(FBSD) HOWTO Install VMWARE tools on a AMD64 FreeBSD system

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When you install a virtual machine into VMware, you have to install some quest additions called VMware Tools to your guest operating system to take the full advantage of all functionalities of this virtualization software. This guide explain how to install the guest additions in a minimal installation of FreeBSD 64bit 8.0 (The same instructions should work also on the 7 version).


VMware provides an automatic installation Perl script for FreeBSD that needs the perl and compat6x-amd64 to work. To install them using pkg_add as root:

Command: installing needed dependencies using pkg_add
$ su - root
# pkg_add -r perl
# pkg_add -r compat6x-amd64

Or using the ports:

Command: installing needed dependencies using the ports
# cd /usr/ports/lang/perl5.10
# make install clean
# cd /usr/ports/misc/compat6x
# make install clean

Install the VMware Tools

Then the FreeBSD system is ready to install the VMware Tools. So in VMware select the menu entry VM then Install VMware Tools. The remaining steps take place inside the virtual machine, not on the host computer. Be sure the guest operating system is running in text mode. You cannot install VMware Tools while X is running. As root (using su or sudo), mount the VMware Tools virtual CD-ROM image, change to a working directory (for example, /tmp), uncompress the installer, then unmount the CD-ROM image.

You do not use an actual CD-ROM to install VMware Tools, nor do you need to download the CD-ROM image or burn a physical CD-ROM of this image file. [VMware]] contains an ISO image that looks like a CD-ROM to your guest operating system. This image contains all the files needed to install VMware Tools in your guest operating system.

Note Note: Some FreeBSD installations automatically mount CD-ROMs. If yours uses automounting, do not use the mount and umount commands below. You still must untar the VMware Tools installer to /tmp:
Command: mounting the cdrom
# mount /cdrom
# cd /tmp
Command: decompressing the tools archive

Untar the VMware Tools tar file:

# tar zxf /cdrom/VMware-freebsd-tools.tar.gz
# umount /cdrom

Run the VMware Tools

Run the VMware Tools installer using the perl script:

Command: launching the installer
# cd VMware Tools-distrib
# ./VMware-install.pl

Log out of the root account.

Command: logging out
# exit

Start X and your graphical environment:

Command: starting the X server
$ startx 
#or equivalent

In an X terminal, launch the VMware Tools application in the background using the following command:

Command: launching the VMware-toolbox
$ VMware-toolbox &
Note Note: You may run VMware Tools as root or as a normal user but to shrink virtual disks, you must run VMware Tools as root.

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