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Installing VMware Player on Ubuntu

The first step according to {cms_selflink ext="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VMware/Player" text="this Ubuntu help page"}, necessary for a successful installation, is to meet the prerequisites for installation related to kernel development and software building; this will avoid the errors during installation that some who attempt to install VMware this encounter, as mentioned on various blogs. This step will install the Linux kernel header files required by VMware player to integrate itself into the kernel and the tools needed to do this:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-{literal}$(uname -r){/literal}

The next step is to download VMware player from {cms_selflink ext="https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/free#desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_..." text="the Player download page"}. Note that in the four days since I downloaded and installed Player (version 6.0.4 build-2249910) on 30 Nov. 2014, it has been updated to version 7.0. A few days later I installed the updated version in openSUSE using the same procedure -- but with SUSE specific packages to meet the kernel development tools requiremen -- without any problems in that case either. A description of that process and installation on other distributions is {cms_selflink page="installing-vmware-player-on-linux" text="here"}.

Then install VMware player using the command

gksudo bash ~/Downloads/VMware-Player-6.0.4-2249910.x86_64.bundle

. This command was provided by {cms_selflink ext="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VMware/Player" text="this Ubuntu help page"}.

Starting the VMware Player Installer.
The installer GUI window is visible to the right, the command that initiated it is visible in the terminal window to the left.

The installer will open a GUI window by default on most distributions as it does on Ubuntu as shown in the screenshot above, meaning the gksudo is not necessary and prefixing the command with sudo would have the same result.

Some things to be aware of:

  • The installation command is specific to the version I downloaded -- it even includes the build number as well as the version number and assumes that the installer file was located in the ~/Downloads directory. You will have to change the version in the command and change "~/Downloads/" to the actual path to the file.
  • The help page notes that a permission change may be necessary, although I don't think I had to do this.
  • There are many options to the installation command. See the Player documentation ({cms_selflink ext="https://www.vmware.com/pdf/desktop/vmware_player601.pdf" text="for version 6.X"} or {cms_selflink ext="https://www.vmware.com/pdf/desktop/vmware_player70.pdf" text="for version 7.0"})if you want to modify the installtion with non-default settings or get other details on the installation.

When starting the virtual machine with the Windows iso "loaded" in the optical drive,

Starting the Virtial Machine
The effortless installation continues with the automatic initiation of VMware tools.

the Windows installation begins immediately and a prompt to download and install VMware tools appears.

Starting the Virtial Machine
The effortless installation continues with the automatic initiation of VMware tools.

Player should probably be configured to check for updates automatically at start up, as I did, for this to happen. The VMware tools for this version of Player for a Windows guest was "VMware Tools for Windows 2000 or later version 9.6.2." This was also updated with the release of Version 7.0 of Player to Version 9.9.

Installing VMware Player on Ubuntu is an extremely simple and process. The subsequent installation of the guest specific tools to provide graphics, keyboard, mouse, and storage integration is also simple and automatic.