How to install VMware Tools on ESXi Linux guest VM

Question: I want to install VMware Tools in my Linux guest virtual machine (VM) created on a VMware ESXi host. What is a proper way to install VMware Tools on ESXi Linux guest (Ubuntu or CentOS, etc)?

VMware Tools is a suite of programs which are designed to improve and optimize the performance of guest VMs created with VMware products. It also facilitates the management of VMs, such as mouse movement, copy/paste, drag/drop, sound support, etc. If at all possible, it is recommended to install VMware Tools on a guest operating system.

Here is how to install VMware Tools on a Linux guest VM on ESXi.

First of all, we assume that you use vSphere client to manage guest VMs on an ESXi host.

On vSphere client, choose and highlight the VM on which you want to install VMware Tools. Then from the menu, click on "Inventory" -> "Virtual Machine" -> "Guest" -> "Install/Upgrade VMware Tools" option.

You will then see "Initiated VMware Tools Installer Mount" message in the "Recent Tasks" box at the bottom. This means VMware Tools installer CD becomes available inside the guest VM.

At this point, try to mount the CD-ROM inside the guest VM as follows (if the CD-ROM is not automatically mounted). In this example, "/media/cdrom" is the mount point. If you want, you can choose any other mount point.

$ sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom

After successful mount, you will see a VMware Tools archive file (VMwareTools-XXXXX.tar.gz) in the mount point CD folder.

$ ls /media/cdrom

Extract the archive in /tmp directory, and install it as follows.

$ tar xvfvz /media/cdrom/VMwareTools-9.4.5-1734305.tar.gz /tmp
$ cd /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib
$ sudo ./

The VMware Tools installer will ask you a series of questions during installation. If you are not sure, you can accept default answers.

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