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VMware Fusion 3 hints, bugs and fixes Apps
These hints, tips, and bugfixes apply to VMware Fusion without antivirus; that is about 152 MB: 'VMware Fusion 3.1.2 (for Intel-based Macs): Download including only VMware Fusion software.' Some may be present in more recent updates as well.

Some of the issues can be avoided or fixed by installing VMware Fusion with antivirus; that is about 436 MB: 'VMware Fusion 3.1.2 (for Intel-based Macs): Download including VMware Fusion and a 12 month complimentary subscription to McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009.'

First, a bug. The 'Uninstall VMware' deletes the following items from /Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/isoimages/:
  • freebsd.iso
  • freebsd.iso.sig
  • linux.iso
  • linux.iso.sig
  • netware.iso
  • netware.iso.sig
  • solaris.iso
  • solaris.iso.sig
  • winPre2k.iso
  • winPre2k.iso.sig
leaving only:
  • darwin.iso
  • darwin.iso.sig
  • windows.iso
  • windows.iso.sig
Such files should not be deleted, since other OSes, like Ubuntu, require them. In such a case, the files should be restored with Time Machine or other backup.

2. On the other hand, Windows XP sometimes does not automatically install/update the VMware Tools after each Fusion update. In such a case, they must be installed manually, from the Virtual Machine » Install VMware Tools menu.

3. It is a real pain for Mac users to install the VMware Tools on Ubuntu. First of all, the warning to update it using the VMware menus is misleading and utterly wrong. There is no way of doing it that way, which can only cause problems. The only way to do it is using Terminal and it is not a Mac look and feel procedure.

Note: if after a Fusion update a small Ubuntu window is shown with only the vmware-tools-distrib on the desktop (and not the rest of items that you may have on the desktop, cancel the VMware Tools install (VMware Fusion menu » Virtual Machine » Cancel VMware Tools Installation), shut down Ubuntu (NOT just log out but shut down) and open it again. Now, the full Ubuntu desktop should again show up.

3.1. Do NOT select the 'Virtual Machine/Install VMware Tools' menu, since it only works from Windows and NOT from Ubuntu (Linux) and may interfere later on (stuck Ubuntu while booting after VMware Tools installation.

In such a case reboot the Mac, open Fusion again, open Ubuntu and re-install the VMware Tools again (if required). If the VMware Tools CD icon does not show on the Ubuntu Desktop, mount it (it has a CD-ROM disc icon) to access the VMwareTools package.

To do so, cancel the VMware Tools install (as described above) if active and then manually load the correct .iso file. On the VM's window status bar (the bottom right CD-ROM icon or from the Virtual Machine menu) click the Optical Disc Icon and select Choose Disk Image... and navigate to /Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/isoimages/linux.iso. Click the Open button to select it.

If you have the Status Bar hidden either unhide it (VMware Fusion menu » View » Show Status Bar) or go to VMware Fusion menu » Virtual Machine » CD/DVD » Choose Disk Image... and choose the linux.iso file from the path above. (Note: Some of these steps are taken outside the VM). If the VMware Tools CD-ROM icon does not show on the Ubuntu Desktop, just select Connect CD on the bottom right CD-ROM icon or from the Virtual Machine menu.

After you have selected the linux.iso it should auto-mount and the VMware Tools DVD-ROM Icon should appear on the Desktop again however make sure you do not select the Install VMware Tools command from the Virtual Machine menu as that can not be done when manually mounting the linux.iso file.

At this point you should carry through with the remaining steps shown in the VMware Fusion Help File on installing VMware Tools in Linux and you want to be working with the VMwareTools-x.x.x-xxxx.tar.gz package.

Note: After manually attaching the linux.iso if it doesn't auto-mount you may have to mount it manually and the directions for that should also be in the VMware Fusion Help File.

3.2. Control click the VMware Tools package (for example, VMwareTools-8.2.3-204229.tar.gz). Note that you can copy the name with Control Click - Properties - Select name and Control C to extract it to the Ubuntu Desktop (to generate the 'vmware-tools-distrib' folder).

3.3. Open and read the 'INSTALL' file inside for further details.

3.4. Open Applications/Accessories/Terminal, type sudo and press space bar and then Drag and drop the file '' (make sure that no extra characters like quotes are added) and press Return.

3.5. Type the root password when prompted (eg., password). Press Return. It may take a few seconds to respond. Be patient. If the password is not accepted, close windows and shut down Ubuntu (not just log out, but shut down), then open Ubuntu again and repeat from step 3.4 above.

