After doing a dist-upgrade yesterday evening the open-vm-tools-desktop are no longer working correctly. Which means, I can't resize to fullscreen. Trying to do so ends in a black screen. Taking a look into the different Log-Files and Tools I've found this error multiple times:

modprobe: ERROR: could not insert 'vmwgfx': Invalid argument

Trying to add the module vmgfx by hand to modprobe blacklist

sudo modprobe --use-blacklist vmwgfx

also ends in the above mentioned error.

Taking a look via

sudo service open-vm-tools status

Also shows the following error:

Process: 3930 ExecStartPre=/sbin/modprobe vmwgfx (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

I already googled and found some posts and issues (https://github.com/vmware/open-vm-tools/issues/214) mentioning to add:


to the Unit section of /lib/systemd/system/open-vm-tools.service but with no success.

Also sudo apt remove --purge open-vm-tools-desktop && sudo apt autoremove --purge && sudo apt install open-vm-tools-desktop did not do the trick.

During boot I get to see this error message quite at the beginning of the output. enter image description here

Running the suggested command systemctl status systemd-modules-load.service shows the following output which also includes the error from above.

enter image description here

Output of /var/log/apt/history.log from yesterday evening:

Start-Date: 2019-06-28  22:12:11
Commandline: apt dist-upgrade
Requested-By: **** (1000)
Install: linux-modules-extra-4.15.0-54-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-54.58, automatic), linux-modules-4.15.0-54-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-54.58, automatic), linux-headers-4.15.0-54-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-54.58, automatic), linux-headers-4.15.0-54:amd64 (4.15.0-54.58, automatic), linux-image-4.15.0-54-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-54.58, automatic)
Upgrade: gstreamer1.0-alsa:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1.1~ubuntu18.04.1), linux-headers-generic:amd64 (,, linux-libc-dev:amd64 (4.15.0-52.56, 4.15.0-54.58), xserver-common:amd64 (2:1.19.6-1ubuntu4.2, 2:1.19.6-1ubuntu4.3), gstreamer1.0-plugins-base-apps:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1.1~ubuntu18.04.1), xserver-xorg-core:amd64 (2:1.19.6-1ubuntu4.2, 2:1.19.6-1ubuntu4.3), gstreamer1.0-tools:amd64 (1.14.1-1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1~ubuntu18.04.1), linux-image-generic:amd64 (,, gstreamer1.0-plugins-good:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.1, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.1), xserver-xorg-legacy:amd64 (2:1.19.6-1ubuntu4.2, 2:1.19.6-1ubuntu4.3), gstreamer1.0-plugins-base:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1.1~ubuntu18.04.1), libgstreamer-plugins-good1.0-0:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.1, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.1), gstreamer1.0-pulseaudio:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.1, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.1), xserver-xephyr:amd64 (2:1.19.6-1ubuntu4.2, 2:1.19.6-1ubuntu4.3), gstreamer1.0-gtk3:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.1, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.1), pgadmin4-doc:amd64 (4.8-2.pgdg18.04+1, 4.8-3.pgdg18.04+1), libgstreamer-gl1.0-0:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1.1~ubuntu18.04.1), libgstreamer-plugins-base1.0-0:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1.1~ubuntu18.04.1), xwayland:amd64 (2:1.19.6-1ubuntu4.2, 2:1.19.6-1ubuntu4.3), gstreamer1.0-x:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1.1~ubuntu18.04.1), gir1.2-gst-plugins-base-1.0:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1.1~ubuntu18.04.1), google-cloud-sdk:amd64 (251.0.0-0, 252.0.0-0), gir1.2-gstreamer-1.0:amd64 (1.14.1-1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1~ubuntu18.04.1), kubectl:amd64 (1.14.3-00, 1.15.0-00), pgadmin4:amd64 (4.8-2.pgdg18.04+1, 4.8-3.pgdg18.04+1), libgstreamer1.0-0:amd64 (1.14.1-1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1~ubuntu18.04.1), linux-generic:amd64 (,, pgadmin4-common:amd64 (4.8-2.pgdg18.04+1, 4.8-3.pgdg18.04+1), gstreamer1.0-gl:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.2, 1.14.4-1ubuntu1.1~ubuntu18.04.1)
End-Date: 2019-06-28  22:14:05

Output of lsb_release -a:

Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS
Release:    18.04
Codename:   bionic

I'm not finally sure why this happened, but as far as I understood different topics on the internet it's a mismatch with the used kernel version ? Does anyone know if there is a possibility to fix such an issue without reinstalling the whole system ?

  • 1
    cat /etc/modprobe.d/vmwgfx-fbdev.conf
    – nobody
    Jun 29, 2019 at 11:01
  • cat: /etc/modprobe.d/vmwgfx-fbdev.conf: No such file or directory Jun 29, 2019 at 11:06

2 Answers 2

sudo apt install --reinstall -o Dpkg::Options::=--force-confnew xserver-xorg-video-vmware
  • No success. Also after a restart still no change. Everything still as mentioned above. Jun 29, 2019 at 11:17
  • update the initrid update-initramfs -uv -k $(uname -r) this conf is also there.
    – nobody
    Jun 29, 2019 at 11:25
  • Still does not do the trick. The config you mentioned in your comment above is still not there and I still don't get any change in behavior or error outputs. Everything still the same. Output of uname -r is 4.15.0-54-generic. Updated my answer with two additionals Printscreens showing some error output. Jun 29, 2019 at 11:40
  • 1
    if you wish, we can chitchat. chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/95522/…
    – nobody
    Jun 29, 2019 at 11:49

Anybody with a solution here ? I have the same problem since updating my packages for Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS VM on VmWare Fusion 11.1.0.

[Update] I have solved my issue now by activating the "bionic-proposed" flag in the application & update tool. There were no installation packages related to open-vmware-tools but new kernel packages, which I installed.

I had running Kernel 4.15.0-54-generic before, now it is:

uname -a
Linux schnd-1804-vm 4.15.0-55-generic #60-Ubuntu SMP Tue Jul 2 18:22:20 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

I don't know if this is an issue related with the state of my previous kernel or with the kernel module vmwgfx which returned EINVAL. But all is fine now again.

[Update2] This option should not be activated for the casual Ubuntu user, as it might pull in not yet fully tested dependencies. Use as a last resort if no other means work and deactivate the option again after your setup starts working.

  • This is not an answer to the question asked and so should not be posted as such. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question.
    – CentaurusA
    Jul 10, 2019 at 12:47
  • Changed to be an answer to the question.
    – lumpidu
    Jul 10, 2019 at 13:52
  • You should never run from the Proposed repository for kernels. Because that tends to pull in a lot of other software too not yet fit for inclusion/use.
    – Thomas Ward
    Jul 10, 2019 at 14:11
  • Thanks for downvoting my answer, but this is the difference for me of not been able to do my payed work or having the option to earn money again, because I could not log in into my virtual machine. There might be others that are affected by this obvious incompatibility and I am willing to take this risk as there are no other answers here that can solve it in a political correct manner. And as a reminder: this option is available in section "Developer". Guess what? That is exactly my audience.
    – lumpidu
    Jul 11, 2019 at 13:14

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