Migrate from VMware tools to open-vm-tools in CentOS

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In 2012 I wrote a blog post that became really popular: Installing VMware tools on Centos 6 via yum. Few years forward, and today the preferred tools, even recommended from VMware itself over their own tools installable from vSphere, are the open sourced ones available natively in many linux package managers. They are definitely easier to maintain and update, since they are published via the different package managers of the main Linux distributions.

So, some may think to switch from one version to this one for their existing virtual machines. That’s what I’ve done in some of my virtual machines, and here is the process.

First, you need to remove the previous tools. If you installed the version available via vSphere, to remove them you simply run:


Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstall, and reboot the virtual machine.

If instead you followed my previous post and you were using the tools published via VMware repo, to remove them you run:

yum remove vmware-tools-esx-nox

and you should also remove the VMware repo:

rm -f /etc/yum.repos.d/vmware.repo

There’s no need to download epel-release files any more like you may find in other guides. open-vm-tools are now in the CentOS extras repo so you can just run:

yum --enablerepo=extras install epel-release

Extras repo is enabled by default but the –enablerepo caters for those that have disabled it.

Finally, you can install the open-vm-tools:

yum install -y open-vm-tools


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