Install VMware Tools in the Gentoo VM


Some versions of the VMware Server and Workstation 5.5.X has a newer version of the tools. To install vmware tools do the following:

This can also be followed if you are doing a fresh install of the vmware tools. Also note that this procedure does not follow the Gentoo way of managing packages. So some purists don?t’ like this. There is an alternate way using the emerge, I will cover that install method shortly.

This pretty much follows the standard Linux tools install procedure, except noted otherwise.

Doc Link, KB Link to related references at

Install Procedure:

1. Select the option to install vmware tools on the WKS/GSX UI. Usually VM -> Install VMware Tools

2. Then log into the Gentoo VM as tools and mount the cd-rom drive.

#mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

3. Then untar the vmware tools so some temp location like /tmp

#tar xvzf /mnt/cdrom/*.tar.gz /tmp

4. Create a set of empty rc directories to fool the tools installer

#mkdir /etc/init.d/rc{0,1,2,3,4,5,6}.d

5. Run the vmware-tools installer and go with the defaults

#cd vmware-tools-distrib

The above installs the vmware tools startup scripts on the rc directories. So to fix it do the following
6. Add vmware tools to startup

#rc-update add vmware-tools default

vollia ur done.

Please do add ur comments as to what?s ur experience.


  1. Hello,

    Well, the tools are indeed get installed but they do not get start during the boot.

    Message appears:

    Usage: rc {start…

    /etc/init.d/vmware-tools start works just fine.

  2. I just completed setting up gentoo 2.6.16-r9 in VMWare Server 1.0, the free one. After installing vmware-tools and emerging gnome-light, there is still a lot of mouse lag once I get into gnome. Any ideas on how to cut that down?

  3. USing VMware 6 beta (build 39849) complained that it could not find /etc/init.d/networking and did not compile the vmxnet driver.

    Workaround: ln -s /etc/init.d/net.etho /etc/init.d/networking



  4. Have applied tobias’ workaround and this allows the install complete, although the vmxnet driver does not compile successfully. Starting fine on boot.

  5. Well I installed the latest and it says its all working but when I hit the shutdown button on the Console the machine gets killed instead of shutdown…

    Damn thing.

    I also have this working on another vm but I can’t remember how I installed it. I have a feeling I used the ebuild vmware-server-tools, but it appears to have disappeared form the portage tree.

  6. Bah – I didn’t change the power options in the console for this vm . . .

    It’s all systems go using the above method.

    I also copied a script that prettifies the output of vmware-tools script. Not sure where I got it from, probably out of the workstation tools ebuild or something. For this new vm i just pinched it from the working box 😉

  7. Install worked… but does anyone know how to compact a vm on the commandline without X? vmware-toolbox seems to want X?


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