VMware Tools in Ubuntu

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I went about the seemingly simple task of sharing a directory in OS X with an Ubuntu VMware box so that I could code in my main desktop and run under Linux. The simple sharing dialog is of course only the beginning of the work; after that, I needed to refresh VMware tools, since I had done several kernel upgrades. Well that turned into a few hours of flailing at a command line.

For whatever reason, the kernel headers aren’t automatically found by the VMware Tools installation program, and even when you give the direct path, it still denies that they exist. Some web trawling told me that it looks for version.h, which isn’t in the root header directory, so I made a symlink. Then the installer found it but got compiler warnings a short time later.

I’m writing this post to tell you not to bother with any of that. Installing the open-vm-tools package from the multiverse repository is actually all you need! It’s amazing how many different searches it took for me to finally figure that out. I had to unshare and the reshare my directory for it to finally work, but now it’s working great. Let’s see what happens the next time I upgrade my kernel though…