I am currently setting up a new Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on VMware 5.5. I wantet to install the VMware tools (the TAR package that you can mount as CD-ROM). But, when running the script, the machine told me that they are legacy, automatically responded “no” to the question whether I would want to install them anyway and left me on the shell. The text message points me to a VMware KB article saying that I should install open-vm-tools instead using apt. This article references a guest operating system installation guide especially for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, which starts with the instruction to install the VMware tools from the TAR package. Which refuses to do so.

So I decided to install open-vm-tools using apt in place of this. When looking up how to do that (I am new to Ubuntu, previously only SuSE linuxes here) I found this article saying especially for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty) the package to use is open-vm-tools-lts-trusty. Sounds reasonable, so I installed that one and rebooted the machine. The vSphere Client reports VMware Tools: (?) Is being executed (third party provider. If I hover with the mouse over the text it shows the following tool tip: The state is unknown. The tools are being installed, but not managed by VMware:

VMware Tools: Wird ausgeführt(Drittanbiet… Der Status ist unbekannt. Die Tools werden installiert, aber nicht von VMware verwaltet.

What is my state now? Do the tools already run? How can I know? I guess yes since I get:

$ vmware-toolbox-cmd -v (build-1280544)

But maybe I need to start some dæmon? I tried to use keyboard completion to find some rcvm… or rcopen… command, but this does not lead me to anything.

Does VMware recognize them properly, or does it think they are under install at the moment (maybe just the German interface text is misleading, but this is what I understand the tool-tip text says). Is the open-vm-tools-lts-trusty package really the correct one, or should it be open-vm-tools only, or do I need both? (I searched around to find out about the difference between the two packages but didn’t find something clarifying for me.) What about open-vm-tools-desktop? Do I have to install this too? (I don’t want to use any X11 there, so I guess the answer is no. But am I right?) The guest operating system installation guide also denotes something about an vmhgfs driver (that should be in the TAR package). Is that one in in the open-vm-tools-lts-trusty package, too? Or is there another vmhgfs package? Secondly, the guide names a package open-vm-tools-deploypkg? Do I need that one, or not?

If someone could point me onto the right path I would really appreciate it.


That's the normal status for open-vm-tools. Only the original VMware tools show the full status. As long as it doesn't say "no VMware tools running" everything is fine.

You only need the open-vm-tools-desktop package for systems with a graphical desktop, so you are fine there too. I never installed anything but the basic package on a virtual server.

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