at 11:58

Try the vmware tools package from a later version of VMweare (player 3 for example) Server 2.02 isn't supported with Ubuntu 9.10

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