How To Install VMware Tools on Debian 11|10

4 min readOct 11, 2022

When you install a Virtual Machine or guest machine on your machine, it does not perform exactly as the host OS because there are limitations to its performance. VMware presented solutions to these limitations by introducing VMware tools. In this guide, we will discuss how to install VMware Tools on Debian 11 / Debian 10 Linux system.

These VMWare tools enable integration between the host and guest operating systems. They consist of a set of utilities that perform the following functions:

  • Improve graphical performance
  • Clock synchronization
  • Mouse pointer integration,
  • Shared clipboard
  • Folder sharing among many others.

We have a dedicated guide on the installation of Debian 11:

And how to upgrade from Debian 10 to Debian 11:

Install VMware Tools on Debian 11 (Bullseye) / Debian 10 (Buster)

Open a command terminal in Debian and update your system.

sudo apt update

Method 1: Install VMware tools that come with VMware Virtualization Application on Debian

In this method, Vmware tools are installed by connecting the VMware virtual CD to the VM CD-ROM drive. This is achieved by navigating to the top menu of VMware, then go to VM>Install VMware tools, in case you already have the VMware tools installed, click on Re-Install VMware Tools


However, in some cases, this option is greyed. In such circumstances, VMware tools ISO is mounted under edit virtual machine settings. While here, add a CD/CD-ROM of the ISO file.


Once mounted power on the Debian Virtual Machine, navigate to the terminal, and execute.

sudo mkdir /mnt/cdrom

This command creates a mount point. Then mount the CDROM.

# sudo mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

mount: /mnt/cdrom: WARNING: source write-protected, mounted read-only.

Determine your version of VMware tools:

$ sudo ls /mnt/cdrom


Copy the Compiler gzip tar file to a temporary location.

cp /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-version.tar.gz /tmp/

Replace VMwareTools-version.tar.gz with the exact version of VMwareTools obtained above.

Now change the directory of the compiler gzip tar to a new directory (vmware-tools-distrib)

cd /tmp

tar -zxvf VMwareTools-version.tar.gz

Now navigate into the directory and install VMware Tools:

cd vmware-tools-distrib

sudo ./

If you are using a GUI interface, you need to restart your Debian VM for mouse and graphics integration to apply.

Alternatively, you can start the VMware Tools in the background using the command:

sudo /usr/bin/vmware-toolbox &

Then unmount the CD-ROM:

sudo umount /mnt/cdrom

Proceed and remove the VMware Tools installation packages:


rm /tmp/VMwareTools-version.tar.gz

rm -rf /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib

Method 2: Install VMware tools on Debian 11/10 using Open VM tools.

Open VM Tools is the open-source implementation of VMware tools available for Linux distributions. It is available in default repositories and can be installed easily using a simple APT command on Debian. Go to the terminal of the Debian Virtual Machine and execute this command. Remember to issue this command as root.

sudo apt update

sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools

Sample output for this command:


Pree “y” and proceed with the installation. Once complete, you will see this output:


Setting up glib-networking:amd64 (2.66.0-2) ...

Setting up libsoup2.4-1:amd64 (2.72.0-2) ...

Setting up libsoup-gnome2.4-1:amd64 (2.72.0-2) ...

Setting up librest-0.7-0:amd64 (0.8.1-1.1) ...

Setting up libgtk-3-0:amd64 (3.24.24-4) ...

Setting up libgtk-3-bin (3.24.24-4) ...

Setting up libgtkmm-3.0-1v5:amd64 (3.24.2-2) ...

Setting up open-vm-tools-desktop (2:11.2.5-2) ...

Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/\x2dfuse.

mount → /lib/systemd/system/run-vmblock\x2dfuse.mount.

Processing triggers for libgdk-pixbuf-2.0-0:amd64 (2.42.2+dfsg-1) ...

Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.31-13) ...

Check the version of OpenVM tools installed:

$ sudo /usr/bin/vmware-toolbox-cmd -v (build-17337674)

Verify your installation of VMware tools by enabling features. With the Debian 11/10 VM powered off navigate to Edit Virtual Machine Settings the to Options You will see the VMware tools features ready to be enabled as below.


That is it! We have come to the end of the guide on how to install VMware Tools on Debian 11/10 system. I hope this article was informative.




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