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Good evening.

I want to upgrade the VMware Tools on a Virtual Machine to be able to see full-screen Ubuntu 15.10. When I attempt to install the tools manually, however, I get the following error:

VMware Tools installation can not be started manually while Easy Install is in progress .

Does anyone know how to fix this?

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The error is self explanatory. You're in the middle of Easy Install, which would install and/or update the VMware Tools anyways as part of the Easy Installation process (which is an automated process to make deployment of VMs simpler); as such, it won't permit you to run the installation manually.

  1. Install the OS first, and let VMware do its thing, including VMware Tools installtion.
  2. After installation completes, shut off the VM.
  3. Remove all CD and Floppy images from the VM's settings.
  4. Reboot the VM, then install the tools if they're not yet installed. You have a few ways to get the tools though:
    • VMware tools installer, from the VMware system itself, OR
    • sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools - open source version of the tools that does pretty well.

I caution you, though, this doesn't mean you'll be able to get 'full screen' functionality automatically - for the most part, I've only seen that as a Windows function, not a global-across-everything function.

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    I've had occasions in the past where the 'easy install' mode never seems to unset. I have found it easier to reinstall using the manual mode, which is more than easy enough. – Charles Green Jan 14 '16 at 16:40
  • @CharlesGreen that's because you didn't remove the floppy disk image - it's an fd image that does easy install - this is why I stated to remove all CD and Floppy images from the VM settings in step #3 here - to REMOVE Easy Install. – Thomas Ward Jan 14 '16 at 16:51
  • It could be - I stopped using the easy install long ago. – Charles Green Jan 14 '16 at 16:53
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I had the same problem, and I just have solved it by the guide of an answer in this page: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10740243/ubuntu-intallation-is-stuck-at-vmware-tools-installation

follow these items after shutting down your virtual machine:

  1. open your VMware virtual machine file by right click on the file (e.g. Ubuntu 64-bit 16.04.vmwarevm) and "Show Package Contents"
  2. remove the autoinst.iso file from the directory.
  3. open *.vmx configuration file and remove the bellow lines:
sata0:0.present = "TRUE"
sata0:0.fileName = "autoinst.iso"
sata0:0.deviceType = "cdrom-image"

floppy0.fileType = "file"
floppy0.fileName = "autoinst.flp"
floppy0.clientDevice = "FALSE"
  1. save *.vmx file
  2. reboot your virtual machine.
  3. click install in pop-up window (Click install to connect VMware Tools istaller CD to this virtual machine.). Now the VMware Tools installer CD is mounted.
  4. Now extract the vmware-tools-distrib (e.g. on your desktop).
  5. Now run this line in command line:

sudo perl ~/Desktop/vmware-tools-distrib/vmware-install.pl

and press enter everywhere it needs...

  1. Reboot and enjoy VMware tools...

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