Error: "There was a problem updating a software component. Try again later and if the problem persists, contact VMware Support or your system administrator."

I get this error when trying to install VMware Tools. The Host is Xubuntu / Ubuntu 13.04 and the Guest is Windows 8. Both are 64bit. How can I fix this?

Edit: I fixed the issue by using sudo when starting VMplayer: sudo /usr/bin/vmplayer

  • 3
    Your "fix" isn't one. Never run VMPlayer as root! – guntbert Jul 16 '13 at 19:50

Open /var/log/vmware-installer to see what caused this error. Since this post is over two years old, I will show what my log file had for this same failure message:

[2016-11-15 15:16:41,995] ['/usr/lib/vmware-installer/2.1.0/vmware-installer.py', '--required', '--console', '--install-component=/root/.cache/vmware/cds/cdstmp_tools-netware_10.0.10_4638234/vmware-tools-netware-10.0.10-4301679.x86_64.component']
[2016-11-15 15:16:41,995] UI Initialization failed.
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/vmware-installer/2.1.0/vmware-installer.py", line 293, in main
  File "/usr/lib/vmware-installer/2.1.0/vmis/ui/__init__.py", line 83, in Initialize
    exec 'from vmis.ui.null import *' in globals()
  File "<string>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/vmware-installer/2.1.0/vmis/ui/null.py", line 13, in <module>
    from vmis.ui import console
  File "/usr/lib/vmware-installer/2.1.0/vmis/ui/console.py", line 9, in <module>
    import curses
  File "/usr/lib/vmware-installer/2.1.0/python/lib/curses/__init__.py", line 15, in <module>
    from _curses import *
ImportError: libncursesw.so.5: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

As you can see, the installer wanted libncursesw.so.5. My /usr/lib and /usr/lib64 had libncursesw.so.6 but no libncursesw.so.5. One work-around is a symlink:

cd /usr/lib; ln -s libncursesw.so.6 libncursesw.so.5
cd /usr/lib64; ln -s libncursesw.so.6 libncursesw.so.5
  • 1
    Though you were helpful with your answer, giving the OP a place to start searching, I think that should be a comment. Then, if the log pointed to the same error as yours you could write an answer! – IanC Nov 15 '16 at 22:30
  • I recommend editing this answer to expand it with specific details about how to do this. (See also How do I write a good answer? for general advice about what sorts of answers are considered most valuable on AskUbuntu.) – David Foerster Nov 15 '16 at 22:32
  • Thanks for the suggestions. I have expanded the answer with more details. Since this question is over two years old, it is unlikely to ever have a selected answer. I found the question via a Google search for the same error message and am providing one reason that the VMWare installer fails at this point. Even if someone runs into a different issue, the log file will be a great starting point for other Googlers. – EpicVoyage Nov 16 '16 at 14:41

Try using sudo : see if that works

sudo /usr/bin/vmplayer
  • 4
    Not good - virtualization products (like VMWare Player or Workstation) should never be run as root! – guntbert Jul 16 '13 at 19:50
  • 1
    Do you have another way to update VMplayer, without use sudo? – Bathynomus Dec 29 '13 at 14:01

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