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Installing VMware Tools on a FreeBSD VM

In Technology by TomLeave a Comment

Trying to install VMware Tools on a FreeBSD VM? VMware, as you may already know, generally plays nice with most guest operating systems. However getting VMware Tools to install on a FreeBSD VM, isn’t unfortunately as straightforward as other operating systems. When I’ve come across this issue myself, I didn’t find a great deal of information out on the internet. Here’s a simple guide to get VMware Tools to install on vSphere, Workstation and Fusion, and play nice with your FreeBSD VM.

If you haven’t done so already, complete the initial FreeBSD setup and install PKG (FreeBSD’s package management system). In the console run the following commands as “root” on the FreeBSD VM. Go to the FreeBSD Handbook to learn more.

pkg fetch

pkg update

Now Pkg is installed we need to install the following required pre-requisites for VMware Tools. These are the main reason why VMware Tools does not run on your FreeBSD VM.

  • perl5.18-5.18.4_21 – Practical Extraction and Report Language (later versions don’t work at time of writing)
  • compat6x-amd64-6.4.604000.200810_3 – Convenience package to install the compat6x libraries
pkg install compat6x-amd64 perl5.18

Start the install of VMware Tools from VMware as per usual.
Mount the media for VMware Tools from the client.

mount -t cd9660 /dev/cd0 /mnt

tar xzf /mnt/vmware-freebsd-tools.tar.gz

cd vmware-tools-distrib

Execute the VMware Tools install within the FreeBSD VM


The VMware Tools installer should now be open. You might need to modify the file to make it an executable if it doe not open.

chmod +x
The following was performed and tested on a FreeBSD 10.3 install on vSphere 6.0. Hopefully this issue gets resolved over time. Your results may vary and the packages mentioned above may change or be removed.

Let me know how you go in the comments. If you’re having issues, I might be able to help you out.

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