How to Install VMware Tools (OpenVM Tools) on Ubuntu 20.04 / 22.04 LTS

Sometimes you may want to install an Ubuntu desktop or server on a virtual machine. However, you may have realized that communication between the host and the VM machine doesn’t exist. Luckily, many distributions now carry the open-source VM tools that can be used for many of the most popular Virtual Machine products such as VMware.

In the following small tutorial, you will learn how to install these tools on either Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa or Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish server or desktop environment.


  • Recommended OS: Ubuntu 20.04 or Ubuntu 22.04 Desktop or Server.
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.

Update Operating System

Update your Ubuntu operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@ubuntu ~]$ sudo whoami

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on Ubuntu.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.


The tutorial will utilize the terminal interface, which can be found in the show applications menu.


How to Install VMware Tools (OpenVM Tools) on Ubuntu 20.04 / 22.04 LTS

Install Open VM Tools Package

To install Open VM Tools on Ubuntu is straightforward. The tutorial will demonstrate installing the tools on both server and desktop.

In your terminal, execute the following command.

To install Open VM Tools Desktop:

sudo apt install open-vm-tools-desktop

To install Open VM Tools Server:

sudo apt install open-vm-tools

Alternatively, you can install the dev version if needed; however, this would only be required by a small userbase.

sudo apt install open-vm-tools-dev

Once complete, you need to reboot your PC for the changes to take effect, and this can be done quickly while in your terminal.


Verify the Installation

Once back inside, verify that everything is in working order using the following command.

apt-cache policy open-vm-tools*

Example output:

How to Install VMware Tools (OpenVM Tools) on Ubuntu 20.04 / 22.04 LTS

As above, depending on the version you have installed, it should be visible as the highlighted example.

Comments and Conclusion

In the following tutorial, you have learned how to install Open VM Tools on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. Overall, Open VM Tools are not needed unless you use a VM Machine for your distribution.


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