I installed Kubuntu in a VMWare virtual machine. I am trying to share files between my host and guest OS, which requires to install the VMWare tool set.

When running the VMWare toolset installation it asks me to make sure that gcc, binutils, make and the kernel sources are installed.

Does anyone know what all the kernel sources entails?

  • You probably don't need the full kernel sources but just the headers for your current kernel: sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r).
    – JanC
    Nov 1 '11 at 15:26
  • Also, maybe you only need the open-vm-tools & open-vm-dkms packages to get this functionality without any hassle?
    – JanC
    Nov 1 '11 at 15:30
  • @JanC: Can you tell me more about open-vm-tools and open-vm-dkms?
    – Peretz
    Nov 1 '11 at 16:37
  • they are packages that provide kernel drivers & userspace tools for running Ubuntu in a VM on VMware. I know it implements at least part of the "VMWare tool set" that you try to compile, but I'm not sure it includes the "file sharing" part, and I have no vmware installation to test them right now.
    – JanC
    Nov 5 '11 at 19:50
  • Looking at the files in those packages, it seems like hgfs ("Host-Guest File System") is included.
    – JanC
    Nov 5 '11 at 19:58

Install GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) (which also installs binutils and make)

# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
# apt-get install build-essential

Install Kernel Source

# apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

After this you will be all set to install the VMWare tools.


Install the following packages via apt-get or Synaptic:

  • gcc
  • binutils
  • make
  • linux-source

The last package always contains the sources for the newest kernel. If you are running an older kernel, you should get the sources for that, e.g. linux-source-3.0.0 . If you don't know, which kernel you are running, type uname -a in a terminal.

  • 5
    sudo apt-get install gcc make build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r). Then when compiling VMware tools make sure you type in the path to the headers: echo /usr/src/linux-headers-$(uname -r)/include to get the path before you are asked for it.
    – Marlon
    Nov 1 '11 at 16:52

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