VMware tools installation on a Debian-based server

Select from Virtualcenter menu

This makes the tools iso available to the virtual machine.

On the client, mount the CDROM:

$ sudo mkdir /media/cdrom
$ sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom/
mount: block device /dev/sr0 is write-protected, mounting read-only

Extract the tools to /tmp:

$ tar -C /tmp -zxvf /media/cdrom/VMwareTools-8.3.7-341836.tar.gz

Now you can unmount the CD:

$ sudo umount /media/cdrom

Run the installation and follow the prompts. You are prompted for installation paths with default suggestions where you can just hit return if you are happy:

$ sudo /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib/vmware-install.pl

Creating a new VMware Tools installer database using the tar4 format.

Installing VMware Tools.

In which directory do you want to install the binary files?
[/usr/bin]
...

The case of the missing C compiler

The installation script ends with a prompt to run /usr/bin/vmware-config-tools.pl

Before running VMware Tools for the first time, you need to configure it by
invoking the following command: "/usr/bin/vmware-config-tools.pl". Do you want
this program to invoke the command for you now? [yes]

If your distro doesn't support one of the prebuilt kernel modules it will require a C compiler to build the module.

error:
Before you can compile modules, you need to have the following installed...

make
gcc
kernel headers of the running kernel


Searching for GCC...
The path "" is not valid path to the gcc binary.
Would you like to change it?

If you do no not have the required compiler installed on your machine then you will not progress past the prompt for entering a path to a valid compiler…

Quick fix, install gcc:

$ sudo apt-get install gcc

Else, refer to this KB article: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1008973

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