Monday, 18 April 2011

VMware Tools install on Redhat / CentOS 5.5

From ESXi 4.1 onwards VMWare is no longer providing an "install vmare tools" option that includes rpm installers for RedHat or dirivatives. The alternative they are pushing people towards is using the package management system built into the Linux distribution. This has several advantages (eg updates might actually get applied outside of server upgrades) but also involves jumping through a few more hoops to get it going and means you manually need to change the package source if upgradeing the ESXi host.

These are the steps I took to get this working.


I got most of my information from following the guide available here: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/osp_install_guide.pdf. I was working on a CentOS 5.5 install but the difference from standard Redhat should be minimal.

Add the VMware package signing keys to yum - Copy the two key files from http://packages.vmware.com/tools/keys
# rpm --import <file> for each file
Create the repository configuration file (/etc/yum.repos.d/vmware-tools.repo) and add the folowing:
[vmware-tools]
name=VMware Tools
baseurl=http://packages.vmware.com/tools/esx/4.1u1/rhel5/x86_64
enabled=1
gpgcheck=1
The last 3 parts of the baseurl change depending on your setup - check the guide linked above for details. Also the "4.1u1" part will need changing if you ever update your ESX server version in order to get the correct VMware Tools installed.

Install VMware Tools
# yum install vmware-tools-nox
(if you have a graphical environment install the package "vmware-tools" - I only have command line on my servers so add the "-nox" part to prevent the vmware tools graphics drivers from installing.
Reboot then check it is working :
# /etc/init.d/vmware-tools status

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