Open VM Tools on Debian 7


Open VM tools are a set of open source programs based on original VMware Tools that greatly enhanced the performance and experience when interacting with virtual machine. They are also required when you want to use  features like balloon driver to reclaim non-used guest memory and optimize resource usage.

VMware states that the reason of this open version is to allow the community and vendors can now include tools when releasing their virtual appliances so there is no need to install tools separately after installation.

There are following packages available

  • open-vm-tools – includes core tools, user space binaries and libraries
  • open-vm-tools-dekstop – includes additional user-space programs and features such as resizing guest display, copy and paste between guest and host, drag and drop operation between guest and hosts
  • open-vm-tools-devel – includes libraries for developing vmtoolsd plugins and documentation

Supported operating systems are

  • Fedora 19 and later
  • Debian 7.x and later
  • OpenSUSE 11x and later
  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 13.10 and later
  • RHEL 7.0 and later
  • CentOS 7
  • Oracle Linux 7

The base open-vm-tools package is already included in Debain default repository, so installation is super easy.

  1. Log into Guest VM and simple type
root@deb01:~# apt-get install open-vm-tools

The package size is around 171 MB, after downloading you can verify that it is indeed running by checking the running processes and software version.

root@deb01:~# ps ax|grep vmtools
 2096 ?        Sl     0:00 /usr/bin/vmtoolsd
 2654 pts/0    S+     0:00 grep vmtools
root@deb01:~# lsmod| grep vm
vmsync                 12721  0
vmhgfs                 52556  0
vmw_balloon            12606  0
vmwgfx                 99436  0
ttm                    53664  1 vmwgfx
drm                   183952  2 ttm,vmwgfx
vmci                   74044  1 vmhgfs
root@deb01:~# vmtoolsd -v
VMware Tools daemon, version (build-724730)

In Guest Summary page, you can also see that VM is running VMware tools.

Open VM Tools

Open VM Tools


It is good to see that VMware is opening their software a little bit so many people can now contribute to improve the code. Vendors can use tools during product development and enhance the interoperability when running on virtual infrastructure.



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