Installing VMware Tools on Fedora 19

Sunday July 21 2013

A freshly installed Fedora 19 guest comes preinstalled with open-vm-tools, an open-source version of the VMware tools for guest operating systems. However, these tools can't do everything the proprietary version can, at least on VMware Fusion, so here's the steps required to swap things out.

First, we need to remove open-vm-tools from the system:

sudo yum remove open-vm-tools open-vm-tools-desktop

Next we need to install the kernel header files required for compiling VMware tools:

sudo yum install -y kernel-devel-$(uname -r)

Normally this would be the last step before starting the tools installation, but Fedora 19 (and RHEL 6.4) have a version.h file that's not where the tools installer expects it. So, copy it to where it's needed:

sudo cp /usr/src/kernels/$(uname -r)/include/generated/uapi/linux/version.h \
  /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/build/include/linux/

Now, initiate the VMware tools install - on VMware Fusion this is the menu item Virtual Machine -> Reinstall VMware Tools. After the virtual CD is mounted, proceed with the install:

cd /tmp/
cp /run/media/bbrowning/VMware\ Tools/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz .
tar xzf VMwareTools-*.tar.gz
sudo vmware-tools-distrib/

I just accepted all the defaults for every prompt, including allowing the installer to run

Hope that helps - having to copy the version.h file is the biggest thing that will trip up experienced VMware users.