Should you decide to create your own VMware installation of Kali Linux rather than using our pre-made VMware images, you will need to follow the instructions below in order to successfully install VMware Tools in your Kali installation. You can opt to install either open-vm-toolbox, or the native VMware tools.

Installing open-vm-Tools

This is probably the easiest way to get “VMware tools” functionality inside a Kali VMware guest.

apt-get install open-vm-toolbox

Installing VMware Tools in Kali

kernel 3.14 – introduced 23rd May, 2014

The latest version of vmware-tools at this date compiles against our kernel, albeit with several warnings.

kernel 3.12 – introduced 7th January 2014

At the time this kernel was introduced to our repositories, VMware tools would not build cleanly against it, and requires several patches. These patches, as well as instructions on how to build VMware tools for this new kernel can be found on our Kali Linux VMware Tool Patches Github page. Please note that depending on the VMware tools version you use, you might get some patch hunks fail on you – that’s expected.

kernel 3.7 – introduced 7th March 2013

If open-vm-toolbox does not work for you, or if you prefer using native VMware tools, begin by installing some packages that are required by the VMware Tools installer:

echo cups enabled >> /usr/sbin/update-rc.d
echo vmware-tools enabled >> /usr/sbin/update-rc.d

apt-get install gcc make linux-headers-$(uname -r)
ln -s /usr/src/linux-headers-$(uname -r)/include/generated/uapi/linux/version.h /usr/src/linux-headers-$(uname -r)/include/linux/

Next, mount the VMware tools ISO by clicking “Install VMware Tools” from the appropriate menu. Once the VMware Tools ISO has been attached to the virtual machine, we mount the drive and copy the VMware Tools installer to /tmp/.

mkdir /mnt/vmware
mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/vmware/
cp -rf /mnt/vmware/VMwareTools* /tmp/

Then, change directory to /tmp/, extract the tarball and start the installer:

cd /tmp/
tar zxpf VMwareTools-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-tools-distrib/

Follow the prompts for the VMware Tools installation and you are done.

Lastly, to get rid of possible VMware service errors, edit the /etc/init.d/vmware-tools script, and at around line 876, change:

 # POSIX shell uses '!' for negation during bracket expansion.
   # See
   set -- `uname -r`

to :

 # POSIX shell uses '!' for negation during bracket expansion.
   # See
   set -- `uname -r|cut -d"-" -f1`

Once changed, proceed to restart the VMware tool service.

Slow Mouse Movement in VMware

If your mouse movement is slow and sluggish in a Kali Linux VMware guest, try installing the xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse package in the Kali guest.

apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse

VMware Tools Won’t Compile!

This is an unfortunate reality that has often plagued us, as Kali Linux uses a bleeding edge kernel which is not always supported by VMware. On occasion, it might be required to search for “upstream compatibility VMware Tools patches” from the VMware community.

Known Issues

As of March 2nd, 2013, VMware tools will compile with kernel 3.7, barring the shared folder module. Patches exist to fix this issue..