3.6. Press return to accept all default settings. It may again take some seconds to respond. A Terminal window should show some directions (as explained below). Read them. Eventually, Ubuntu should reboot automatically and the Terminal window will show ubuntu@ubuntu-desktop:~$. Type 'exit; and press return to close the terminal. Close other windows if open. DO NOT RESIZE THE UBUNTU DESKTOP NOW.

3.7. Restart Ubuntu again (Ubuntu/Restart). Now the mouse pointer should work fine inside and outside the Ubuntu Desktop window. You can now trash and delete the vmware-tools-distrib folder (Control Click to move the file to the Trash; Control Click to empty the Trash -- note that the Trash is a blue trash icon on the bottom menu bar). Likewise, you may now unmount the 'VMware Tools' CD icon (Control Click), but if it is not unmounted, it will show on the Ubuntu Desktop in the future, so it can come in handy to leave it mounted for the future.

3.8. If a warning about installing VMware Tools shows, Open Terminal and type:


The Terminal may give an error, but the 'VMware Tools Properties' should open. Close it. Exit the Terminal session.

Now, there should be no warning about installing VMware Tools when rebooting, shutting down or opening Ubuntu, which means that VMware Tools are now correctly installed.

Note that it is required to install VMware Tools after each single update or upgrade of Linux, Windows or VMware for it to work!

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. This sounds like it's specific to Ubuntu but I suppose other Linux distributions may be equally challenging. It would be great if other VMware Fusion users would add their experiences as datapoints in the comments. I've only really used Parallels, and then just with Windows. I expect both products are optimized to make using Windows pretty easy, but the Linux/BSD experience can be a great deal tougher, as it can sometimes with non-VM installs of those systems.]
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open-vm-tools as an alternative to VMWare Tools is way easier to install
Authored by: mkuron on Jun 17, '11 08:11:16AM
There's a much simpler way to install VMWare Tools in a Linux guest OS: All recent Linux distributions have a package named open-vm-tools, which is basically an open-source re-implementation of VMWare's proprietary tools. So for Debian and Ubuntu, all you need to do is run sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools in your Linux guest's Terminal or select the open-vm-tools package in the software manager. Another advantage over VMWare's official tools is that open-vm-tools is automatically updated along with your Linux distribution, so you only need to install it once (and not after every single VMWare or Linux kernel update).

Edited on Jun 17, '11 08:12:37AM by mkuron

[ Reply to This | # ]
VMware Fusion 3 hints, bugs and fixes
Authored by: Mac Dose on Jun 17, '11 12:52:39PM
I just took a look: I'm using version 3.1.3 and all the above mentioned files are present. Installing the tools via menuitem mounted image works well. No probs.

[ Reply to This | # ]
VMware Fusion 3 hints, bugs and fixes
Authored by: bhas on Jun 17, '11 10:17:06PM

This sounds very complicated.
I use VirtualBox to play with Ubuntu and Xubuntu. No trouble at all after updating VirtualBox or after a kernel update.

[ Reply to This | # ]
VMware Fusion 3 hints, bugs and fixes
Authored by: brucio on Jun 19, '11 08:16:34PM

Don't mean to threadjack, but I'm curious about VMware since I've never used it. I'm thinking about the transition to Lion, and running a VM with a Mac OS that has Rosetta. How does VMware or VirtualBox work for that?

Edited on Jun 19, '11 08:18:19PM by brucio

[ Reply to This | # ]
OpenBSD + VMTools
Authored by: victory on Jun 26, '11 02:32:15PM

Just a hint for anyone who uses OpenBSD under VMware apps (incl. Fusion). As of release 4.9, OpenBSD now includes a basic kernel driver (vmt) by default that plays a similar role as VMTools. (In the past, the best you could hope for was installing the FreeBSD version of VMTools using a special 'freebsd-compatibility' mode). Granted the new vmt driver isn't as full-featured as the VMTools/OpenVMTools, but it does recognize the basic soft power commands and such. In short, as of OpenBSD 4.9, the OS is significantly more virtualization-aware (at least under VMware environments).

One other OpenBSD-related hint while I'm at it. OpenBSD recognizes Apple's A1277 USB-to-Ethernet adapter without having to install any separate drivers. This is a great way to give your OpenBSD VM its own Ethernet port if you specifically *don't* want to share ports with your host Mac's native connection (via NAT/bridged mode,etc) such as if you're using your VM to do network monitoring or want to be on a different subnet, etc.

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