VMware tools on ESXi Raspberry Pi 4


In this post, I showed how to go about installing ESXi onto a Raspberry Pi 4 device. As I was launching multiple Ubuntu virtual servers, I found issues with installing VMWare tools onto them. I found this post and applied it to my setup.

Commands for Ubuntu 20.04 ARM

Here are the exact commands I have been using:

First update and upgrade your Ubuntu OS:

apt update -y && apt upgrade -y

Next, install the pre-requisites for compiling the Open VM tools. This took a while in my case.

apt install -y git automake make gobjc++ libtool pkg-config libmspack-dev libglib2.0-dev libpam0g-dev libssl-dev libxml2-dev libxmlsec1-dev libx11-dev libxext-dev libxinerama-dev libxi-dev libxrender-dev libxrandr-dev libxtst-dev libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev libgtk-3-dev libgtkmm-3.0-dev

Next, clone the open-vm-tools Github repository:

git clone https://github.com/vmware/open-vm-tools.git
cd open-vm-tools/open-vm-tools/

Next, we need to compile and install the tools:

autoreconf -i
./configure --disable-dependency-tracking
make install

Now we need to create a service file which is required to run vmtoolsd as service with systemd:

cat > /etc/systemd/system/vmtoolsd.service << EOF
Description=Service for virtual machines hosted on VMware



And finally, we meed to enable that service we just created

systemctl enable vmtoolsd.service
systemctl start vmtoolsd.service
systemctl status vmtoolsd.service

If all went well, you should be seeing something along the lines of below output

● vmtoolsd.service - Service for virtual machines hosted on VMware
     Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/vmtoolsd.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Wed 2020-11-11 20:56:01 UTC; 47ms ago
       Docs: http://github.com/vmware/open-vm-tools
   Main PID: 102012 (vmtoolsd)
      Tasks: 1 (limit: 2233)
     Memory: 680.0K
     CGroup: /system.slice/vmtoolsd.service
             └─102012 /usr/local/bin/vmtoolsd

Nov 01 20:56:01 ubuntu-microk8s-1 systemd[1]: Started Service for virtual machines hosted on VMware.

I created a Shell script that does exactly these steps but in an automated way. Saves you some time. Please find it here.