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I'm attempting to install VMware tools on a Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS vm and I get the following message:

Make sure that you are logged in to the guest OS. Mount the virtual cd drive in the guest, launch a terminal, and use tar to uncompress the installer. Then, execute vmware-install.pl to install VMware tools.

What does it mean, "use tar to uncompress the installer"?

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tar is a program to produce (and unzip) archives from multiple files, and also a file format just like .rar or .zip commonly seen in Windows.

What the program is asking you to do is follow the steps and then unzip the .tar file you get.

To unzip the .tar file use this tar xvzf <nameoffilehere>.tar.gz

A bit more explanation of what the command does:

  • f: this must be the last flag of the command, and the tar file must be immediately after. It tells tar the name and path of the compressed file.

  • z: tells tar to decompress the archive using gzip

  • x: tar can collect files or extract them. x does the latter.

  • v: makes tar talk a lot. Verbose output shows you all the files being extracted.

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