The VMware Tools is a set of modules and services created to unlock several features in your VMware virtualization environment. This is mainly to ensure there is seamless user interactions with the guest operating system, enhanced performance and for better management. In this guide we will be installing the Open VM Tools (open-vm-tools) which is the open source implementation of VMware Tools for Linux guest operating systems.

Originally, VMware Tools provided the best drivers for network and storage, combined with the functionality for other features such as time synchronization. However, now the drivers for the network/SCSI adapter are part of the Linux kernel. We will install Open-VM-Tools on Arch Linux or Manjaro Linux Desktop machine to enable features such as copy pasting of text, full screen mode and many others.

VMware features enabled by Open-VM-Tools

  • The ability to perform virtual machine power operations gracefully.
  • Execution of VMware provided or user configured scripts in guests during various power operations.
  • The ability to run programs, commands and file system operation in guests to enhance guest automation.
  • Authentication for guest operations.
  • Periodic collection of network, disk, and memory usage information from the guest.
  • Generation of heartbeat from guests to hosts so VMware’s HA solution can determine guests’ availability.
  • Clock synchronization between guests and hosts or client desktops.
  • Quiescing guest file systems to allow hosts to capture file-system-consistent guest snapshots.
  • Execution of pre-freeze and post-thaw scripts while quiescing guest file systems.
  • The ability to customize guest operating systems immediately after powering on virtual machines.
  • Enabling shared folders between host and guest file systems on VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion.
  • Copying and pasting text, graphics, and files between guests and hosts or client desktops.

Method 1: Install VMware Tools (Open-VM-Tools) on Arch Linux | Manjaro

Before you start the installation I recommend upgrading your system:

sudo pacman -Syu

Once the system has been upgraded you can perform a reboot.

sudo reboot

Once the system has been rebooted proceed to install Open-VM-Tools package which comes with the following utilities:

  • vmtoolsd – Service responsible for the Virtual Machine status report.
  • vmware-user – Tool to enable clipboard sharing (copy/paste) between host and guest.
  • vmware-checkvm – Tool to check whether a program is running in the guest.
  • vmware-toolbox-cmd – Tool to obtain Virtual Machine information of the host.
  • vmware-xferlogs – Dumps logging/debugging information to the Virtual Machine logfile.
  • vmware-vmblock-fuse – Filesystem utility. Enables drag & drop functionality between host and guest through FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace).
  • vmhgfs-fuse – Utility for mounting vmhgfs shared folders.

Run the commands below in your Arch Linux | Manjaro terminal to initiate installation of VMware Tools on Arch Linux | Manjaro.

sudo pacman -S open-vm-tools 

Accept installation prompt:

Reboot after the installation

sudo reboot

Test features unlocked by VMware tools such as copy and paste, drag and drop folders to confirm it has been installed and working.

Method 2: Install Official VMware Tools on Arch Linux | Manjaro

If you don’t want to use open-vm-tools, you can go with the VMware Tools.

But first uninstall open-vm-tools package:

sudo pacman -Rn open-vm-tools

Then install dependencies:

sudo pacman -S  base-devel  net-tools linux-headers --noconfirm

Create bogus init directories for the installer:

for x in {0..6}; do sudo mkdir -p /etc/init.d/rc${x}.d; done

Mount the installer CD rom:

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /mnt

Extract the archive file:

sudo tar xf /mnt/VMwareTools*.tar.gz -C /root

Then start the installer:

perl /root/vmware-tools-distrib/ -f -d

Enable vmware-tools to start on boot:

sudo tee /etc/systemd/system/vmwaretools.service<<EOF
Description=VMWare Tools daemon

ExecStart=/etc/init.d/vmware-tools start
ExecStop=/etc/init.d/vmware-tools stop

Run command below to enable the service:

sudo systemctl enable vmwaretools.service  

Reboot the system to confirm it works

sudo reboot

More on Manjaro:

Install and Use Docker CE on Manjaro Linux

Install Deepin Desktop Environment on Manjaro Linux

How To Install Anydesk on Manjaro Linux


  1. I can’t get the damn unit file to start on boot. works manually after os/kde plasma is up. I’m trying this in garuda. journalctl logs aren’t helpful.


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