Yes, I've seen the other answers. Either they don't work or they do un-recommended things like installing the old deprecated VMWare Tools

I'm looking for a solution that uses the recommended open-vm-tools

The offical instructions for Ubuntu 14.04 on vmware's site say

VMware recommends using the Open VM Tools redistributed by the operating system vendors.

They then say

To use Open VM Tools:

  1. Add the vmhgfs Driver

    If you are using the interactive file drag-and-drop feature in VMware Workstation and Fusion, install the vmhgfs driver in the virtual machine. This driver is not included inbox in the operating system. Installing the additional vmhgfs driver does not disturb the other inbox VMware drivers or Open VMware Tools. To install this driver:

  1. Install Open VMware Tools.
  2. Install the traditional TAR Format VMware Tools that is bundled with VMware Workstation or Fusion products.
  1. Add the deployPkg Tools Plug-in

    If you are using the virtual machine as a template or if it will be protected by SRM (Site Recovery Manager), then install the deployPkg Tools plug-in. To install this plug-in:

  1. Obtain and import the VMware Packaging Public Keys:
  1. Create a directory on your Ubuntu virtual machine to store the VMware Packaging Public Keys.
  2. Download all the VMware Public Packaging Public Key files from the http://packages.vmware.com/tools/keys directory.
  3. Save the files to the directory you created.
  4. For each key that you download, import the key: $ sudo apt-key add /key_path/key_name key_path is the directory in which you saved the keys. key_name is the file name of a key.
  1. Create a file, /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vmware-tools.list, with the following content:

    deb http://packages.vmware.com/packages/ubuntu ubuntu_version main

    ubuntu_version is either precise or trusty.

  2. Install the package:

    $ apt-get update
    $ apt-get install open-vm-tools-deploypkg

These instructions are not clear to me at all.

Under Add the vmhgfs Driver it says "1. Install Open VMWare Tools" and "2. Install the traditional TAR Format VMware Tools that is bundled with VMware Workstation or Fusion products." but #2 is explicitly what it told me NOT to do right at the top. It's listed as 2 steps but appears to be 2 options? (one or the other but not both)

Even if I wanted to do step 2 it's incompatible with step 1. Running the VMWare Tools installer when the Open VMWare Tools are installed fails saying to uninstall them. Are there instructions on what this step 2 really means?

Trying it anyway you can see it fails

$ tar xvfz /media/gregg/VMware\ Tools/VMwareTools-10.0.5-3228253.tar.gz
$ cd vmware-tools-distrib
$ sudo ./vmware-install.pl
The installer has detected an existing installation of open-vm-tools on this 
system and will not attempt to remove and replace these user-space
applications. It is recommended to use the open-vm-tools packages provided by 
the operating system. If you do not want to use the existing installation of 
open-vm-tools and attempt to install VMware Tools, you must uninstall the 
open-vm-tools packages and re-run this installer.
The packages that need to be removed are:
The installer will next check if there are any missing kernel drivers. Type yes
if you want to do this, otherwise type no [yes]

Of course I type no because it specifically said above installing this so-called vmhgfs driver is compatible with open-vm-tools 😱

Doing just step 1, "installing Open VMWare Tools", based on the official instructions here, has not given me shared folders.

$ dpkg --get-selections | grep open-vm
open-vm-dkms                    install
open-vm-tools                   install
open-vm-tools-deploypkg         install
open-vm-tools-desktop           install
open-vm-tools-dkms              install

Really lost. I used to use the non-open VMware Tools which are deprecated. Every time I updated I had to reinstall them. It was always a chore. The Open VM Tools is supposed to solve this. Copy from host and paste to guest work. vmware-hgfsclient runs and shows me a list of the host folders I have shared.

Mounting manually fails (though I don't want to have to mount manually. I want it to work automatically like it did with the old VMWare Tools)

$ ls -l /mnt
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Apr 18 23:36 hgfs
$ sudo mount -t vmhgfs .host:/temp /mnt/hgfs
Error: cannot mount filesystem: No such device
$ sudo mount -t vmhgfs .host:/temp /mnt/hgfs/temp
Error: cannot canonicalize mount point: No such file or directory


2 Answers 2


I had the same problem (Ubuntu 16.04LTS). This was how I solved it.

  1. Install Open VM tools:

    sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop

  2. Use the vmhgfs-fuse that OpenDJ also suggested.

    mkdir $HOME/Shared

    /usr/bin/vmhgfs-fuse -o auto_unmount .host:/ $HOME/Shared

That's it! Good luck.

  • 3
    It works for me on 16.04. I didn't on 14.04 though but I've moved to 16 so yay! 😅
    – gman
    Jan 25, 2017 at 14:29
  • Works on 17.04 as well
    – DataMania
    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:13
  • @soofadoof, what would that look like once I put it in the /etc/fstab? I created an entry but once I reboot the VM it won't come up
    – ekkis
    May 11, 2018 at 22:19
  • Works! But the shared folder is gone after every reboot. Is there a solution I don't have to re-run the command every time?
    – Keith OYS
    Sep 8, 2019 at 7:42

There is no vmhgfs driver any more it seems. I found the following program within the open-vm-tools package:

/usr/bin/vmhgfs-fuse --help

So I created a directory Shared in my home folder and did mount the host file system manually:

/usr/bin/vmhgfs-fuse -o auto_unmount .host:/ $HOME/Shared
  • I have the latest version of open-vm-tools installed according to apt-get update/upgrade but there's no vmhgfs-fuse anywhere on my system. Checking the git repo it's in there but that begs the question why is it not part of the official distro and how do you get it in yours? Did you build it from scratch? So far trying to build from scratch it's making me install a ton of deps, 40 so far and counting :(
    – gman
    May 2, 2016 at 2:33

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